When Pennsylvania patients experience increased suffering and a worsened health condition after a medical mistake, they may be outraged at the results. However, they may face challenges when they aim to seek compensation for a medical provider that used inaccurate or mistaken treatment methods. Under medical malpractice law, patients must show that the physician or health care professional responsible deviated from the accepted standard of care that he or she had a responsibility to follow. They must also show that this deviation caused the harm from which they then suffered.
In many medical malpractice cases, patients can clearly document that a doctor did not follow the standard of care. Medical experts can testify about expectations for a particular treatment and provide professional assessment of the type of care that the patients received. Medical records, test results and imaging scans can provide additional evidence. However, even when patients can show that they were treated badly by a health care provider, they may face a more difficult time proving that this substandard care caused their suffering.
For example, side effects are known to occur with the prescription of medication, even when it also provides a benefit. Many surgeries come with serious risks, and it may be difficult to link a surgeon's negligence to a poor outcome. In addition, many malpractice cases hinge on a failure to diagnose cancer or another progressive disease. The patient must prove that this was the reason why the cancer was not diagnosed, as a doctor may claim that even careful physicians may be unable to detect the disease.
Patients who are suffering as a result of a medical mistake may face extensive costs and complications as a result. They might want to have a medical malpractice attorney assess their situation and the possibility of obtaining compensation for their damages.