You’ve probably made a mistake or two at work — but your mistakes probably never killed anyone. While most of us would admit to making errors in our employment, thankfully, most of us are not in positions where our errors can be fatal. The same can’t be said by medical professionals who make mistakes.
Deciding to become a medical professional comes with extra responsibility. If someone makes that career choice, they know their mistakes can kill or cause severe harm. John Hopkins Medicine found that around 100,000 people die or have to live with a permanent disability each year in the US when doctors misdiagnose their condition.
What’s more, they found 75% of all serious misdiagnosis errors were related to three conditions:
- Cancer: 37.8%
- Vascular events:22.8%
- Infections 13.5%
Hospitals know that doctors make errors and need to implement adequate backup procedures to catch these errors before they cause harm to a patient. To bring a successful medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania, you will need to prove the following:
- Someone had a duty to you
- They breached that duty
- That breach caused you harm
Proving a medical professional had a duty to you is relatively simple, especially if you were their patient. The other two items can be more challenging to prove, which is where many medical malpractice claims fail.
To prove a breach of duty involves more than knowing the doctor made a mistake. Not all medical diagnoses are straightforward, so you would need to prove that most doctors would have gotten the diagnosis right in the same position.
To determine the breach of duty caused the harm, you need to show the direct relationship. For example, a doctor failed to diagnose cancer, and your wife died of that cancer.
Seek legal help if you or a loved one has suffered due to medical misdiagnosis. Since these claims are complicated, it pays to start the process as soon as possible.