Anzalone Law Offices Understands Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a phrase used to describe a healthcare provider’s negligent care that harms a patient. Hospitals and clinics can be held accountable for the negligent acts of their nurses and other employees, as can individual healthcare professionals including physicians, dentists, and chiropractors.
Pennsylvania law imposes a duty upon healthcare professionals to provide care that meets the standard generally followed by members of the medical community who practice in the same field of medicine. Medical specialists are therefore held to higher standards than general practitioners.
Malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to adhere to an appropriate standard of care, and the failure is a substantial factor in causing harm to the patient. It need not be the only factor that harms the patient. For example, cancer might be the factor that ultimately causes a patient’s death, but the failure to make a timely diagnosis of cancer can shorten a patient’s lifespan and is a substantial factor in causing harm to the patient. Medical negligence that increases the risk of eventual harm to a patient can be sufficient to satisfy the “substantial factor” test in Pennsylvania.
All medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania require expert testimony to establish the prevailing standard of care and the negligent provider’s failure to meet that standard.