What does it take to have a successful med mal claim in PA?

Victims of medical malpractice have options.

Medical professionals can help heal the ill as well as provide guidance and advice to better ensure their patients avoid injury. Although many medical professionals do their job well, mistakes can happen. In some cases, the mistakes are so egregious that they result in serious injury or even death of the patient. When these errors occur, it is important to hold that professional accountable. One example of such an error involves a patient that suffered fatal injury due to the negligence three medical professionals.

How did three doctors contribute to the death of one patient?

Lucchesi v. Mercy Suburban Hospital involves a lacrosse referee who collapsed while working a game and rushed to Mercy Suburban Hospital for treatment. The emergency physician treating the victim failed to make note of the fact that a filter had migrated into the man's atrial valve. Lucchesi underwent a medical procedure to implant the filter six months before the incident to help stop blood clots that would migrate to his heart and cause fatal cardiac arrest.

Lucchesi was discharged from the emergency room without receiving treatment for the migrated filter. He died three days later.

The victim's family claims that had the physicians treating Lucchesi addressed the migrated filter and taken measures to correct the problem, he may not have died. The physicians counter that even if they had, the patient would not likely have survived a procedure to correct the problem. Ultimately, the jury found in favor of the family. The jury found that three different physicians were negligent and that this negligence resulted in the death of the patient. One was found 25 percent negligent, another 31 percent and the third 44 percent. The jury awarded the victims $3.2 million in damages.

This division of culpability provides an opportunity to discuss one of the legal matters that can cause complications in a med mal case. More than one defendant may be responsible for a medical injury. This can make building a case for medical malpractice a difficult process.

What options are available if a medical mistake resulted in injury?

A medical malpractice claim can lead to monetary awards to help cover the costs that come with these mistakes. Costs like missed wages, additional medical care and rehabilitative expenses.

It is important to note that there can be time limitations to these types of claims. In most cases, a victim has seven years after the action that led to the injury to move forward with a claim. Due to this limitation and the complexity of these cases, it is wise to seek legal counsel as soon as an injury is discovered to better ensure that the victim is not barred from these legal remedies.