Medical negligence is an unfortunate reality, one that no patient expects to encounter. However, medical negligence and malpractice does occur and in many cases, patients have no idea until much later. Patients who have suffered medical malpractice may be forced to bring legal claims against an ob-gyn, specialist/surgeon, and/or family doctor. In some cases, more than one doctor may be sued in addition to a hospital where treatment or a procedure occurred.
Some types of medical negligence are immediately apparent. For example, someone who undergoes a wrong site surgery will know immediately.
In other cases, however, the negligence may be hidden, intentionally or otherwise. Read more about hidden negligence in medical malpractice cases. For instance, a patient who suffers nerve damage to surrounding tissue may never know that the surgeon accidentally severed a nerve. The patient may be told that the symptoms are normal.
In the case of a wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis, it may be years before a patient uncovers that the original diagnosis was a mistake. A patient who is diagnosed with cancer only to find out that the original lab made a mistake may suffer multiple procedures and other invasive treatment before finally discovering the mistake.
Many patients blindly believe their doctors and surgeons and either don’t question their doctors at all or wait months or years to get a second opinion. In some cases, especially in smaller medical communities, a doctor giving a second opinion will not tell the patient about the original negligence. Many patients will then seek a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer.
In the context of bringing a medical malpractice claim, how and when a patient ultimately uncovers the negligence is crucial, especially where the patient brings a medical malpractice claim after the statute of limitations has run.
- Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Claims Against Doctors and Surgeons – The Standard of Care
- Surgical Errors – Foreign Objects, Wrong Body Parts and Wrong Procedures
- Wrongful Death Claims in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Cases
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