Medical malpractice or negligence commonly leads to adverse results. For example, failure to diagnose a disease usually results in death or worsened outcome. At the very least, the delay in diagnosis usually results in additional, prolonged treatment. A common example occurs where a simple dose of antibiotics could have killed off a bacterial infection, yet the doctor’s failure to diagnose the bacterial infection resulted in an acute or worsened condition.
Damages in a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Case Which Results in the Patient’s Death
In medical malpractice cases which result in the patient’s death, surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death action and/or a survival action. In general, a wrongful death action allows the survivors to make claims for the economic damages caused by the family member’s death, such as loss of wages, funeral expenses, etc.
A survival action is a tort claim or negligence action that actually belongs to the deceased, but because of the death, the action is transferred to the surviving members. For example, a patient who has suffered medical malpractice has a malpractice action against the doctor, surgeon, hospital, etc. After the patient’s death, that action is transferred to his or her surviving family members.
Damages in a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Case Where the Patient Survives
In medical malpractice actions, there may be claims for not only financial damages, but also for the pain and suffering caused by the malpractice.
Pain and suffering can be many things, not just physical pain and discomfort. It includes mental anguish, stress, embarrassment, etc. Especially in medical malpractice cases, there are additional elements of pain and suffering-worsened outcomes and/or additional treatments.
In some cases of medical malpractice, the patient’s life span or survival rate may be decreased due to the negligent acts of a doctor or surgeon. In other cases, the patient may need to undergo additional surgeries, therapies, injections, and more, due to the doctor’s negligence. Medical malpractice can cause a great deal of harm and Pennsylvania laws allow victims to recover for all the pain and suffering which flows from the negligent acts of a medical professional.
More from our Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law Library:
- Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Cases Involving Medical Devices
- Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law – The Discovery Rule & The Statute of Limitations
Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law Firm
For more information, contact our Pennsylvania and New Jersey medical malpractice and surgical error lawyers. Call 800.220.7600. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.
**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Published: September 18, 2012