Elements Of A Medical Malpractice Case – Causation

Incidents of medical malpractice occur every day in Pennsylvania. No matter what causes the injuries associated with any medical procedure or treatment, if such injuries could have been avoided by the use of the accepted standard of care, a person may be entitled to compensation. Filing a claim for medical malpractice requires a lengthy analysis as it involves the review of medical records such as X-Rays, medical charts, doctors’ notes, and any other documentation substantiating a claim.

Elements Of A Medical Malpractice Case - Causation Any health care provider in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may be held legally responsible for acts of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice, like most personal injury cases, is based on the legal theory of negligence. In Pennsylvania, one of these elements is that the professional’s breach of duty caused injury to the patient: In other words, the act of medical malpractice is linked directly to the injuries suffered by the patient.

Once a violation of the standard of care is established, the patient must also prove that the act of malpractice was a factual cause in the manifestation of the harm. Malpractice is a factual cause when it plays an actual role in harming the patient so that there is a connection or link between the malpractice and ensuing harm.

The most straightforward way to determine causation is the “but for” test which asks, “but for the medical professional’s actions, would the injury have occurred?” If the answer is no, proof of causation may be established. Causation in a medical malpractice case is established similar to the proof of a violation of the standard of care by expert testimony.

In malpractice cases that involve an allegation of the failure to timely diagnose or treat an illness, it may be difficult or even impossible to prove whether malpractice actually caused harm. In these cases, a plaintiff may still win his case if he establishes that the act of malpractice increased the risk of harm. Stay tuned in the weeks ahead to learn more about the elements of a medical malpractice case.

If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury because of an accident or incident of medical malpractice, including surgical errors or negligence during pregnancy or childbirth, contact Attorney James Mundy at Powell Law (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay anything unless we win.

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