Liability in Allentown Medical Malpractice Claims

Because doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are considered so important to the function of everyday society, Pennsylvania law doesn’t hold these professionals legally liable for every single negative outcome that one of their patients has. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sue a healthcare provider over an injury or illness you suffered, specifically because they failed to give you the high-quality care you deserved.

Liability in Allentown medical malpractice claims works very differently from liability in most other types of personal injury lawsuits. Trying to pursue a malpractice lawsuit without understanding all of those differences will likely lead to an unfavorable case outcome. Fortunately, you’ve got help available throughout the legal process from seasoned medical malpractice attorneys who know how to handle situations like yours based on extensive experience with similar cases. Get in touch with our winning team at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today.

Understanding the “Standard of Care” for Doctors

Most of the time, holding someone else liable for a personal injury means proving that another person directly caused that injury by violating a “duty of care”—in other words, by doing something no reasonable person would’ve done under the same circumstances. When it comes to establishing liability in Allentown medical malpractice claims, though, the important thing is whether the doctor you’re suing violated an applicable “standard of care”—in other words, whether they did something no equally qualified and experienced doctor would’ve done under the same circumstances.

This might seem like a small difference, but it’s actually a big one, since it means a doctor may not be liable for causing harm even if you can prove they did something wrong. For example, a doctor working in an emergency room who misdiagnoses a patient has definitely made a mistake. But, if they’re dealing with multiple patients at once in an environment as hectic as a modern ER, a court might not consider a small error like that severe enough to be something no other doctor would’ve done in the same situation.

Can You Sue a Hospital Over an Individual Doctor’s Actions?

In many situations, it’s possible to assign civil liability in an Allentown medical malpractice claim to the individual doctor whose negligence led to you getting hurt and to the hospital—or other type of healthcare facility—that the negligent doctor worked for. Depending on the circumstances, the facility’s owners and administrators may be “vicariously liable” for the misconduct of their employee, or they may be directly liable for something like negligent hiring practices or failure to properly supervise providers they had on staff.

However, you may not be able to hold a hospital responsible for a single practitioner’s negligence if that practitioner is considered an “independent contractor” rather than an employee of the hospital. Sorting out who’s classified as what in a particular scenario and what that might mean for your legal options is one of many things our skilled lawyers can help with during this kind of case.

Get Help with Establishing Liability in a Medical Malpractice Claim from an Allentown Attorney

Proving that you have valid grounds to file suit over an injury or illness you suffered due to subpar medical treatment is just the first of many steps in the long, complicated, and often extremely stressful process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Still, it’s an important early stage that you’ll almost certainly struggle to get through without support from experienced legal professionals.

Representation from a respected medical malpractice lawyer is essential to effectively proving liability in Allentown medical malpractice claims. Learn more by calling Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, so you’ve got nothing to lose by giving us a call.