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Pain & Suffering in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Can You Obtain Compensation for Pain & Suffering Due to a Doctor or Medical Provider’s Negligence?
Patients in Pennsylvania who have suffered due to medical malpractice in hospitals or doctor/specialist’s offices often want to know about their rights to compensation for pain and suffering, which is one type of compensation claim in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Get more info on medical bills and lost wages in medical malpractice cases in Pennsylvania. Under Pennsylvania medical malpractice law, there’s no formula to determine compensation for pain and suffering. Instead, these kinds of claims are based on a variety of factors, which include things like:
- the plaintiff’s age
- seriousness of the injuries and symptoms caused by the medical negligence
- permanency of the injuries and symptoms
- extent of the medical treatment necessitated by the medical negligence
- the patient’s lifestyle before and after the medical negligence
These factors will vary from case to case. So, there’s simply no way to evaluate pain and suffering compensation without understanding and presenting evidence of these factors. The key is presenting an accurate, complete and clear picture of the patient’s pain and suffering with both physical evidence, like pictures, videos, documents, and testimony of the patient, family members, friends, etc.
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The Morris Wilson Knepp Jacquette law firm specializes in complex medical malpractice cases, including hospital malpractice, misdiagnosis cases and more. We’re known as skilled trial lawyers who deliver results for our clients.
Since 2016, our law firm has received the Best Law Firm rating in the area of Medical Malpractice Law by U.S. News & World Report. Call now for a free case consultation. (610) 825-0500 Related Article: Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Explained
Pain & Suffering in Medical Malpractice Cases
Under Pennsylvania personal injury law, pain and suffering includes physical pain, mental and emotional anguish, discomfort, inconvenience, distress, physical disfigurement, embarrassment and humiliation. In Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases, pain and suffering tends to occur in two phases or time frames. The first is the short term, or the time frame that immediately follows the malpractice. In some medical malpractice or hospital malpractice cases, patients will have to undergo additional medical treatment due to the malpractice. This can include invasive medical treatment like surgical procedures or extensive follow up treatment like cancer treatment. For example, in a skin cancer misdiagnosis case in Philadelphia, a patient’s melanoma goes undetected by a dermatologist. Once the cancer is discovered, the patient needs quite extensive excision of skin and tissue. Had the melanoma been discovered earlier, a much smaller area of skin and surrounding tissue would have been removed. But due to the spread of the cancer and growth of the mass in the nearby skin, several inches of tissue are removed, leaving a severe scar. The second phase or time frame is the long term one. This is after the medical treatment has concluded and the patient’s symptoms stabilize. Any permanent symptoms and the extent of any disfigurement become clear in this time frame. To really analyze the patient’s pain and suffering during this period, it’s critical to understand how the medical malpractice and resulting symptoms impact the patient’s ability to enjoy their life which includes family life, work life, hobbies, etc. After medical malpractice occurs, patients often suffer major, permanent symptoms. This is often the case even if no additional medical treatment, like surgery, is required. For instance, a stroke patient in Delaware County is misdiagnosed with a migraine and released from a local hospital. Hours later, the patient suffers a massive stroke that causes permanent cognitive and physical impairments. As a result of the stroke misdiagnosis and resulting stroke, the patient is left with facial paralysis, vision impairment and problems with bowel and bladder control. As a result, the patient is completely disabled from working and suffers extreme depression which affects the patient’s relationships with his spouse, children, family members and friends.
Future Pain & Suffering
PA law allows patients to make a claim for 1. pain and suffering that occurred after the medical malpractice up to the time of trial, and 2. pain and suffering that will occur in the future. In many medical malpractice cases, the patient will indefinitely suffer both physically and mentally as a result of the negligence. This is often the case when there are severe permanent symptoms or serious disfigurement. In the stroke misdiagnosis example above, the patient will undoubtedly suffer not only physical pain and mental anguish, but also embarrassment and humiliation into the future.
Loss of Consortium
A patient’s spouse may have a derivative claim for loss of consortium. Pennsylvania law recognizes this legal right, which belongs to the patient’s spouse in a medical malpractice case. The loss of consortium claim is based on harm to the marital relationship including loss of companionship, affection, etc. For more info, visit our Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law FAQ page.
Last updated: August 3, 2021
We Accept Medical Malpractice Cases Against Hospitals in the Philadelphia Area
Cases Also Accepted Across Pennsylvania
Chestnut Hill Hospital
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Roxborough Memorial Hospital
Temple University Hospital
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland)
Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill, Upper Darby)
Springfield Hospital (Springfield)
Taylor Hospital (Ridley)
Abington Hospital (Abington, Lansdale)
Bryn Mawr Hospital (Bryn Mawr)
Einstein Medical (East Norriton, Elkins Park)
Holy Redeemer Hospital (Meadowbrook)
Lankenau Hospital (Wynnewood)
Suburban Community Hospital (Norristown)
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila., West Chester, East Norriton, Meadowbrook, Doylestown, Langhorne, Sellersville, etc.)
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
Shriner's Hospitals for Children
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