Residents who go to the doctor expect to get better after treatment. At a minimum, patients expect their doctors will do what they can to prevent the condition from getting worse. Unfortunately, in many cases, doctors make careless mistakes that leave patients in a worsened condition. In the worst cases, a patient may even die because of a doctor’s professional errors.
Pittsburgh patients or their families who get hurt by medical negligence can sue their doctors for medical malpractice. However, there are certain limitations on what an injured patient can recover in a medical malpractice case. Fortunately, the laws are not as strict as in some other states, and a patient can get a full recovery for his or her pain and suffering, as well as medical bills and lost wages.
But, a patient may have a more difficult time recovering punitive damages. For one, Pennsylvania law limits the amount of punitive damages a patient can recover to double what the patient recovers in terms of compensation. Moreover, the law makes it more difficult to get punitive damages as a patient has to prove that the doctor was more than careless and was actually acting with “reckless indifference” to other people.
The good news is that a patient can recover all of his or her actual losses after a malpractice action, which can make up, in some way, for their losses. The fact that a person cannot recover all of the punitive damages, which he or she is entitled, should not discourage someone from filing a medical malpractice case.