What You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice in Pittsburgh
The realm of healthcare is full of complex policies, guidelines, and regulations. Many of these rules govern moving parts that function behind scenes, like insurance coding, patient scheduling, care cost-calculations, and many more. But there are special federal, state, and legal rights that guarantee and protect patients from medical malpractice in Pittsburgh that everyone who receives care should be aware of.
What are my rights as a patient?
Patients have a variety of rights that come from several sources. One of the best-known patient protections is known as HIPPA, which stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This federal law allows patients to get copies of their medical records, change incorrect information in their records, and to know how their information has been shared. HIPPA also protects patients’ privacy by limiting the disclosure of all “individually identifiable health information” that might be used to identify a particular patient.
Many states have created their own patients’ bill of rights, too. For example, the Pennsylvania Bill of Rights for Patients guarantees the right to, among other things:
- See a lawyer in private at any time and to be assisted by any advocate of your choice in making decisions,
- Make complaints and have those complaints heard and promptly adjudicated,
- Receive visitors of your choosing at reasonable hours unless they would interfere with your treatment,
- To receive and send mail,
- To have access to a designated phone,
- To practice or abstain from religious practices, and more.
What if my rights are violated?
If a patient’s’ rights are violated by a provider’s actions, they can file what is called a medical malpractice lawsuit in court. This type of suit is designed to help compensate a patient injured by healthcare provider’s negligence if the patient can show four elements: (1) that the provider owed the patient a duty of care, (2) that the provider negligently breached that duty, (3) that the patient was injured by the breach, and (4) that the injury caused damages to the patient.
If you believe your rights have been violated, you should contact an attorney in your area who has experience with medical malpractice law. For instance, if you live in Pennsylvania, you might start your search with firms that handle medical malpractice in Pittsburgh, or check out the American Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Directory.