When Does Medical Malpractice Become Criminal?

In recent weeks, the trial of Michael Jackson’s former doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, has been widely publicized. Dr. Murray is facing charges for the alleged involuntary manslaughter of the King of Pop.

In most cases, medical malpractice is the subject of a civil lawsuit.  Patients who have been injured file medical malpractice lawsuits or the families of patients who have been killed file wrongful death lawsuits.  It is only in the most extreme cases – when the standard of care has been grossly breached – that a criminal case is filed.

If Dr. Murray is convicted of involuntary manslaughter he may face jail time and the loss of his medical license.  However, in order for the Jackson family to recover financial damages they will need to pursue a wrongful death case against the doctor.

If you have been hurt, or if you have lost a loved one, due to Pennsylvania medical malpractice then it is important to know that you have the right to file a civil lawsuit even if the state doesn’t file a criminal case.  Successful Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases are most often resolved without criminal charges being brought against a doctor.