Medical Malpractice

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People trust doctors with their lives, yet each year suffer injuries or die as the result of medical errors. A survey conducted by Harvard University showed that more than one million people suffer injuries each year due to medical mistakes, which can be caused by doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. The errors occur in doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Every year about 1,000 malpractice lawsuits are filed in the state of Pennsylvania. Medical malpractice takes many forms, and it’s vital for residents in the Philadelphia area to know their legal rights should a doctor make a damaging medical error during the course of treatment.

A person who believes they or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice can seek counsel with a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer. While it’s possible for a victim to pursue action himself, medical malpractice cases are extremely complex and require in-depth knowledge of the legal system. A lawyer will guide a client during this very difficult time.

Medical mistakes can affect people in countless ways. Injuries can be temporary or permanent, may worsen a patient’s condition, or even cause death. A medical malpractice attorney will help victims or family members fight for monetary compensation. Many Philadelphia lawyers for medical malpractice offer a free consultation to determine whether malpractice has occurred, and they also work on a contingent fee basis – which means the attorney is paid only when the victim is financially compensated. While a medical malpractice lawsuit won’t erase the tragedy of a costly error, it can make a significant impact on a patient’s ability to move forward.

Common forms of medical malpractice in Philadelphia, PA

Medical malpractice occurs in any number of instances:

  • Fertility procedures, prenatal mistakes, or birth injuries
  • Wrongful death
  • A delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, including cancer diagnoses
  • Plastic surgery or gastric bypass surgeries
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Hospital infections
  • Medication errors
  • Tubing errors
  • Brain Hypoxia
  • Patient allergy errors
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Kernicterus
  • Severe Jaundice
  • PACU Errors
  • Emergency room delays and mistakes
  • Defective medical products
  • Lack of communication between doctors and hospital staff
  • Poor record keeping that causes medical professionals to miss important details about a patient’s medical history
  • Understaffed facilities that cut corners and ignore proper procedures
  • Lack of rest for overworked doctors and staff, which adversely affects decision-making
  • Alcohol or drug dependence of doctors or staff
  • Failure to establish informed consent, which requires that a patient be informed of the risks of a prescribed treatment plan; and
  • Gross negligence, when doctors make major mistakes, such as reading an x-ray backward or amputating the wrong limb.

Medical malpractice lawyer

Of course, doctors are not expected to be perfect. Being dissatisfied with treatment or with the outcome of a surgical procedure is not in itself grounds for a medical malpractice case. Victims and their must prove that they suffered because of a medical professional’s negligence. The determining factor is whether or not a similarly skilled healthcare provider would have taken the same actions during treatment. A lawyer can help a patient make this determination.

At times, patients don’t even realize that their injury was caused by medical error, which includes not just bodily injury, but economic losses. Time away from work, medical bills, rehabilitative care, long-term care, funeral costs, and loss of consortium can add up to millions of dollars and burden a patient or family for years to come. Malpractice also causes non-economic damage, such as the loss of quality of life.

How to file a negligence claim in Philadelphia

A person who believes they or a family member has suffered from medical malpractice should waste no time in looking online for an lawyer for medical malpractice near me. who is aware of the types and limits of damages Pennsylvania makes available to plaintiffs.

According to a statute of limitations, suit must be brought within two years of the injury unless the claim involves a minor, or unless the negligence was discovered later. To collect compensation for damages, a victim must demonstrate four things:

  • The existence of a patient-doctor relationship. Getting advice from a physician at a party does not constitute malpractice if a patient is injured by taking the advice. Victims must show that they received treatment in an official capacity;
  • Establishing the doctor’s duty to act with reasonable care. By law, doctors are expected to provide their patients with a duty of care and to do no harm;
  • Proving that the doctor failed to act with a reasonable standard of care. This includes specific actions, such as surgical errors, medication mistakes, or in the case of inaction, when a doctor fails to warn a patient of risks;
  • Showing that the damages were the direct result of the doctor’s actions (or inaction). A victim can only file a suit for injuries and damages that directly resulted from interactions with the doctor.

Waiting too long to file a claim can result in the destruction of important evidence and the loss of eyewitness testimony. Missing deadlines will result in the courts barring a victim from receiving compensation. Hiring a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney is especially important because doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies will have skilled attorneys who will fight or downplay claims of medical malpractice.   

We trust doctors and other medical personnel with our lives and the well-being of our loved ones. But sometimes that trust ends in tragedy. Should you or a family member suffer injury or death as the result of a medical error, protect your rights by searching for an experienced medical malpractice attorney near me.

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