Your Philadelphia Medical Negligence Attorneys
When people go to the hospital or doctor’s office to get treated for an illness or injury, they expect to come out feeling better. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes medical professionals make mistakes that end up hurting their patients. If you were recently injured while under a doctor’s care, you should speak to a medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA residents turn to.
Table Of Contents
- The 5 Types of Birth Injuries Due To Medical Malpractice
- Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Law Infographic
- Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Red Flags
- Speaking With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
- Call Wieand Law Firm, LLC Today
- Medical Malpractice Lawyer Infographic
- 5 FAQs on Medical Malpractice Terminology
- Understanding Statutes of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
- Help For Prenatal Medical Malpractice
- An Overview of the Medical Malpractice Claim Process
- Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
- How to Avoid Being a Medical Malpractice Victim
- Wieand Law Firm Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Common Causes of Medical Negligence
Thousands of patients endure medical injuries every year. Here are some of the top causes of medical negligence a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia PA sees:
- Surgical Errors: Surgery is sometimes necessary to treat an injury or illness. However, if surgeons and other medical staff members are fatigued or not paying attention, mistakes can happen during the surgical procedure. Common mistakes made during surgery include operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical instruments in the body and performing the wrong procedure.
- Misdiagnosis: A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient with the wrong condition. The patient then receives the wrong treatment. Even when the right diagnosis is made by a new doctor in the future, it’s often too late.
- Medication Errors: Medications can treat a wide variety of health conditions. However, when a doctor makes medication errors, it can have serious consequences on the patient. Examples of medication errors include prescribing the wrong medication, prescribing the incorrect dosage and giving inadequate instructions on how to take the medication.
- Anesthesia Errors: Most surgical procedures require general anesthesia. However, if anesthesia isn’t administered properly or the patient isn’t monitored, it can cause devastating consequences, like organ failure, brain damage and heart attacks.
- Childbirth Injuries: Childbirth injuries are some of the most tragic forms of medical malpractice. Common childbirth injury claims a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia PA deals with include failure to diagnose congenital disabilities, failure to perform a timely C-section and failure to use proper delivery procedures. Even if the child doesn’t die, he or she can still suffer long-term disabilities.
When to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If you believe you’re the victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to file a lawsuit as soon as possible. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations to file a medical negligence lawsuit is two years. After that time period has passed, you’re no longer eligible to receive compensation.
Philadelphia Medical Malpractice FAQs
Did Your Baby Suffer Medical Trauma During the Birthing Process?
There are few things on Earth more challenging than watching your child suffer. If your newly born child suffered medical trauma during the birth process and was injured as a result, you are almost certainly struggling emotionally with that reality. It is important to understand that you do not have to struggle alone and to understand that you are not powerless. Connecting with a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer parents trust will help to ensure that you fully understand what your rights and options are under the law. Once you are aware of what your options are, you can make informed decisions about those options.
Do You Have Grounds Upon Which to File a Personal Injury Claim?
Not every birth-related injury is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. That is one of the primary reasons why it is important to connect with a Philadelphia, PA medical malpractice lawyer and to have your case thoroughly and objectively evaluated before committing to either a plan of action or a plan of inaction.
In order to pursue a medical malpractice case successfully, you’ll need to prove that one or more medical providers (your physician, a technician, the hospital itself, etc.) failed to uphold the duty of care owed to mother and/or child under the law. In a nutshell, healthcare providers can only be held accountable for medical malpractice if their failed to act in ways that reasonable practitioners would under similar circumstances. Therefore, if a reasonable obstetrician facing similar circumstances would have handled your child’s medical situation very differently, you may have strong grounds upon which to file a lawsuit related to your baby’s injuries.
How Quickly Do You Need to Act?
Every state employs its own “statute of limitations” when it comes to filing medical malpractice claims. A statute of limitations restricts the amount of time that injury victims (and/or their closely-related loved ones, under certain circumstances) can file legal action. If someone tries to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations related to their case has expired, their lawsuit will be dismissed.
Birth trauma cases are unique, in that parents may file a lawsuit within the first few years after the trauma has occurred and child victims themselves may have much longer to file on their own behalf. With that said, it is important to speak with a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you can after birth trauma occurs. Being proactive can help to ensure that critically important evidence is preserved and your family’s legal options are protected as you mull over your opportunities for seeking legal recourse.
Medical Malpractice Consultation Basics
Once you have scheduled a risk-free consultation with an experienced Pennsylvania legal team at Wieand Law Firm, LLC, you’ll want to take a little time to prepare for that meeting. Write down your questions and concerns so that you can reference them during your consultation. Gather medical paperwork and any other information that will help us to better understand the ins and outs of your case. Finally, if you feel that you are still too distraught to fully pay attention during the consultation, bring along someone trustworthy who can take notes and make sure that you leave the consultation setting armed with all the information you’ll need to make decisions about your situation moving forward.
The 5 Types of Birth Injuries Due To Medical Malpractice
A medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia, PA families trust from Wieand Law Firm, LLC can imagine that enduring labor is challenging enough, and parents shouldn’t have to be concerned about their baby suffering from birth injuries. Devastatingly, babies can get seriously hurt if the doctor and/or nursing staff fail to provide a standard of care that is expected within the medical field. Doctors or nurses may make a crucial error, or commit an oversight that leads to the baby being injured. Here we discuss the five types of birth injuries that can occur due to medical malpractice.
#1 Brain Injury
There are several ways that a baby can sustain a brain injury during birth. Due to fault of the medical staff, the baby may suffer from intraventricular hemorrhage (bleeding where spinal fluid is generated in the body), cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain), subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding between brain cover and arachnoid membrane), and cephalohematoma (bleeding between skull cover and skull, causing a bump on the head).
Additionally, if the baby lacked oxygen during labor and delivery, both physical and mental issues can occur. The severity of these problems depends on how long the baby was deprived of sufficient oxygen. The result may be labored breathing, seizures, coma, shock, and fatality. A lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, LLC Pennsylvania families trust may be able to recover damages for this type of injury.
#2 Peripheral Nerve Damage
Otherwise referred to as a brachial plexus injury, peripheral nerve damage can cause limited mobility in the hands and arms, numbness, weakness, paralysis, pain, and loss of physical sensation in the newborn. These nerves can get damaged because of shoulder trauma during birth, inflammation, or tumors.
#3 Cranial Nerve Damage
Doctor or medical staff that do not properly rotate the baby, or stretch and pull in unnatural ways during birth can cause damage to the spinal cord and cranial nerve. The newborn may have paralysis (of the face and other areas), skin that is sensitive to the touch, and weak muscles.
#4 Bone Fractures
When a birth is breached or the baby is large in size, it can lead to bone fractures. When humans are first born our bones are more fragile and get stronger by fusing together as we age. During delivery, the clavicle and other bones can more easily break due to the pressure of birth. If the doctor ignored warnings that suggested a breached or large baby, and an injury occurred, you should call a PA medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia immediately.
#5 Intra-Abdominal Wound
Perhaps the rarest injury, but still possible, is an intra-abdominal wound. This is a blunt injury to the abdominals that can cause damage to the baby’s internal organs. Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, fever, abdominal pain, tenderness, and distension may be present in the baby upon delivery.
It goes without saying that parents who realize their baby is injured immediately after giving birth can be a terrifying moment. This is supposed to be a beautiful moment, and the medical staff may have taken that away from you due to carelessness. If you suspect that your baby’s injuries could have been due to the doctor or staff that attended to you during labor, then it is advised that you seek a lawyer right away. Your attorney can let you know whether what happened could entitle you to financial compensation for injuries, pain and suffering, and other losses as a result of the medical malpractice.
Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Red Flags
As we’ve covered above, a birth injury is a physical harm sustained by the infant during or shortly after labor. Birth injuries happen during complicated deliveries and can impact both mother and baby. We can imagine that during this time you should be experiencing joy and adjusting to a new way of life with your newborn. But for many parents, a doctor’s error led to their baby suffering in some way. If you suspect that the doctor or other medical staff failed or were careless when tending to you, please call our law firm for help.
Here are examples of red flags that may mean a birth injury has occurred:
- Cuts, bruises, and other marks are on the baby’s face, head, and shoulder
- Breathing difficulties
- Heartbeat abnormalities
- Limp extremities
- Yellow tinge color to the skin
- Facial paralysis (both sides or one)
- Feeding problems
- Trouble sleeping
- Weak muscle tone where the baby has a “floppy” appearance
- Stiff muscle tone where the baby appears stiff
It is important to note that birth injuries sustained during delivery may only be seen later on in life. This is especially true if the baby’s injuries were internal, and parents may not realize something is awry until their son or daughter hasn’t reached developmental milestones. Birth injuries that may show up later in life include:
- Not reaching milestones developmentally, such as crawling, walking, and sitting up
- Not reaching milestones related to speech and language
- Vision or hearing issues, such as the baby doesn’t respond to bright lights or loud sounds
- Challenges grasping objects and holding onto them
- Poor reflexes
Premature babies are more vulnerable to birth injuries since they tend to be more fragile and small. Babies that are larger than normal may have issues coming through the mother’s birth canal and can suffer from asphyxia. Babies that are part of prolonged and extensive labor may also be at-risk for a birth injury. However, just because a baby may be at a higher risk for sustaining a birth injury, it doesn’t mean that doctors and staff can be negligent. In fact, they should be even more attentive and take steps to reduce the likelihood of something going wrong.
Speaking With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the most complex types of personal injury cases. That’s why it’s in your interest to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia PA. He or she can help you file your lawsuit in a timely manner, ensure your rights are protected and improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.
If you were injured while under a doctor’s care, schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia PA at Wieand Law Firm today.
Our trusted Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer relies on from Wieand Law Firm, LLC knows that there are certain groups of people you may put your trust in more than others: firefighters, police officers, and doctors, just to name a few. However, when a doctor makes a negligent mistake, their mistake can be much more costly than another person’s mistake. When a doctor, nurse, or medical professional makes a mistake, it could mean you are left with a serious injury or even a death in the family. Our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer wants you to know that if you have experienced an injury at the hands of a healthcare provider or if a mistake has caused a loved one’s death, you should reach out to our office so we can begin helping you pick up the pieces.
Call Wieand Law Firm, LLC Today
We can only imagine the anguish you may be going through right now. As new parents with an injured baby, you may be outraged and confused as to how this could have happened. We encourage parents to seek our assistance so they can understand their options in pursuing compensation. You may have grounds for a lawsuit where you can receive a substantial amount in restitution from the doctor and/or medical facility for the birth injury. If you are interested, call a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer from Wieand Law Firm today to get the legal support you need promptly.
Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Law Statistics
- 12k deaths from unnecessary surgery
- Doctors won 77% of the medical malpractice cases that went to a jury trial
- 7k deaths from medication errors in hospitals
- 20k deaths from other errors in hospitals
- There were 6 verdicts in excess of $1 million in the state of Pennsylvania.
What Defines Medical Malpractice?
The vast majority of doctors are amazing people who will always go the extra mile to take care of their patients; however, there are some situations where patients can be victimized by medical malpractice. In this situation, it is important for you to reach out to a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer, such as a member of the Wieand Law Firm, who can help you. What defines medical malpractice?
A Duty to the Patient
For medical malpractice to take place, the plaintiff has to prove that the doctor had a duty to take care of him or her. For example, if a doctor runs up to someone on the street following a car accident, he or she does not necessarily have a duty to help the people involved. The doctor is simply being a good Samaritan. On the other hand, if you can prove that you had an appointment scheduled with that doctor at the time the incident occurred, then you may be able to prove medical malpractice.
A Deviation From That Duty
Next, the plaintiff has to prove that the doctor deviated from the accepted standard of care. Just because you had a poor outcome doesn’t necessarily mean medical malpractice took place. Sometimes, doctors follow the best practices of the field and do not get the desired outcome. You need to previous at the doctor deviated from the established standard of care.
A Deviation That Caused Damages
Finally, you also have to prove that the deviation of that doctor from the established standard of care led to your damages. Sometimes, a doctor deviates from the standard of care; however, it does not necessarily lead to a worse outcome. You need to prove that the damages you experienced were caused by a doctor who had a duty to help you and that the doctor deviated from the field’s standard of care.
Contact a Trained Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you can prove these elements, then you may have a successful medical malpractice case. It is incredibly difficult to prove medical malpractice has occurred, which is why it is important for you to work with a trained lawyer. A Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer, such as a member of the Wieand Law Firm, can stand up for your rights and interests. If you are concerned that you may have suffered medical malpractice, reach out to a lawyer who can help you and protect your interests.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer Infographic
5 FAQs on Medical Malpractice Terminology
1. What is Informed Consent?
Informed consent is a communication process between the doctor and patient. The doctor is required to advise patients of the potential outcomes prior to a medical procedure or treatment. As part of this communication, the physician must include reasonably foreseeable risks and benefits of the treatment. The doctor must also advise the patient of risks and benefits of their other options, including the option to forgo treatment. This communication often leads to the agreement or permission for treatment, care, or service.
2. What is the Standard of Care?
For medical malpractice, a standard of care is the level at which an ordinary, prudent clinician with the same training and experience would practice under the same or similar circumstances. The plaintiff must establish the standard of care and prove that the standard of care has been breached. This is often achieved using expert testimony. Medical standards of care exist for many conditions, such as diabetes and some cancers. Failure to provide a patient with treatment that meets the standard of care can result in legal liability for the injury or death that results that breach. A Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer can help investigate a case to determine if the standard of care was breached.
3. What is Preponderance of Evidence?
In relation to medical malpractice, preponderance of evidence is the legal standard a plaintiff needs to achieve to win a lawsuit. To achieve this standard, the plaintiff must demonstrate that malpractice is more likely to have occurred than not to have occurred. This standard applies to most cases filed in civil court, and it is different than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard needed for a criminal conviction.
4. What is Comparative Negligence?
Comparative negligence is a theory that some states use to divide the fault among the parties involved in the accident based on their respective contributions for the accident. Damages for the accident are then awarded in proportional to the degree of negligence. There are three types of comparative negligence used in the United States: pure comparative negligence, modified comparative negligence and contributory negligence. Speak with a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer to learn more about the type of comparative negligence used in your state.
5. What are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are a type of damage that a court can choose to award in certain circumstances. Punitive damages are considered punishment and are generally awarded by the court when the defendant’s actions are deemed to have been particularly harmful. In tort liability, these damages are often issued when the plaintiff can demonstrate that the defendant engaged in wanton or willful misconduct. Punitive damages are often imposed to sent an example of the negligent party and deter others from behaving similarly.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you believe that you may have suffered injury or illness as a result of a medical provider’s actions or inactions, please schedule a risk-free consultation with the experienced Pennsylvania team at Wieand Law Firm, LLC today. Remember that attending a consultation neither obligates you to pursue legal action nor does it obligate you to retain our firm’s legal services. Our firm is proud to offer risk-free consultations because we believe that anyone who may have suffered as a result of a professional’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful conduct deserves to understand their rights and options under the law.
Once we have thoroughly reviewed your situation, you’ll be empowered to make informed decisions about your legal circumstances moving forward. If you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, our team will provide you with any and all support that you may require. We look forward to speaking with you.
Understanding Statutes of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
As a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, LLC can explain, every state has statutes of limitations for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. Although most states typically give plaintiffs two or three years to file a claim, there are rules that allow injured parties to sue for medical malpractice based upon the nature of their injuries, when injury complications manifest, and the state where an injury occurs.
Is There a Standard Statute of Limitations?
According to the laws of most states, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims usually begins when an incident occurs. Therefore, plaintiffs who fail to act within the specific time frame dictated by their states forfeit their rights to sue. The standard statute of limitations applies to most medical malpractice cases to protect the interests of defendants who might:
- Spend money and time on frivolous lawsuits
- Lose evidence that could be beneficial to them
- Discontinue their medical practices
Although plaintiffs have a specific period during which they may sue, litigation may continue for many years.
Are There Exceptions To The Standard Statute of Limitations?
Sometimes plaintiffs can file medical malpractice claims after the standard statute of limitations expires. As a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer can review, rules that determine if a plaintiff may seek damages after a specific time include:
- The Discovery Rule. In some instances, plaintiffs may not realize their injuries until after the standard statute of limitations for their states expire. An example of when this might happen is a surgeon leaving a tool inside a patient’s body. Adverse complications may not manifest for a long time following surgery; therefore, the court calculates the amount of time the patient has to sue from the date of the error’s discovery.
- Continuous Treatment Rule. This rule allows patients to initiate lawsuits against providers who continue to treat them while overlooking a severe medical problem. For example, a patient can sue after discovering that a medical issue was developing or worsening while under a physician’s care. The period during which the patient can sue begins when the provider stops treating the patient.
- Infancy Rule. The statute of limitation for medical malpractice is longer than most when injuries involve children. In most cases, infants and minor children injured before, during, or after birth may have until they turn 18 years old to sue for medical malpractice.
What Is The Statute of Ultimate Repose Rule?
Some states have statutes of repose that apply to all medical malpractice claims. These rules state the maximum time plaintiffs have to sue regardless of the circumstances surrounding an injury. Contact a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options for obtaining damages after you or a family member sustains an injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence.
Help For Prenatal Medical Malpractice
As your trusted Philadelphia, PA medical malpractice lawyer understands, being pregnant should be a time of joy. You likely want to begin picking out names, buying baby clothes, and setting up the nursery for your baby’s arrival. You should not have to be concerned that you are not getting proper prenatal care when planning for your baby’s arrival. While not every pregnancy or delivery might go precisely according to a mother’s plan, your instincts may tell you something else is wrong. Unfortunately, millions of babies every year have birth defects that prenatal care teams could have prevented if they had taken the appropriate measures. If you believe you or your child did not receive proper care while you were pregnant, it is time to give our office a call.
How can medical malpractice occur during pregnancy?
You may have gone to every doctor’s appointment and taken your prenatal vitamin when you were supposed to. However, you might suspect your physician was not as vigilant about your (and your baby’s) health. Your doctor must conduct checkups and tests during your appointments and must hold prenatal appointments regularly. Certain types of medical malpractice examples during pregnancy are:
- You have a medical condition. If you have a medical condition before becoming pregnant–a blood clotting disorder, diabetes, or high blood pressure–and you tell your doctor, you want to know that they are taking this into account with medications during pregnancy and your labor and delivery. Your doctor must treat you to ensure that your pregnancy is safe.
- Your doctor made a diagnosis error. This can mean that your doctor did not diagnose you when another doctor would have. This could be a delayed diagnosis, a misdiagnosis, or even failing to diagnose something that needed to be treated promptly.
- There were medication errors. If your doctor failed to give you the medication you needed or gave you the wrong dosage of medication, this could be life-threatening to you and your baby. This can happen if the doctor or nurse makes a mistake with your dosage or if the equipment you are using at the doctor’s office is working improperly and it causes the wrong medication dosages or lack of medication.
- Your doctor failed to investigate health concerns. While there are many possible side effects of pregnancy–some of which are unpleasant–your doctor has the responsibility to investigate issues that come up during pregnancy and take any health concerns you have seriously. If you told your doctor your concerns and they failed to look into it (and this resulted in you or your baby becoming injured), you should speak with your Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
What can I do?
Knowing that your injury (or your baby’s injury) could have been avoided if your OBGYN had correctly run tests and treated you can be disastrous. When you put your life–and that of your baby’s–into your doctor’s hands, you expect that they will have the training, education, and experience to take care of their patients. When you suspect prenatal medical malpractice has occurred and do not know what steps to take, do not hesitate to contact Wieand Law Firm, LLC. We will be with you every step of the way through this difficult time and will aggressively fight on your behalf when you or your baby has suffered from an injury due to prenatal medical malpractice. Call our trusted Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer now.
Signs of Surgical Errors
If you developed complications post-surgery and suspect the doctor had committed a mistake, then we urge you to contact a Philadelphia, PA medical malpractice lawyer at Wieand Law Firm for assistance. It is not uncommon for patients to have complications after surgery, but many patients may not realize that their symptoms could be the result of medical malpractice. Tragically, surgery mistakes are not uncommon, and such errors may entitle the patient to compensation for how they have suffered. Examples of surgical malpractice include:
- The doctor damaged healthy nerves or organs during surgery.
- The doctor failed to properly monitor the patient for after surgery complications.
- The doctor operated on the incorrect side or part of the body.
- The doctor misused anesthesia by under-dosing or overdosing.
- The doctor left tools or foreign objects inside the patient’s body.
There are surgical mistakes that can be fixed without harm to the patient, but others may result in disability, further injury, new symptoms, worsened condition, or fatality. In particular, anesthesia errors are among the deadliest because it can lead to brain damage permanently or death.
It is important to note that unwanted medical news or mishaps that do not cause injury to the patient may not be enough grounds for a medical malpractice case. Medical professionals have to follow standards of care as expected in the medical community. So if a second doctor with similar education in a similar set of circumstances would not have made the same mistake as the first doctor, then malpractice may be a factor. Many people just aren’t sure if their situation warrants reaching out to a lawyer, but ultimately, it’s the best way to get reliable answers to your questions.
Surgical malpractice can be devastating to patients and their families, and the incident rate for this type of malpractice is likely underreported. People may not realize when their adverse outcomes were preventable or because of a doctor’s mistake. A Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer can assess what has happened, investigate further, and identify if medical malpractice is the culprit. If we think that you have a solid case against a medical professional, we will tell you, and can guide you in the steps to follow.
Doctors are not obligated by law to disclose it to you when they have made a mistake about your care. Permitting the patient continues to have a positive outcome, they may not even think that their care was negligent. But in rare cases, a doctor may admit that they should have or should not have done something while leading to your harm. We are well aware that it’s not just doctors who may try to evade liability, even after having admitted a mistake, as medical facilities also want to protect themselves from losing profit. But you can trust that we are not afraid to go up against large companies who think they have the power, when it’s the people who can use the law for accountability. If you need help for a potential malpractice case, call a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer right away.
An Overview of the Medical Malpractice Claim Process
A Philadelphia, PA medical malpractice lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, LLC knows that the needs of each medical malpractice lawsuit vary widely based on the circumstances that led to the injury or illness in question. No two claims are the same, although they may share many similarities. Similarly, the steps involved in the lawsuit process remain fairly consistent, regardless of the factors that led to the claim.
- Initial Consultation: Every medical malpractice case begins with an initial consultation with a lawyer, during which you will have the opportunity to discuss your situation in detail and disclose the reasons you believe medical malpractice may be the reason for your injury, illness, and subsequent harm or damages that you sustained.
- Gathering Documentation: If it is determined that your case is viable, you may discuss the various agreements needed to move forward. Agreements commonly regard payment and expectations. Once signed, they serve to authorize your legal team to initiate work. After agreeing, the legal team will be able to begin the process of obtaining pertinent medical records and other relevant documentation.
- Investigation & Reviewing Case Details: After initiation of the process, our Philadelphia, PA medical malpractice lawyer will conduct an in-depth investigation of the factors and circumstances that may indicate medical malpractice is responsible for harm to you. Based on the findings of this investigation your lawyer will be able to begin developing a strategy for achieving a desirable outcome.
- Obtaining Witnesses: In many personal injury cases that involve medical malpractice, witnesses that have a professional medical background may be called upon. A professional witness will receive the details of your case and may be directed to use this information in developing a statement for use in your case.
- Pre-Trial & Depositions: At this stage in the pre-trial process, both the plaintiff and the defendant may be asked to provide depositions. Your deposition serves as a sworn testimony that takes place outside of court.
- Settlements: Many medical malpractice claims may be settled without going to a court facilitated trial. Prior to trial, either party may propose a settlement, which in most cases takes the form of a financial compensation award. If the proposed settlement amount is agreeable to the plaintiff, they have the opportunity to agree, decline, or to negotiate the offer.
- Trial: Given that settlement agreement could not be reached, as the plaintiff you will likely have the opportunity to take your case to trial, although it is fairly uncommon for medical malpractice cases to go to trial.
- Motions & Appeals of the Post-Trial Stage: In the event that the verdict was reached by means of trial, the losing side may have the opportunity to appeal, or otherwise argue against it. If the award amount is perceived to be unreasonable, either the plaintiff or defendant can state their argument and adjustments may be made through a secondary trial.
- Resolution: Given that the case made it to trial, documents will usually be presented that legally resolve the dispute. These documents release liability for pursuing further compensation in the event that the condition becomes worse or having to return compensation in the event the plaintiff’s condition improves.
If you suspect that medical malpractice contributed to your illness, injury, or harm caused to you or someone you love, we urge you to schedule a consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia, PA area residents trust from Wieand Law Firm, LLC today.
Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
When you end up suffering an injury or developing an illness after receiving care from a doctor or other healthcare professional, you may want to discuss your experience with a Philadelphia, PA medical malpractice lawyer. Every year, there is an average of about 20,000 medical malpractice claims that are filed. If you suspect that you may have been a victim of malpractice, do not wait to see a lawyer so that they can review the facts and evidence to determine if you have a case. It could benefit you to consult with a lawyer if you believe that your condition has worsened after being treated by a medical professional. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include the following cases.
Giving birth to a child is an exciting yet stressful experience for mothers. However, birth injuries can occur when sudden issues unexpectedly arise, and the mother or newborn baby does not receive proper care and treatment. These injuries can be the fault of a nurse, doctor, or other hospital worker. Birth injuries are injuries that a baby or mother suffers during the labor and delivery process, such as brain injuries, fractures, bruises, hemorrhaging, and spinal cord injuries. For example, a doctor can cause an injury if they use forceps too roughly on an infant’s head during delivery.
Another common error that qualifies as medical malpractice are prescription errors. A doctor may prescribe the wrong prescription to a patient, or they may give them an incorrect dosage. A common mistake is when medications are confused for one another because they have similar names. Prescription errors can result in a patient developing a serious illness or it can cause life-threatening symptoms like organ failure. Pharmacists can be sued for medical malpractice if they accidentally give the wrong prescription to a patient or give incorrect instructions as well.
As an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer sees in many cases, misdiagnosis is a common complaint given by many claimants. Patients trust a doctor to conduct the necessary and relevant tests so that they can make an accurate diagnosis and develop a specific treatment. If an incorrect diagnosis is made by a doctor, it can waste precious time because the patient is not given the treatment that they actually need to treat their illness or injury.
One of the most common issues found in many medical malpractice cases include delayed treatment. As a result of delayed treatment, a patient can suffer an irreversible health issue or their condition can become significantly worse. In addition, not being treated in time can lead to additional medical expenses that the patient would not have needed to pay if they had been treated at an earlier time.
Negligence committed by a medical professional should never be ignored. If you are in need of an experienced lawyer to talk to if you think that you have suffered medical malpractice, schedule a risk-free consultation immediately so that you can receive urgent help from a competent Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer such as one from Wieand Law Firm, LLC.
How to Help Prevent Medical Malpractice
As a Philadelphia, PA medical malpractice lawyer can confirm, mistakes in healthcare can result in devastating injuries to patients. When doctors and other medical professionals are negligent and cause injuries, they can be sued for malpractice. Common medical errors that result in medical malpractice cases include misdiagnosis, medication mistakes, surgical errors and birth injuries. As a patient, you can take steps to reduce your risk of becoming a medical malpractice victim.
- Ask for clarification. When you discuss diagnosis and treatment plans with your doctor, you may hear medical jargon that you do not completely understand. If this happens, do not be afraid to ask your doctor for clarification. You deserve to understand every little detail about your treatment.
- Educate yourself. It is important to learn as much as possible about your medical condition. Being informed may help reduce the risk of medical mistakes. Do not just take your doctor’s word about everything. Take the time to research your condition on reputable medical websites. Learn about the symptoms, long-term complications, treatment plans and the risk of each treatment.
- Pay attention. When you see your doctor, you should also be attentive. Doctors and other medical professionals can sometimes make errors after performing routine tasks over and over. If you are completely aware during your appointments, you may be able to notice when something is not right. If you believe something is off, inform your doctor immediately. Also, if your doctor appears tired or inattentive, do not hesitate to speak up.
- Bring a family member or friend. Whether you are going to a doctor’s appointment or having a procedure at a hospital, a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer may advise you to bring a friend or family member. It is never a bad idea to have an extra set of eyes and ears. Your friend or family member might notice something off that you may have missed.
- Ask plenty of questions. When it comes to your healthcare, there is no such thing as asking too many questions. The more you know, the better. Consider writing a list of questions in a notebook to avoid forgetting anything. For example, if you are thinking about undergoing a surgical procedure, you may want to find out about the risks and benefits. Then, you can make an informed decision on whether or not to get the procedure. A reputable doctor will take the time to address your questions and concerns. If you don’t feel like your doctor is giving you sufficient answers, do not be afraid to seek a second opinion.
- Pay attention to your body. No matter what type of medical treatment you are receiving, it is critical to pay attention to your body. Even if your doctor is highly trained and qualified, he or she may still not know what is going on inside your body. If you are experiencing strange side effects from a treatment or just do not feel right, a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer may advise you to inform your doctor immediately.
Request Legal Help Now
There is limited time to take action, so if you believe you have a valid medical malpractice case, request a consultation right away so that a lawyer can start building your case. Remember that you have rights as a victim so you can turn to a lawyer for guidance on how to understand your legal rights and the complex laws involving medical malpractice cases. Request a consultation with our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer now.
Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Laws
If you or a loved one are in need of legal assistance regarding a medical malpractice issue, contact a Philadelphia, PA medical malpractice lawyer at Wieand Law Firm LLC. Medical malpractice laws in Pennsylvania are essential regulations designed to protect patient’s rights and hold healthcare professionals accountable for substandard care. These laws help ensure that patients receive the standard of care they deserve and have avenues for seeking compensation when medical negligence occurs.
- Statute of Limitations: One of the fundamental aspects of medical malpractice laws in Pennsylvania is the statute of limitations. In this state, patients have two years from the date they discover or should have discovered their injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations can be extended for up to seven years in certain cases where the injury is not immediately apparent. This allows patients a reasonable timeframe to bring a claim against a healthcare provider.
- Certificate of Merit: Pennsylvania law requires plaintiffs to file a “certificate of merit” alongside their medical malpractice lawsuit. This certificate must be signed by a qualified medical expert who attests that there is a reasonable probability that the defendant’s actions breached the standard of care and caused the patient’s injuries. This requirement aims to discourage frivolous lawsuits and ensures that only legitimate claims move forward in the legal process.
- Damage Caps: Unlike some states, Pennsylvania does not have a cap on economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, in medical malpractice cases. However, the state does have a cap on non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, this cap was set at $500,000 for most cases and $1 million in cases of severe disfigurement or catastrophic injury.
- Joint and Several Liability: Pennsylvania has abolished the doctrine of joint and several liability, which used to hold each defendant in a medical malpractice case responsible for the full amount of damages, regardless of their degree of fault. Instead, under the Fair Share Act, defendants are only responsible for their proportionate share of the damages, based on their level of fault. This law was enacted to create a fairer distribution of liability among multiple defendants.
- Expert Witness Requirements: To establish a medical malpractice case in Pennsylvania, plaintiffs must present expert testimony to support their claims. The court requires that these expert witnesses have the same or similar credentials as the defendant healthcare professional, ensuring that the testimony is credible and relevant to the case.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: Pennsylvania encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation and arbitration, to resolve medical malpractice cases before they go to trial. These methods can often lead to quicker and less costly resolutions, benefiting both parties involved.
- Recent Developments: Medical malpractice laws can evolve over time, and it’s essential to stay updated on any recent changes. As of my last update, Pennsylvania had not made significant changes to its medical malpractice laws. However, it’s possible that new legislation or court rulings have emerged since then. I recommend consulting a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer or researching recent developments for the most current information.
Pennsylvania’s medical malpractice laws are designed to protect patients and ensure that healthcare providers adhere to a standard of care. These laws encompass crucial elements such as statutes of limitations, certificate of merit requirements, damage caps, and joint and several liability rules. Staying informed about these laws and any recent changes is essential for patients and healthcare professionals alike to navigate the complexities of medical malpractice cases in the state. If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer at Wieand Law Firm LLC who can guide you through the legal process and help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Wieand Law Firm Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer
1800 JFK Blvd Suite 1400
Philadelphia, PA 19103
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