Medical mistakes injure thousands of people each year. You may be surprised to learn that according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States. This puts it right behind heart disease and cancer. A Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer at Wieand Law Firm can help if you have suffered a devastating and permanent injuries due to medical errors.
We all trust that treatment provided by doctors and medical professionals will meet or exceed the applicable standard of care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer will stand up for your rights if you were injured by negligent medical treatment. Be aware that most medical malpractice injuries occur on evenings, weekends and holidays. Medical malpractice rates are also higher in the first two weeks of July when new residents begin their residency. It is estimated that twice as many errors are made in that period of time.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in PA and NJ
Don’t wait to speak with a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer if you or a loved one is considering a malpractice suit. Time is of the essence when it comes to investigating and filing a claim.
A Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer will carefully investigate whether a medical mistake was the cause of your injury, or the wrongful death of a family member. Our ultimate goal is to ensure victims of medical malpractice are fairly compensated for their pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. For a free legal consultation call us at (215) 666-7777.
Did your Doctor Breach the Standard of Care?
Medical malpractice can be either a negligent act or failure to act, by a health care provider. The plaintiff has the burden of proving his/her medical malpractice claim by a preponderance of the evidence. To do so, doctors and other experts will be called to testify at trial. The plaintiff’s expert must testify within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the treatment provided fell below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community, and that the patient suffered injury or death as a direct result of this treatment.
A patient is entitled to be compensated if a medical provider’s negligence caused an injury or damages. However, it is important to remember that simply experiencing a bad outcome isn’t always proof of medical negligence. Instead, the medical provider must have breached the standard of care. If you suspect that you were hurt due to negligent medical care, call a top Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer for legal advice on your claim.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Types of medical mistakes, or “breach of the standard of care,” vary widely among different medical fields and treatment providers. Some examples of the malpractice cases we handle include:
- Wrongful amputation
- Birth related medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Cancer Misdiagnosis
- Failure to diagnose cancer / delayed cancer diagnosis
- Medication and pharmaceutical errors
- Cerebral palsy birth injury
- Failure to treat infection
- Medical malpractice in nursing homes
- Emergency room errors / Urgent care
- Nurse-midwife errors
- Shoulder dystocia after childbirth
Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims
Every state has enacted a statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the general rule is that you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years from the date you discover or should have discovered medical negligence. However, determining this date can be difficult and there are exceptions to this two-year rule. A malpractice lawyer can help you determine when the statute of limitations will expire in your case.
Settlement Value of Medical Malpractice Case in PA and NJ
The impact of medical malpractice is often physically, financially and emotionally devastating to the victim. The cost of medical treatment can spiral out of control after a catastrophic injury. Often, the stress of exorbitant medical bills is compounded due to the victim’s inability to work because of his/her injuries.
Our lawyers handling medical malpractice cases know the emotional and financial strain medical malpractice victims go through. That’s why we fight so hard for our clients.
People who were injured by medical mistakes can recover monetary compensation for their injuries and economic damages, including:
- Past, present and future medical bills related to the incident;
- Past, present and future income loss; and
- Compensation for pain, suffering and emotional distress.
Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys can review your economic and non-economic damages and help determine the value of your case. If the hospital’s insurance company won’t make a fair settlement offer, we won’t hesitate to try your case in front of a jury.
Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorneys- Wieand Law Firm
The law firm that handles your case will have a major impact on the outcome. Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer, Brent Wieand, of the Wieand Law Firm has been selected as a Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for five consecutive years. He is an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer that fights hard to get justice and maximum financial compensation for clients.
Medical malpractice lawyer free consultation – call us today at (215) 666-7777. We are proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Disclaimer: This page is for information purposes only and is not legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm is based in Philadelphia PA and serves clients throughout PA and NJ.
At Wieand Law Firm, LLC, a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer, knows that behind each claim for medical malpractice is a person whose life has been turned upside down by a devastating injury. A medical malpractice attorney’s job is to find the truth about how a medical disaster occurred, which is often concealed or covered up by the medical professionals who were paid to treat you.
We are devoted to the representation of medical malpractice victims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Through detailed analysis of medical records, we work tirelessly to uncover documents that your doctors don’t want you to find and empowers patients to seek justice. We handle all types of medical malpractice claims, including birth injuries, failure to diagnose cancer, dental malpractice, and nursing home abuse and neglect.
When litigating your medical malpractice claim, we will work with top physicians from around the country who provide expert analysis and testimony to prove your case. We are proud to handle medical malpractice cases in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery County.
The Wieand Law Firm was founded by Brent Wieand, one of Philadelphia’s finest medical malpractice lawyers. If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, call Attorney Wieand directly for a free consultation at 1 (215) 666-7777.
How Much Do Medical Malpractice Attorneys Cost?
The Wieand Law Firm offers a free legal consultation to people who suspect that they, or a family member, were victims of medical malpractice. If you believe a severe injury or death was caused by neglectful medical care, call us immediately. We can help you determine if you have a viable claim and take steps necessary to protect your legal rights.
In addition to offering a free legal consultation, our firm does not charge upfront costs or attorney fees. We work on a contingency fee agreement. Under this arrangement, fees and expenses associated with your claim are deducted from any award or settlement you may receive. Therefore, you will never owe costs or attorneys fees unless we recover compensation for you through an award or settlement.
Will You Represent Me?
Medical malpractice actions are usually complex, time-intensive, and expensive. Thus, before representing a client, we conduct a thorough investigation of your claim. The initial vetting process used to evaluate medical malpractice claims will usually include:
- An interview of the victim, or family members in cases involving a minor or wrongful death
- Intensive medical research
- A detailed review of your medical records
- Consultation with leading medical experts in the field
If we believe your case has merit, we will discuss the terms of legal representation and then commence work on your behalf. Our mission is to help you recover compensation for your devastating loss and financial burdens resulting from the incident.
How Long Do Medical Malpractice Claims Take to Resolve?
There is no hard and fast rule for how long it will take to resolve a claim for medical negligence. Medical malpractice is part of the area of law known as complex civil litigation. Due to the complicated nature of these cases, they are usually given extended discovery tracks. This means that the parties will be provided a more extended period to send written questions and answers, take depositions, argue motions, and retain experts for trial.
As with any case, a clear-cut malpractice claim may be resolved amicably between parties before or during litigation. If your attorney can negotiate a settlement, it may decrease the duration of your claim.
Unfortunately, even meritorious medical malpractice cases are usually defended vigorously by defense counsel. Doctors are hesitant to enter into settlement agreements for fear of rising insurance rates. Also, as a result of legislation intended to reduce the number of medical malpractice claims, insurance companies now have more resources to devote to defending cases. All these factors have increased the likelihood that your case will go to trial or even be appealed following a jury verdict. Thus, medical malpractice cases are not for the faint of heart and usually result in prolonged litigation that can take years to resolve.
Causes of Surgical Errors
A PA medical malpractice lawyer sees surgical errors as one of the most common types of medical malpractice. They can result in life-threatening injuries and trauma for the patient. In most instances, these errors could have been prevented if the surgeon exercised better care. Here are some of the most common causes of surgical errors.
- Poor Planning: No matter how many times a surgeon has performed a surgical procedure, adequate planning is still of the utmost importance. Proper planning ensures that all surgical instruments are sterile and in working order and that each step of surgery has been thoroughly discussed with all surgical staff. If a surgeon neglected to plan appropriately for surgery, mistakes are more likely to occur.
- Fatigue: As a lawyer can confirm, surgical errors are more likely to occur if the surgeon is fatigued. Although hospitals put mandatory limits on the number of hours surgeons can work in a row, many are still overworked and fatigued. When a surgeon runs on little sleep, he or she can lose focus and make serious errors during the surgery.
- Incompetence: Sometimes surgeons can make mistakes due to incompetence. Our team of lawyers has represented medical malpractice victims who endured injuries due to the surgeon’s inexperience. Typically, the fewer years of experience a surgeon has, the more likely he or she is to make mistakes.
- Poor Communication: For surgery to be successful, all surgical staff must communicate with each other. Unfortunately, our lawyers have seen miscommunication between staff members result in surgical injuries.
- Unsanitary Conditions: In this day and age, the thought of an operating room in a hospital being unsanitary is challenging to grasp. Unfortunately, however, some hospitals don’t do enough to keep everything sanitary. If surgical instruments aren’t properly sanitized before they’re used on a patient, they can result in life-threatening infections.
Types of Surgical Errors
There are several types of surgical mistakes surgeons can make, including:
- Leaving Objects Inside the Body: If surgeons are not wholly focused, they can forget to remove surgical tools, like sponges or scalpels, from a patient’s body. This can cause severe pain and require a second surgery to remove the object.
- Operating on the Wrong Body Part: We have represented individuals who have had the wrong body part operated on. When this occurs, it can lead to unnecessary incisions and damage to other body parts.
- Incorrect Incisions: These types of errors occur when the wrong part of the body is marked for surgery. The surgeon may not have been paying attention and did not make the proper incision. This can result in nerve damage, internal organ damage, scarring, and other serious complications.
Other Examples of Medical Malpractice
When medical malpractice happens, a doctor, hospital, or healthcare professional has made a mistake and committed a negligent act or omission, which led to the harm of a patient. As you have read so far, surgery errors are among the most common forms of medical malpractice. However, there are many other situations in which this can occur. If you are not sure whether you are the victim of medical malpractice, a brief free consultation with a team member can help you decide whether it is in your interest to take legal action.
Examples of medical malpractice by a doctor or other health care professional include:
- Failing to order testing
- Failure to identify symptoms
- Not considering the patient’s medical history
- Incorrect medication prescription (type and dosage)
- Failing to diagnose, or misdiagnosing the patient
- Failing to follow up or provide information about aftercare post-surgery
- Ignoring or incorrectly interpreting laboratory results
Meeting the Requirements For a Claim
To be eligible for filing a medical malpractice claim, three elements must apply to the situation, and they are listed as follows:
- A Violation in the Standard of Care: There are specific standards in the medical field expected by all of those who work in that profession. This is otherwise referred to as “standard of care.” A patient who was harmed because a doctor had deviated from these standards may be held liable. If it is concluded through evidence that the standard of care was not met, the victim may receive a substantial monetary award based on the damages they endured.
- The Injury was Caused by Negligence: The second element in order for your medical malpractice claim to be valid is that you have enough evidence to prove the injury was severe and would not have occurred if another doctor treated you with similar experience and in a similar scenario. As the victim, you have to show that there was an injury because without injury being caused, there is no case.
- The Injury Caused Quantifiable Damages: The last element for your case to be viable is showing that you endured significant damages because of the care received by the negligent doctor. If the damages are minimal, the cost of seeking restitution may not be worth it, as fees are associated with filing claim documents and court fees. We can help you show that your injury led to loss of income, pain and suffering, financial hardships, medical bills, disability, and more.
5 FAQ on Medical Malpractice
1. How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Occurred?
It can be difficult for a patient to determine whether medical malpractice occurred. It can be difficult to a layperson to understand medical jargon or interpret medical information. If you suspect or learn that medical negligence or malpractice caused your injuries, consult a medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA trusts for an evaluation of your potential claim. The lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm are experienced investigators of medical malpractice claims and can help get to the bottom of what happened to cause your injuries.
2. Where Do I Report Medical Malpractice?
If you believe a physician has breaded the standard of care, you can report the incident to the appropriate State Medical Practices Board. To pursue a civil lawsuit against the provider, consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
3. If the Standard of Care was Breached, am I Guaranteed to Win My Malpractice Claim?
While a breach in the standard of care is an important part of a medical malpractice lawsuit, the claim must also show that the breach of care resulted in damages. Examples of damages include medical bills, lost wages, death, or pain and suffering. Therefore, it is important to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA counts on to represent victims in these types of cases.
4. My Medical Care was Performed Out of State. Where Can I Sue?
Determining which court a patient can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in can be very complex. To determine where to file your claim, consult with a medical malpractice attorney. The lawyers at our firm are licensed in several states and have handled medical malpractice claims in multiple jurisdictions.
5. If I Signed a Consent Form Prior to a Procedure, Can I Still Sue?
Yes. A consent form demonstrates that a patient has been informed of certain risks of the medical procedure. It does not necessarily prevent a patient from taking legal action against a provider for negligence or malpractice. A medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA turns to for these cases can help determine the legal impact of a medical consent form.
Call Wieand Law Firm, LLC Today
If you or someone you love was hurt because of a careless doctor, please call Wieand Law Firm, LLC, to speak with a lawyer for medical malpractice in Pennsylvania.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Case
Our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer accident victims depend on has witnessed firsthand the devastating and long-lasting impact that medical malpractice has on victims and their families. Following an injury, the prospect of taking legal action can feel overwhelming. That’s where the services of Wieand Law Firm, LLC, will be critical. We will provide you with the legal support needed to prove your medical malpractice case by carefully reviewing your situation and gathering strong evidence in support of your claim. We know that victims may be concerned with how they will be able to afford the services provided by a legal professional, which is why, if we take your case on, our team works on a contingency fee basis. We offer our clients premier legal services they can rely on, so you should consider scheduling a consultation with our team as soon as possible.
As you already know, to establish a medical malpractice case, there are several elements we will review your case for:
- Proof that a doctor-patient relationship existed
- That the medical standard of care was violated
- The negligence of medical professionals caused your injuries
- You suffered damages/losses as a result of the negligent, substandard care that you received.
Medical malpractice cases can be challenging to prove and can take an extended period to reach a successful outcome. Because of the complicated elements involved, extensive evidence in support of the case will be critical and may include:
- Your Personal Account
- Medical Charts
- Medical Bills
- Proof of Lost Wages
- Expert Witness Testimony
Much of the time, our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer may even work with a medical professional to help decipher vital medical details of your case. Not only will they help determine if your doctor upheld the standard of medical care, but they will also decipher whether the same outcome would have been obtained if you had received treatment from a different medical provider. In some cases, this professional may also testify as an expert witness to help judges and juries understand what went wrong by deciphering complicated medical terminology and jargon.
Understanding Contingency Fees
It comes as no surprise that after such a severe injury, that you may be experiencing significant financial challenges. You are likely facing a significant recovery period, follow up treatments, and extensive rehabilitation to recover. Additionally, you may also be impacted by lost wages due to your inability to return to work. These financial impacts might make it difficult to afford legal services. By working on a contingency fee basis, our law firm makes the ability for victims to take legal action more attainable. Contingency fees mean that you will not be required to pay upfront for our services. You won’t have to pay unless we can recover compensation for your case. To learn more about how contingency fees work at our firm, schedule a consultation with us today. There’s no risk in meeting with us to determine whether you have a medical malpractice case.
Injuries, emotional distress, medical expenses, and significant recovery times are just a few ways you may have been impacted. If you suspect that medical malpractice or negligence was a factor, the time to take action with Wieand Law Firm, LLC, is now. To get started, contact our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer today.
Suing For Medical Malpractice Years After Treatment (Statute of Limitations)
Many people have heard of a statute of limitations. Though they often think of a crime and whether someone can get arrested for a crime they committed decades ago, this also applies to when a person is filing for a lawsuit. When it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits, it means that a person who was injured at a hospital needs to file their lawsuit within a certain period of time so that they can receive compensation for their injuries. Each state has a law on the statute of limitations regarding lawsuits. The medical malpractice attorneys at Wieand Law Firm know that in some cases, it is not always possible to file a lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations which is why we are here to help you. To set up an appointment with our firm, please give our office a call.
This is one of the most important aspects of the statute of limitations in a state. Typically, a state will rule that if a person did not realize they had an injury until years after they were at a hospital, they had not “discovered” they were injured and thus the statute of limitations clock did not start ticking. The important part of this discovery rule is that the injured person had no reason to know. If a reasonable person would have known about the injury before, then this rule likely would not apply. For example, if a person was healing from surgery fine, then later noticed that the area where they had surgery was in a great deal of pain, they may go to a doctor to see what is wrong. If the doctor discovers that the surgeon left a foreign object in the person’s body and a year later that object was causing an infection, then it is likely they would have a strong case to file now that they discovered there was an injury.
What about the Continuous Treatment Rule?
Although not all states have this rule, some will allow a person to file a lawsuit under the continuous treatment rule. This means that if a doctor injures a patient but continues to treat that patient for a number of years, the statute of limitations does not start until after treatment. The victim may have one or two years after the treatment ends to file a lawsuit. Because this is not the case in every state, it is important that you speak with your medical malpractice attorney.
To see how we can help, call Wieand Law Firm LLC now.
Damages for Medical Malpractice
In a medical malpractice case, a common question is what factors determine medical malpractice damages? Patients may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against doctors or healthcare providers whose actions or negligence cause significant or irreparable harm. The financial compensation complainants may receive covers financial losses and pain and suffering and are based upon various factors. Wieand Law Firm, LLC specifically handles medical malpractice cases throughout Pennsylvania, and we understand what courts take into consideration when determining damages in these types of cases. Read on to learn more.
When a medical error leads to a patient’s inability to work, it is possible to claim damages for lost and future earnings. The calculation of lost wages involves:
- Earnings up until the time of an injury
- The expected earnings following an injury
- Whether the injured person worked for someone else or had self-employment
Calculations of lost earnings may consider the patient’s tax return, last documented job, or future earning capacity.
Medical errors can lead to future medical expenses necessary to correct or enable a patient to adapt to a long-range or permanent injury. Damages may pay for physical and occupational therapies, surgeries, medications, and other medical interventions to help patients live with or overcome injuries.
Pain and Suffering
Some damages require more complex calculations because they do not correlate with specific dollar amounts like those used to calculate lost wages. Pain and suffering damages are subjective and based upon a judge or jury’s determination of what is reasonable after considering all of the circumstances and ways a medical error affects someone’s life. Talking to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia can help you get an idea of how these specific dollar amounts are calculated.
Some states impose caps on the damages individuals may be awarded for pain and suffering after winning a medical malpractice case. Regardless of how extensively a medical error impacts a patient, there is a limit past which compensation is not feasible. Pennsylvania and New Jersey do not have caps on total amounts for compensatory damages for medical malpractice cases. Some caps on punitive damages may apply. Consult a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer to learn more about how damage caps may apply to your case.
Will My Case Settle Before Trial?
There are times when a medical malpractice case will settle before it goes to trial. A defendant may initiate a pre-trial settlement to avoid the negative publicity that a jury trial could create. The plaintiff may receive substantial damages if the defendant hopes to avoid a lengthy court trial, though the amount may reflect a state’s damage cap.
A Jury’s Opinion
When a malpractice case goes to trial, it is up to the jury to determine the non-economic damages the plaintiff will receive. The final amount can depend upon whether the jury can sympathize with the plaintiff and is a subjective assessment of what is fair.
Various factors contribute to the damages you might receive if you sustain a medical malpractice injury.
Contact the Wieand Law Firm, LLC
Contact a respected medical malpractice lawyer at Wieand Law Firm, LLC to evaluate your case and help you receive the highest possible compensation. Call 215-666-7777 or send us a message via the online form on our contact page.
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