Suing a hospital for medical negligence is something most of us have never considered. In fact, physicians and nurses are some of the most highly regarded professions in America. We trust these individuals to care for our health and safety at times of greatest need. Unfortunately, even highly trained doctors and nurses can make grave errors that cause serious harm. If you are considering suing a hospital for medical negligence, this article can help you understand if you have a case and how to get the help you need.
Act To Preserve Your Rights Under Statute of Limitations Deadlines
Each state has statute of limitations that restrict the time you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Because of the complexity of these cases, it’s critical that you take action to preserve your medical rights. To file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania, you must file a lawsuit within two years from when the malpractice was discovered or should have been discovered.
A medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA relies on for these cases clarifies that the victim does not need to know the specific cause of the injury for the “clock to start ticking.” The statute of limitations may begin once the patient knew or should have known that medical treatment resulted in harm.
Special Rules for Minors
When medical malpractice affects a child victim, special rules apply. Minors have two years after their 18th birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This delay allows the minor to make the decision about filing a lawsuit when they are an adult.
Hire Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit suing a hospital is complex and involves in-depth medical, legal, and procedural knowledge. A medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA relies on can guide you through the process. To determine the best personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia for your case, be sure to ask if the lawyer has experience in:
- working with medical experts to develop reports and testimony to support the plaintiff’s case
- analyzing medical records and working with legal nurse consultants regarding case merits
- taking depositions of medical personnel and expert witnesses
- coordinating Independent Medical Examinations (IME) of the plaintiff’s condition
Free Case Review and Evaluation – The Wieand Law Firm
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm offer a free, no obligation case review and evaluation. Our attorneys are dedicated personal injury attorneys who represent victims of medical malpractice, not hospital systems.
We believe that a personalized consultation is the best way for our clients to determine if we are a good fit for their medical malpractice lawsuit. Our free case review and evaluation can be completed on the phone, via a Zoom call, or in person based on your preference. Call 215-666-7777 to request you free case review today.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer Fees
The attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm use contingency fee agreements for their medical negligence lawsuits. These agreements take the pressure off the client to pay large, out of pocket attorney fees. Instead, the Wieand Law Firm only collects a portion of the monies we win on your behalf. If you decide to hire the Wieand Law Firm, our attorneys will review our contingency fee agreement with you and answer any questions you may have.
Determine Who Was Negligent
Before suing a hospital for medical negligence, it’s important to understand who may be liable. Many people assume that physicians who work at hospitals are employees of the hospital, and that the hospital is responsible for their actions. However, this is not necessarily accurate.
Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers explain that many doctors are NOT hospital employees but are rather independent contractors. In this case, you may need to pursue a lawsuit against the physician themselves, and not the hospital. Some cases may include multiple defendants.
To file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must determine who was legally responsible for the medical error. The legally responsible party may be:
Some doctors work as hospital employees, and the hospital may be liable for their medical errors. In other situations, a hospital can be held liable if they failed to hire licensed staff or if their processes resulted in a serious medical error. Suing a hospital is a major undertaking and often merits representation by Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers.
A doctor may be liable for medical negligence when their failure to diagnose a medical problem or their lack of medical skill caused the patient harm.
Nurses or Assisting Medical Staff
In some situations, a nurse or assisting medical staff member can be held liable for a medical mistake. For example, if a nurse fails to report a critical laboratory value to a physician, the nurse may have a degree of culpability if the patient suffers an injury from that lack of communication.
Have Your Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers File a Complaint
A medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA trusts will draft a complaint on your behalf. This complaint will include:
- The name of the injured victim
- The named parties liable for the injuries
- The description of how the injury occurred
- A description of the harm that resulted
- The demand for compensation
This complaint is filed at the local branch of the state court. Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers will have significant experience drafting and filing these complaints and ensuring all procedural rules are followed.
Affidavit of Merit
There are several procedural steps that Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers must take to file a complaint suing a hospital. For example, your state may require that the lawyer submit an affidavit of merit to support your medical malpractice lawsuit. An affidavit of merit is a sworn attestation by an expert in that field has reviewed your case and believes that it has validity to proceed.
After the lawsuit is filed and all pre-lawsuit procedures have been effectively met, litigation on your medical malpractice claim is able to begin. A medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA trusts to handle these cases outlines the steps of the litigation process for suing a hospital below.
During the discovery process, each party investigates the legal claims and defenses of the case. This involves asking the defendant to provide information to build evidence to support your case. Discoverable evidence may be gained through several means:
Interrogatories – these are written sets of questions sent to the opposing party.
Depositions – a deposition occurs when a potential witness is asked to answer questions under oath. This testimony is recorded and can be used to support the plaintiff’s strategy. If a witness is called to testify at trial, a medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA relies on can compare their testimony to previously recorded depositions and use it to challenge a witness’s credibility
Request for Production of Documents – Your lawyer will request written documents that a relevant to your lawsuit. For example, your lawyer may request production of the hospital’s policy and procedures, training manuals, clinical pathways, or other documents as they apply to your case.
Requests for Admissions – these requests are a way for the plaintiff and defendants to narrow the complaint by determining which points both parties agree. Each party is required to provide an answer for each admission request. This response can either be to agree to it, deny it, or explaining why the question cannot be admitted or denied. For example, in a request of admission, the defendant may admit that the patient was under the care of a specific doctor at the time of the incident.
Negotiation and Settlements
After the discovery period closes, the lawyers will initiate negotiations and discuss settlement offers. Settlement negotiations often involve your Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers aggressively pursuing the hospital or other defendant’s insurance company to achieve the maximum compensation for your injuries. When suing a hospital, negotiating a settlement is often preferable as it provides the victim an agreeable amount of compensation and control over the case outcome.
Occasionally, a medical malpractice lawyer Philadelphia PA depends on will take a case to trial. This typically occurs when the plaintiff and defendant are too far apart in agreeing on a fair settlement. To win at trial, you will need to prove that the defendant failed to act in accordance with the appropriate medical standard of care.
Contact the Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm Today
If you have suffered a serious injury from medical negligence or malpractice, you need representation from qualified trial attorneys on your side to help you get the maximum compensation for your injuries. Our attorneys offer caring, personalized, and aggressive representation for injured victims of medical negligence. Call 215-666-7777 today or send us a message on the online form to speak directly with an attorney.