When you hire a medical professional to help you, you have the right to expect that the service you receive meets the appropriate standard of care. If it is not met, you may have the right to pursue compensation for any damage caused.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, is the failure of a medical professional to meet the standard of good medical practice in the field in which the medical professional practices. This means that a healthcare provider – doctor, hospital, HMO, nurse, other individual or entity licensed to provide medical care or treatment – does something that competent doctors would not have done, or fails to do what a competent doctor would have done, resulting in personal injury or wrongful death.
Choose a Top Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Philadelphia with Experience and Dedication
At Carpey Law, we know how to handle medical negligence cases. We work with skilled experts to assist you in achieving positive results and compensation for your injuries. When you hire a medical malpractice lawyer at a Philadelphia law firm, he or she must know what is needed to prove liability and damages in a malpractice case. The four main elements required as proof in a standard negligence case are:
- Breach of Duty / Breach of Standard of Care
Each of these elements is vital to the success of a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are many common forms of medical malpractice, including misdiagnoses, failure to diagnose, surgical errors, medication errors, hospital infections, incorrect prescriptions, and delays in treatment. If a medical professional has failed to provide the Standard of Care there is a chance that a malpractice has occurred. In such a case, it is a good idea to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.
Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice
According to the Physician Insurers Association of America (PIAA), which provides insurance for more than 60% of America’s private practice physicians, the most common medical malpractice claims are:
- Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose– Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose is the most frequent medical malpractice problem, accounting for over 40% of claims. In emergency rooms for example, doctors can be hurried and thorough examinations are sometimes not performed. Inadequate examinations and follow-up procedures are very serious medical matters and can cause significant delays in treatment or severe health complications. Commonly misdiagnosed conditions include appendicitis, heart attack, and staph infections.
- Surgical Errors or Mistakes– Surgical errors can involve any number of problems such as anesthesia errors, incorrect incisions, accidental damage to an organ or body part, and complications associated with the surgery itself. Surgical mistakes and errors leave patients with serious medical problems and result in lengthy post-operative care, irreparable harm or possible death.
- Failure to Treat– Medical malpractice claims for failure to treat include conditions such as prematurely discharging a patient, failing to follow-up or re-evaluate, or failing to recommend or refer a patient to a specialist for further treatment.
- Prescription Drug Errors– According to a comprehensive study by the Institute of Medicine, prescription, and other medication errors account for injuring nearly 1.5 million patients per year. Medication errors occur at all levels of medical care such as pharmacies, hospitals, and even long-term care facilities. The best way to protect yourself from prescription errors or misfilled prescriptions is to be aware and double check the prescription to the medication.
The First Steps in a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice lawsuits are filed to seek compensation for the injured patient. This is known as damages for “pain and suffering.” Recovery of the medical bills related to any additional medical care or treatment as well as lost wages are also typically part of such a case.
One of the first steps an experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney will take is to obtain all the medical records, review and evaluate them, and determine if the injuries sustained arise from treatment that deviates from what is considered the medical “standard of care.”
What remains following inappropriate medical care that has violated the standard of care is your illness or injury. If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you have the right to take some steps to have your case evaluated by an experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney.
What is “Standard of Care”?
All doctors and medical providers are required to provide medical care which is consistent with appropriate medical care. This is defined as the reasonable care standard; in other words, what would a reasonable doctor in a similar specialty have done in similar circumstances. If the doctor’s care who is alleged to have committed malpractice fell below that standard, then it may equate to malpractice.
How Will I Afford a Lawyer to Handle my Medical Malpractice Case?
Many clients worry about how they will pay for legal representation in their medical malpractice case. In reality, you do not take on any financial risks – Stuart Carpey explains how the arrangement works.
How Much Will I Be Able to Recover for a Medical Malpractice Case?
There is no way to tell exactly how much a patient-client will be able to recover because there are many different factors at play. Of course, the amount will vary with the nature of the injury sustained as a result of the healthcare provider’s negligence. Also considered are the victim’s medical expenses, lost earnings before and after the event, and the extent of the pain and suffering as well as the permanency of the injury.
What Do I Have to Prove to Win a Medical Malpractice Case?
- A duty on the part of the medical provider to render services based on the standard of care of similarly situated practitioners
- A breach of that duty
- The breach causes the injury
- Damages resulting directly from the injury or injuries
Answers to All Your Medical Malpractice Questions
- How Can I Win a Medical Malpractice Case?
- Who Can be Held Accountable for My Medical Malpractice?
- What are “Damages” in a Medical Malpractice Case? How Much Money Can I Recover?
For answers to other medical malpractice questions, check out our FAQ section.
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Our reputation for success and unmatched attention to the needs of our clients has made Stuart Carpey one of the most trusted Personal Injury lawyers in the greater Philadelphia area. If you’re in need of a Personal Injury lawyer, we recommend that you pursue your claim as soon after your incident as possible. Contact Stuart Carpey today for a complimentary consultation in which he will examine your case in detail and advise you on how to proceed and ultimately recover the compensation you deserve!