Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If a doctor or medical provider has caused you harm due to negligence, you’re the victim of medical malpractice. The best way to receive full compensation for your injuries is to contact an experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer.
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It’s natural to want to trust your doctor and other medical professionals. Your life is literally in their hands. But doctors and nurses are human and can make mistakes. When medical mistakes happen, people can get hurt.
The law holds doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to a high standard of care. The work that they do is important, and the decisions they make regarding their patients’ medical care and treatment can be the difference between life and death. When they do not meet that standard of care, they have committed medical malpractice.
Sometimes, doctors and other medical professionals make medical errors that cause harm and injury to their patients. When that happens, victims should hold them responsible for the damages that they cause. If you are a victim of medical negligence, you can seek compensation for your injuries, losses, and pain and suffering.
However, medical malpractice cases are some of the most difficult cases to litigate and win. Not just any lawyer or law firm should handle these cases. If you have suffered serious personal injuries, you need to hire an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer to fight for your right to receive full and fair compensation.
Medical Malpractice Cases in the Philadelphia Region
The human body is a complex machine, and many things can go wrong with it. When you go to the doctor for a consultation, you hope that you’re receiving correct medical advice and state-of-the-art care.
Treatments for the various ways your body might fail have become more complicated. These days, many types of medical errors can injure people.
However, over the past 20 years, medical malpractice lawsuits have decreased significantly in and around the greater Philadelphia region.
For example, in Philadelphia County, from the years 2003 to 2020, medical malpractice lawsuit filings decreased by 71 percent. In Delaware County, medical malpractice filings were down 51 percent over the same time period.
A decrease in medical malpractice lawsuits does not mean there are fewer medical malpractice errors. In fact, medical errors appear to be quite common and cause a significant number of serious injuries and even deaths.
Recent studies have found that medical errors and negligence account for approximately 1.2 million harmed patients every year. With that in mind, it’s likely that the numbers in certain counties are down because these cases are difficult to litigate and win. Not just any lawyer can handle your Philadelphia medical malpractice case.
Medical malpractice cases may also vary by region. The decrease seen in Philadelphia County was not reflected in nearby areas. For example, in Montgomery County, medical malpractice lawsuit filings increased 450 percent over that almost 20-year period. Bucks County saw an almost 10 percent increase in medical malpractice filings.
When you’re facing medical errors, you want a law firm that focuses on successfully handling Philadelphia medical malpractice cases. These cases require a law firm with the resources to take on huge medical practice corporations, hospitals and their insurance companies.
In many medical malpractice cases, the hospital can be liable above and beyond the responsibility of the individual doctors and nurses. This is one of the reasons that medical malpractice cases are complex; more than one person or corporate entity could be responsible.
For example, suppose that you had surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and a provider made a medical mistake. In that case, the hospital could be a separate defendant in a lawsuit, depending upon the facts of your case.
Another popular hospital in Philadelphia is the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. UPenn Hospitals, like any other, must ensure all medical professionals have sufficient training in the standard of care that they offer their patients. If they don’t, the hospital could be liable for whatever injuries they cause.
Medication errors are another type of medical mistake that can make patients very ill. Doctors might prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong dose. Nurses might give the wrong medication or the wrong dose to a patient in the hospital. These mistakes could seriously harm a patient or even cause their death.
The following are some common medication errors that could cause a patient to suffer extra harm:
- Giving the patient the wrong dose amount
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Writing too sloppily, leading to a mistake with the prescription
- Prescribing a medication that someone is allergic to
- Prescribing a medication that has a negative interaction with another medication the patient is taking
- Giving a prescribed medication to the wrong patient
- Telling the patient the incorrect method or time frame in which to take the medication
- Giving an extra dose to a patient due to poor staff communication
- Letting the medication expire or storing it in improper conditions
Medication errors are one of those simple mistakes that could have a major negative effect on someone’s life. Hospitals and other medical facilities should establish strategies and guidelines to minimize the risk of medication errors. If they do not, they could be liable for errors committed by their employees.
Surgical malpractice is also very common. Several major surgical practices within Philadelphia employ hundreds of surgeons, such as Drexel Surgical Associates and Nazareth Surgical Associates. These practices may ultimately be responsible for the harm caused by their surgeons when a surgical error occurs.
A major concern for surgeons is leaving surgical devices, sponges and other materials inside the patient once the surgery is complete. Another problem occurs when a surgeon performs a procedure on the wrong body part. Shockingly, this happens more often than you would think.
Time Frame for Filing a Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
There is a time limit for filing a lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence. This time frame is known as the statute of limitations. Every type of civil case has a specific statute of limitations attached to it.
For a Pennsylvania medical malpractice case, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the malpractice occurring. If you miss the deadline, it may not be possible to receive compensation for your injuries.
That’s why it’s extremely important to contact a knowledgeable and skilled Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect that something went wrong with recent treatment.
However, the statute of limitations can be tricky for medical malpractice cases, and there is an exception to the two-year time frame. If the patient reasonably did not know that there was medical negligence, then the clock on the two-year time frame doesn’t start ticking until the patient either learns of the mistake or should have known.
The bottom line is that these cases are difficult and complicated, and they require a law firm that focuses its efforts on representing seriously injured victims of medical malpractice.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to hire a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer?
Most attorneys handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the client doesn’t have to pay the lawyer any money up front or an hourly fee. If that were the case, then most people wouldn’t be able to afford a good lawyer.
With contingency fee agreements, the lawyer only gets paid if the case is successful and is either settled or won at trial. When that happens, the attorney gets a percentage of the compensation awarded to the plaintiff.
If the case does not settle and the client doesn’t receive compensation, then the attorney doesn’t get a fee for their time.
How long will the case take?
The length of the case depends on how complicated it is. Some cases are straightforward, where it is clear that the defendant was negligent and caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In those cases, the case could potentially settle quickly in a manner of months.
But some cases are more complicated, and the attorney may need to file a lawsuit. With very complex lawsuits, the case could take several years before a trial even begins. However, many cases will settle before the case goes to trial.
Every case is different, and your personal injury attorney will be able to explain their expectations for your case in detail.
Can any attorney handle my Philadelphia medical malpractice case?
You do not want anyone without a law degree and a license to practice law to handle your case. These cases are difficult and tough to win. You need to hire a law firm that has experience in successfully handling these cases to conclusion.
Get Help Today with Your Medical Negligence Injuries
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP are here to help you through this difficult time. If you are a victim of medical negligence, then you could receive compensation for your injuries.
We have decades of experience in successfully representing seriously injured people who have suffered from medical errors and medical negligence. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
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