How to Sue for Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of medical malpractice claims in the country. In fact, according to data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, there were 1,739 medical malpractice claims filed against physicians in Pennsylvania in 2016. That number was up from 1,611 in 2015, and 1,567 in 2014.
That means that every year, nearly 2 out of every 100 doctors in Pennsylvania file a claim against another doctor for medical negligence. What does that mean for patients? How do victims seek justice, and how can you protect yourself from becoming a victim of medical malpractice? An experienced medical malpractice attorney can ensure you get the compensation you deserve, and that the medical professional is held accountable.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a doctor fails to provide adequate medical care to his patient. This may include failure to diagnose, improper treatment, or negligent administration of medication.
When a doctor makes an error in judgment, he may be held liable for damages caused to his patient. If you believe that your doctor has committed medical malpractice, you should consult with an attorney immediately.
In order to qualify as medical malpractice, there must be evidence that the doctor failed to act within the standard of care. For example, if a doctor prescribed a drug known to cause birth defects, the doctor could be guilty of medical malpractice. The laws pertaining to medical malpractice can be complex, but victims can seek justice.
What are the most common surgical mistakes?
Surgical mistakes happen every day. They can cause serious complications and even death. But what are the most common ones?
Here are the top five surgical mistakes according to the American College of Surgeons:
1. Incorrect Surgical Site Preparation
This mistake happens when surgeons don’t clean the area where surgery is going to be performed properly. This can lead to infection, bleeding, and other problems.
2. Unnecessary Surgery
Sometimes doctors perform unnecessary surgeries. These procedures may not be necessary to treat the patient’s condition. Sometimes patients are told that they need an operation, but the doctor doesn’t explain the risks and benefits of the procedure.
3. Improper Anesthesia
Anesthesia is used to prevent pain during surgery. If anesthesia isn’t administered correctly, the patient may feel pain during the surgery.
4. Wrong Procedure Performed
A surgeon performs a wrong procedure on a patient. For example, a surgeon may remove the wrong organ or tissue. Or he may cut into the wrong part of the body.
5. Failure to Follow Up Carefully
After surgery, a patient should follow up with his doctor regularly. He needs to report any changes in his health status.
What are some examples of medical negligence?
Negligence occurs when a doctor fails to exercise reasonable care. Reasonable care means that the doctor does what a reasonably prudent physician would do under similar circumstances. For example, if a doctor prescribes a drug that causes birth defects, then the physician has been negligent.
Breach of contract occurs when a doctor fails or refuses to perform services according to their terms. In this case, the doctor agreed to treat a patient in exchange for payment. The doctor may be liable for breach of contract if they fail to perform the service.
Fraud occurs when a doctor misrepresents facts about a patient’s condition. Other examples might include:
- Failure to diagnose a condition
- Failure to properly treat a patient
- Surgery performed without proper consent
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Failure to provide adequate follow-up care after surgery
- Failure to inform patients about risks associated with certain procedures
- Failure to advise patients about alternative treatments
- Failure to refer patients to specialists
- Failure to perform tests necessary to determine whether a procedure should be performed
- Failure to order appropriate diagnostic testing
- Failure to monitor a patient closely after surgery
When Can You Sue For Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence happens every day. Doctors don’t always do what they should, and patients often suffer injuries due to medical mistakes.
In fact, there are over 1 million lawsuits filed each year against doctors and hospitals for medical malpractice.
But when can you sue for medical negligence?
There are two main types of medical negligence cases:
- Direct liability claims against the doctor or hospital
- Indirect liability claims against the doctor’s employer
Direct Liability Claims Against the Doctor
A direct liability claim against the doctor means that you’re suing him directly for his actions. This type of lawsuit usually involves an injury caused by a doctor’s mistake. For example, a patient may slip and fall after going into surgery. Or a patient may develop an infection after receiving a contaminated injection. These kinds of injuries are common and happen all the time. But sometimes, a doctor makes a mistake that causes harm to a patient.
Indirect Liability Claims Against the Hospital
An indirect liability claim against the hospital means that you’re suing the hospital for its role in causing your injury. This kind of lawsuit typically occurs when a patient suffers an injury due to a hospital error. For example, if a patient slips and falls in the hospital, then the hospital could be liable for the accident. Another example could include if a patient develops an infection after receiving a tainted injection, then the hospital could potentially be held responsible.
The key difference between direct and indirect liability claims is that the former requires proof that the doctor was negligent. The latter does not require such proof.
Procedural Requirements for Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Claims
A medical malpractice claim may involve any type of health care provider, such as a doctor, nurse, hospital, dentist, pharmacist, psychologist, physical therapist, chiropractor, optometrist, podiatrist, or other health care provider.
To file a medical malpractice claim, you must first give written notice to the health care provider within 180 days after the alleged injury occurred. It is best to seek legal guidance from an experienced medical malpractice attorney to understand the process fully and not miss any deadlines.
How Long Do I Have to Sue My Doctor for Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are filed against doctors every single day. The statute of limitations is the amount of time that a person must file a medical malpractice case before filing a lawsuit.
It is important to note that the statute of limitations begins running once the harm caused by the medical malpractice becomes apparent. Therefore, it is possible for a person to suffer harm for years without knowing about it. Once the statute of limitations expires, a person cannot file a medical malpractice action unless he/she meets certain exceptions.
In order to determine whether a claim has expired under the statute of limitations, one must first understand the concept of the “discovery rule.” This means that the statute of limitations begins to run once the plaintiff knows or should know about his injury. This is usually determined by an expert witness. However, there are certain situations where the court may decide that the plaintiff knew or should have known about his injury. For example, if the plaintiff was told by another doctor that he had a condition that would lead to future problems, then the plaintiff would have knowledge of his injury. However, if the plaintiff did not receive any treatment for his condition, then the statute of limitations would not begin to run until he received treatment.
There are two types of statutes of limitation in Pennsylvania: 1) the general statute of limitations, and 2) the discovery rule. The general statute of limitations provides that a cause of action accrues when the right to bring the action arises. If the plaintiff does not file within the prescribed period, the action is barred.
A medical malpractice claim is subject to a three-year statute of limitations. This means that a plaintiff has three years after the alleged negligence occurred to file a lawsuit.
Proving Your Medical Malpractice Claim
The plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit must prove negligence, breach of contract, or fraud. A medical malpractice lawyer will investigate the facts of your case to determine whether the doctor was negligent, breached the terms of the contract, or made fraudulent misrepresentations.
How Do You Know Who Should Be Liable for Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is one of the most common types of personal injury cases brought against doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. When a doctor makes an error in judgment or performs medical procedures incorrectly, he or she may be liable for damages caused by those mistakes.
Negligence does not mean that the doctor intentionally harmed the patient. For example, a doctor may accidentally cut off a patient’s finger instead of performing a procedure correctly. However, if the doctor knew about the risks associated with his or her actions, then the doctor would be negligent.
Suing a Hospital vs Suing the Doctor for Medical Malpractice
Any person who was injured by the doctor’s negligence has the right to sue for medical malpractice. The victim may include the patient himself or herself, the patient’s spouse, children, parents, siblings, or other relatives.
A patient may also bring a lawsuit against the hospital where the doctor works. In addition, a patient may sue the doctor’s employer, such as a private practice group or a large hospital system.
The plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must prove that the defendant acted negligently. To do so, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached the standard of care required of him or her. To establish causation, the plaintiff must show a direct link between the defendant’s negligence and the harm suffered by the patient. A plaintiff cannot recover simply because the patient had a preexisting condition that worsened due to the doctor’s negligence.
What is the Average Settlement for Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are very common in our country. They happen every day and most of them go unreported. But what is the average settlement amount for medical malpractice lawsuit?
We did extensive research to find out the answer to this question. We found out that the average settlement amount for a medical malpractice lawsuit is $500,000. This means that there are cases where the plaintiff wins the case and gets more than $500,000. But these cases are rare. Most of the time, the defendant settles the case for an amount between $100,000 and $300,000.
So, what does this mean?
It means that the average settlement amount is $500,000, but the range is between $100,000 to $300,000. This means that there are cases that settle for much higher amounts, but those cases are extremely rare. In fact, there are cases that settle below $100,000. These cases are extremely rare. And there are cases that settle above $1 million. Those cases are extremely rare too.
Why Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Medical malpractice lawyers are professionals who specialize in helping injured patients recover damages from negligent doctors and hospitals. They represent patients who have been harmed due to medical errors committed by physicians and healthcare providers.
In addition to representing patients, medical malpractice attorneys also defend health care institutions against lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who claim negligence on the part of the institution.
While most states do not allow patients to sue directly, medical malpractice cases are often brought by third parties such as insurance companies. These third-party claims may arise out of an accident involving a patient or an injury caused by a doctor or hospital.
A medical malpractice lawsuit involves two main issues: liability and damages. Liability refers to whether the physician or hospital was responsible for causing harm to the plaintiff. Damages refer to the amount of money needed to compensate the victim for his or her injuries.
When a patient is seriously injured or dies as a result of a medical error, he or she has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, filing a case does not guarantee success. Most medical malpractice cases settle without going to trial.
There are several types of medical malpractice cases. Some involve allegations of negligence related to diagnosis, treatment, or surgery. Other cases allege that a doctor failed to provide adequate information about risks associated with a procedure. Still, others involve allegations that a doctor prescribed medication that resulted in death or serious injury.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
A medical malpractice lawsuit involves complex issues. If you do not have legal representation, you may not understand what you are entitled to under state law. An experienced attorney will explain these issues to you and advise you about your rights and responsibilities. An experienced attorney will take care of everything necessary to ensure that you receive full compensation for any damages suffered. They will file your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and handle any appeals.
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, call the experienced law firm of Schuster Law. Our team offers free consultations and will discuss the legal options available for your specific case. Call today.