Medical Malpractice Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Medical errors kill and seriously injure hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. Medical malpractice is a legal term that is used to describe professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider. When medical professionals fail to adhere to the accepted standard of practice in the medical community, and cause injury or even death to the patient, they are considered to have committed malpractice. Medical malpractice may occur in the initial diagnosis of a patient, when a doctor fails to notice an important symptom or simply does not recognize a serious illness and discharged the patient. Malpractice may also occur before or during any type of medical treatment or in post-operative patient care. Patient medical malpractice injuries frequently result from delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, infections, surgical errors, or treatment errors.
According to the National Institute of Health statistics, almost 200,000 people die every year due to medical errors in the U.S. 2,000 people die each year from unnecessary surgery. 106,000 people are killed annually due to dangerous medication side effects. Between 15,000 and 19,000 malpractice suits are brought against doctors each year. 50% of all medical malpractice cases are filed against surgeons.
Unfortunately, medical mistakes are usually severe and even life-threatening. Injuries such as these are considered "catastrophic" because they can become worse over time, and demand continual medical attention, correction, and observation. Catastrophic injuries often alter the injured patient's quality of life. A patient who has sustained a catastrophic injury as a result of medical malpractice will usually have an array of physical and/or mental complications that will prevent him/her from returning to work or functioning at his/her normal capacity.
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Personal Injury Law & Malpractice
Personal injury law is a legal practice area that governs monetary compensation for physical, mental, or emotional injuries that have been sustained as a result of negligence. In cases involving medical mistakes, the patient's physician, surgeon, or medical care provider is usually regarded as the negligent party subject to legal action. When a patient is injured by a medical professional in Philadelphia, he/she may seek monetary damages from the medical professional. These damages may cover the patient's medical expenses, lost wages, lost future wages, emotional distress, mental impairment, physical impairment, pain and suffering.
Statute of Limitations
In Pennsylvania, malpractice actions are actions for injury to the person or wrongful death, which must be brought within two years. Pennsylvania courts have adopted a discovery rule for injuries to the person. It means that the statute does not begin to run until the injured party discovers or reasonably should discover that he has been injured by another's conduct. The discovery rule does not apply in death cases. For malpractice cases arising on or after March 20, 2002, the discovery rule is limited by a seven-year statute of repose that runs from the date of the act. This does not apply to foreign objects unintentionally left in the body, nor does it require a minor to commence an action prior to age twenty.
Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state. An injured person's recovery is barred only if his or her contributory negligence is greater than the causal negligence of the defendants against whom recovery is sought. Otherwise, the plaintiff's damages are reduced in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to him.
Multiple Responsible Parties
Medical malpractice liability is joint and several. It means that each defendant is assigned an amount based on his or her percentage of causal negligence. However, a plaintiff may recover the full amount of a judgment from any defendant. In some malpractice cases, the injured party may sue the hospital where the procedure was performed. A hospital may be liable under the vicarious liability principle for the acts of a physician who is either employed by the hospital or is on its staff but not an employee.
Pennsylvania does not impose a cap on compensatory damages, but it does have a program of state-sponsored excess insurance. Punitive damages may be awarded against a physician, but cannot exceed 200 percent of compensatory damages absent intentional misconduct.
Why You Need an Attorney
It is impossible for a medical mistake victim to know if their claim has merit and is worth fighting for in court without first consulting an attorney. The best advice will come from a lawyer who is experienced in handling these cases. Out of all types of personal injury cases, malpractice cases are the most complex ones. They require a lot of investigation, including working with several medical experts and researching the medical aspect of the case. The facts necessary to prove a malpractice case are based on the medical records of the hospital, medical center, or doctor's office and testimony of medical experts.
An experienced Pennsylvania malpractice attorney must understand the facts of medicine and the law to effectively prepare expert medical witnesses whose testimony is necessary for any successful malpractice or negligence case. At trial, your attorney needs to be able to explain the medical and legal issues to the jury and judge to recover the best settlement or verdict. The experienced attorneys at the Lassen Law Firm will get you the maximum compensation available under Pennsylvania law.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALLe. of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
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Authored by: Christian Lassen