Were You Injured By Medical Negligence?
We have faith that the medical professionals we put our trust in will protect us from harm. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Mistakes do happen, but when a medical error is a result of a negligent action by the healthcare provider, then the injured patient may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.
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Since 1959, medical malpractice victims throughout Pennsylvania have turned to Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys to protect their legal rights. Our experienced medical error lawyers understand the complex medical malpractice laws that govern the Keystone State. We routinely represent people who have sustained injuries from medical doctors, surgeons, nurses, hospital and nursing home staff, and other medical professionals.
Our medical malpractice lawyers are national leaders in the industry and have consistently been named among the Best Lawyers in America. We have earned the top client and peer ratings from Martindale-Hubbell, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected legal organizations. Our partners are board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and have been recognized by Thomas Reuter as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.
If you have questions regarding a potential medical malpractice case, contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today. We will answer your questions free of charge, and help you determine what to do next. Fill out our contact form, start a chat, or give us a call to discuss your medical malpractice claim.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Doctors and medical professionals have a duty to uphold a standard of care when entrusted with the health and well-being of their patients. Unfortunately, some healthcare providers fail to meet this standard. Even the most experienced, careful doctors may make a critical error that can have life-or-death consequences. When a medical error occurs and is the result of a negligent action, this is considered medical malpractice.
According to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ, medical errors impact 1 in every 20 patients every year. Approximately 12% of preventable patient harm results in a permanent disability or death. According to a recent study by John Hopkins, medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States. The study calculated at more than 250,000 deaths occur each year due to a medical error in the U.S.
As the victim of such egregious negligence, you may be legally entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and additional losses if a family member has died as a result of the negligence. A Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will guide you through this process and help you get the justice you deserve.
What are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Injuries?
There are various forms of medical malpractice that occur every day. However, the most common types of medical negligence claims include:
One of the most common types of medical malpractice, misdiagnosis occurs when the healthcare provider fails to recognize and diagnose a condition. By failing to diagnose the condition in a timely manner, the condition can progress to a more advanced state which can require more treatment and put the patient’s life at risk.
An example of misdiagnosis would be cancer. The patient’s x-rays had shown signs of a small mass on the lungs yet the doctor did not order further tests. A few months later, the mass’ growth accelerates and the cancer had spread throughout the body. If the doctor had ordered testing when the mass was first seen, the growth may not have happened.
A birth injury can not only be devastating to the family but could affect the child’s life. An injury to the infant can occur at any point of the pregnancy and unfortunately, many times they can be prevented. Examples of birth injuries range from the incorrect use of forceps to not properly monitoring the health of both the mother and child.
Whenever a patient has to have surgery, they put their lives in the hands of medical professionals. And when an error occurs, the results could be life-threatening.
Typical examples of surgical errors include nerve damage; performing an incision in the wrong location; operating on the wrong body part; administering too much or not enough anesthesia; or leaving surgical equipment in the patient, such as a sponge.
A healthcare practitioner may be held liable if an error had been made in prescribing or providing medication. Various examples include receiving too much or not enough medication or giving the wrong drugs.
In order to prove any of these types of medical malpractice, you will need a personal injury attorney who has the resources available to investigate the matter. Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has medical consultants who can investigate your claim and determine whether negligence occurred.
How Can I Prove Medical Malpractice?
Like most personal injury cases, to show that your injuries were the result of medical negligence, you will need to prove the following:
- A professional duty was owed to the patient. You will need to show that the medical professional had a professional responsibility to avoid any behavior or action that could cause harm to you as their patient.
- There was a breach in the duty of care. Despite knowing they had a reasonable duty of care to the patient, the healthcare provider ignored that duty and acted in a negligent matter. For example, a doctor failed to take a patient’s history and gave them medication that they had an allergic reaction to in the past.
- The breach caused an injury. Because the duty of care was not followed and the medical professional was negligent in their actions, the patient was injured or harmed.
- The injury resulted in damages. Using the previous example, because the patient suffered a life-threatening allergic reaction, they had to have an expensive emergency medical treatment done.
Proving medical negligence can be extremely difficult. It’s important to have an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who has the resources and skills needed to find the evidence needed to prove your claim.
Speak with a PA Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Today
Medical malpractice claims can be especially difficult to prove. Only an experienced medical malpractice lawyer familiar with the unique complexities of these cases can effectively argue your case. Our medical malpractice lawyers have more than 60 years of experience practicing law in Pennsylvania. We will evaluate your case thoroughly, and explore all potential sources of recovery.
Our case evaluations are absolutely free — we do not collect a fee unless we win your medical malpractice lawsuit. If your medical malpractice lawsuit is in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, Philadelphia, or anywhere in Pennsylvania, our offices there can help. Call now and get the help that you need.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania
How Long Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice?
In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date you either learn of the injury or should have known about the injury. For example, you recently learned you have cancer. You are then told by a doctor that there were signs of cancer approximately a year ago but no one ordered additional tests. Your claim would begin the date that it was discovered the mistake was made.
What Does “Standard of Care” Mean?
Standard of care is a reasonable degree of care the medical professional should provide to their patient. For example, a standard of care for someone who broke their ankle is to fix the ankle so it can heal properly.
Is There a Difference Between a Medical Error and Medical Negligence?
A medical error occurs when the medical professional made a mistake when administering medical care to a patient. It was unintentional nor was it a result of negligence.
Medical negligence occurs when the standard of care for a patient’s condition is not met. It can be difficult to prove medical negligence, which is why it’s important to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to learn your legal options.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Medical Malpractice?
There may be multiple parties that can be held liable for your injury, including:
- Medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and dentists.
- Healthcare facilities like a hospital or an urgent care, who can be held responsible for an employee’s negligent actions.
- Pharmacists, such as giving out the wrong dosage of a medication.
- Pharmaceutical companies if the drug had caused a patient injury and the manufacturer failed to warn about the drug’s side effects or dangers.
My Doctor Admitted They Made a Mistake. Do I Have a Case?
If your doctor admitted to a mistake, it’s always best to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to determine whether you have a case. If the mistake was a result of negligence that cause further injury, the simple answer is yes. But you need to speak with a medical malpractice attorney know for certain.