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When we put our lives in the hands of a doctor or medical professional, we trust they will do their best. Unfortunately, medical errors happen too often in Pittsburgh. Many times, a mistake is just that — a mistake. However, if the medical malpractice was caused by a negligent doctor, nurse, or other medical professional which resulted in further harm to you or a loved one, you have the right to take legal action. To take the first step towards getting your life back, schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today.

$32 Million Wrongful Death

$26 Million Truck Accident

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$12 Million Product Liability

$9 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$8 Million Truck Accident

$7.5 Million Auto Accident

$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident

$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury

$5 Million Medical Malpractice

$5 Million Bus Accidents

We know a lot of medical lawyers talk the talk, but there is only one law firm that wins the way we do. Our firm was founded in 1959 with a simple mission: to fight for justice for all accident victims and never back down against the “big guys.” For the last 60 years, our medical negligence lawyers have honored that promise by holding Pittsburgh doctors and hospitals accountable for our clients’ injuries. While doing so, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys negotiated record-breaking settlements, won millions at trial, and won recognition as the best in the business across Pennsylvania.

At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we treat all medical accident victims like family, and we will fight for you the way we’d fight for our own. To see the difference a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys makes, call us to schedule a free consultation today.

What is Considered Medical Malpractice?

Attorney Caroline MunleyAccording to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA), medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional negligently acts or fails to act so as to injury a patient. When a medical mistake happens because of someone’s carelessness, this is called medical malpractice.

A medical malpractice study published in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ found that every year, one in every 20 patients are affected by a medical error. About 12 percent of patient injuries that could have been prevented lead to a permanent disability or death. A Johns Hopkins study further stated that medical mistakes are now the third leading cause of death in the United States — more than 250,000 people die each year in the U.S. because of a medical mistake.

As the victim of such extreme carelessness by a medical professional in western Pennsylvania, you may be able to get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses if a family member died because of the medical malpractice. A Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will help you get the justice you deserve by guiding you through the medical malpractice case process.

What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice and Hospital Negligence?

attorney marion munley discussing a case with someoneMedical malpractice can take a variety of forms. However, certain medical mistakes are more common than others. In hospitals across Steel City, such as Allegheny General or any of the UPMC branches, medical malpractice can result in serious injuries and life-threatening illnesses.

Some of the top types of medical malpractice that occur include:

Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

Misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of medical malpractice. It happens when a medical professional either ignores or fails to diagnose a condition correctly. If the condition isn’t diagnosed quickly, it can get worse and require more treatment, putting the patient’s life at risk.

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can occur when a doctor incorrectly interprets the results of a diagnostic test, fails to notice crucial information, or fails to communicate test results with another caregiver.

A common example of a serious misdiagnosis is failure to diagnose cancer. For example, a patient’s x-rays showed signs of a small mass on the lungs, but the doctor did not order any more tests. A few months later, the growth of the mass speeds up, and the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. If the doctor had ordered tests when the mass was first seen, the growth might not have happened. A delay in diagnosis or incorrect diagnosis can prevent them from getting necessary treatment and allow the patient’s condition to worsen and become fatal.

Birth Injuries

A birth injury can be terrible for the family and could change the life of the child. Birth injuries are a distressing subset of medical malpractice cases that occur during the labor and delivery process, affecting newborns and, in some cases, mothers. These injuries can have lasting and profound effects on the lives of the individuals involved. Understanding the common causes, types of birth injuries, and the legal implications is crucial for those seeking to navigate the complexities of a birth injury medical malpractice claim. Birth injuries like cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy can result from inadequate prenatal care or failure to monitor mother and baby for signs of fetal distress. They can also be caused by trauma during childbirth, such as misuse of instruments during delivery.

Surgical Errors

When someone needs surgery, they put their lives in the hands of doctors and nurses. And if something goes wrong, it could be life-threatening.  Surgical errors occur when healthcare professionals make mistakes during surgical procedures, ranging from minor oversights to major lapses in protocol.

Nerve damage, making an incision in the wrong place, operating on the wrong part of the body, giving too much or too little anesthesia, or leaving surgical equipment, like a sponge, in the patient are all common types of surgical errors.   Inadequate sterilization of surgical instruments or failure to maintain a sterile surgical environment can to postoperative infections. Failure to provide patients with sufficient information about the risks and potential complications of a surgical procedure can also be considered negligence.

Medication Mistakes

Medication errors are a serious form of medical malpractice that can have severe consequences for patients. These errors occur when healthcare providers make mistakes in prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications, leading to harm or adverse effects. Medication errors can include inaccurate prescribing of medication, including incorrect dosage or the wrong type of medication, or the failure to consider potential drug interactions or contraindications with a patient’s existing medications. Medication errors can lead to adverse reactions, allergic reactions, overdose, or failure to treat the underlying condition.

Anesthesia Errors

Administering too much or too little anesthesia can lead to serious complications. Overdosing may result in respiratory or cardiovascular issues, while underdosing can cause patients to wake up during surgery, experiencing pain and distress. Anesthesiologists must be aware of a patient’s medical history and potential allergies. Administering an anesthesia drug to which a patient is allergic can lead to severe reactions and life-threatening situations. Anesthesia requires constant monitoring of the patient’s vital signs, including heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. Failure to monitor these parameters can lead to delayed detection of complications and increased risks to the patient’s safety.

What Will I Have to Prove to Win My Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

To win your medical malpractice lawsuit at trial, your lawyer will need to prove the four “elements” of a medical malpractice claim.

Duty of Care

Caroline Munley speaking with paralegal in her officeFirstly, your medical malpractice lawyer will need to show that your treating doctor, nurse, healthcare professional, or healthcare facility owed you a duty. Duty means an obligation to reasonably treat you according to the acceptable standard of care. When a hospital employs the doctor you are suing for negligent care, establishing duty is usually fairly straight-forward. In most cases, the duty of care is established by the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, though other healthcare professionals (not just doctors) can be included.  To make sure you are suing the right parties and maximizing your financial award, you will need an experienced med mal lawyer with knowledge of Pennsylvania law and a winning track record. If you’d like to speak with our award-winning medical malpractice team, schedule your free consultation today.

Breach of Duty of Care

Secondly, your medical malpractice lawyers must prove that your doctor breached the standard of care to commit the medical malpractice. Often times, this will require testimony from medical malpractice experts, who can help your team and the jury understand the complexities of your medical malpractice case. At trial, expert witnesses battle over whether the treating physician’s actions conformed to acceptable medical standards. As a result, you’ll need a Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer who understands the science and how to use medical records, reports, and experts to build a winning strategy.

Causation

Thirdly, and often times most difficultly, you need to convince a jury that your doctor’s breach of his or her duty is what caused your injuries. While this may not sound difficult, this is typically a challenging task. Many patients suffer from multiple conditions and/or diseases. This can make the cause of the injuries hard to determine. To win, your lawyer will need to convince the jury “by a preponderance of the evidence” that your injuries are your doctor’s fault, not yours.

Damages

Finally, you must show that you actually suffered damages because of your doctor’s negligence. Damages mean harm resulting from your injuries. Depending on the nature of your case, you can do this by showing physical, financial, or emotional losses. You also may show future losses, such as the inability to work in the future or the need for future medical treatment. To determine exactly what kind of damages you need to prove, speak with the experienced Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today.

How Do I Know if I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

One of the difficulties medical negligence victims experience is the fact that they may not realize their doctor was negligent until weeks or months later when complications arise or their prognosis worsens.  While not every unfavorable outcome is indicative of malpractice, certain red flags warrant further investigation.

Possible Signs of Medical Malpractice

A failure to diagnose a medical condition in a timely manner or a misdiagnosis can be a form of malpractice. This includes instances where the wrong condition is identified or where the diagnosis is significantly delayed.

If you did not receive adequate information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a medical procedure before giving consent, it may suggest a failure in obtaining informed consent, a critical component of ethical medical practice.

If unexpected complications arise without a clear medical explanation, it may be a sign of medical malpractice. Unexplained infections, worsening conditions, or severe side effects should prompt further inquiry.

If you suspect that you received substandard care, you may want to seek a second opinion from other doctor. This can help give you some clarity. Then, reach out to a Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer for a free legal opinion on the matter. A medical malpractice attorney can review your medical records, with the help of a licensed physician, and determine whether negligence may have played a role in your treatment.

The Right Law Firm: Choosing a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Choosing the right Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Given the complexities of medical malpractice claims, it’s essential to select an attorney with the expertise, experience, and dedication to navigate the intricacies of healthcare law. Here are key considerations when choosing the right legal representation for your medical malpractice case in Pittsburgh:

Experience and Specialization in Medical Negligence Cases

Look for a lawyer with a proven track record in handling medical malpractice cases. Specialization in this field ensures a deep understanding of the unique challenges and nuances associated with healthcare-related legal matters. An experienced attorney will be well-versed in medical terminology, knowledgeable about medical procedures, and familiar with the intricacies of pursuing a malpractice claim.

At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we have been helping vulnerable people in Pennsylvania since 1959. Our entire practice is devoted to serious injury cases.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys with Superior Reputation and Success Record

Research the reputation of potential attorneys by reading client testimonials and reviews. A successful track record in achieving favorable outcomes for clients is a strong indicator of a lawyer’s competence. Look for instances where the attorney has secured substantial compensation for clients who have suffered due to medical negligence. Our law firm prides itself on our long track record of multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Resources and Legal Network

Medical malpractice cases often require substantial resources, including expert witnesses, medical professionals, and investigators. A well-established law firm with a network of experts can strengthen your case. Ensure that the attorney has the resources necessary to build a robust and compelling argument on your behalf. Our law firm works closely with licensed physicians and specialized medical experts to develop our cases. Due to our long history and longstanding reputation in the legal community, we have access to the kinds of resources typically only available to the country’s biggest law firms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice and Hospital Negligence Claims in Pittsburgh

Q: What Damages Can I Receive for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?

munley law attorneys walking down the streetA: A medical mistake can leave you with a prolonged illness, complications that are expensive to treat, or a lifelong impairment or disability. There is no set amount for damages due to medical malpractice, and every medical malpractice case is unique. Pennsylvania has no cap on medical malpractice damages, so your compensation will be largely based on the circumstances of your mistreatment and the harm you have suffered. Some kinds of damages are:

  • Current and future medical costs include hospital stays, treatment, surgery, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and prescriptions.
  • Lost income including any future lost wages because of injuries or illnesses that affect your ability to work.
  • Damages that can’t be seen or touched, such as pain and suffering and emotional trauma.
  • Wrongful death is when a loved one dies because a doctor or nurse was negligent.

Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Pittsburgh?

A: You have two years to file a medical malpractice claim. The time limit begins when you first learn about the error. If the injury victim is a minor, the statute of limitations is a little different. For example, if your child suffered a birth injury, they have until they turn 21 to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professional.

Q: Can I Sue a Doctor for Medical Malpractice?

A: If you believe your doctor was negligent in administering your care, you may be able to sue the doctor in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, medical malpractice lawsuits are not limited to doctors. Other healthcare professionals responsible for your care may be held accountable as well. These may include nurses, surgeons, pathologists, medical assistants, or imaging specialists whose actions caused you harm. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can thoroughly examine your situation to identify all potential defendants in your case.

Q: Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against a Hospital or Healthcare Facility?

A: Yes, medical malpractice claims can be brought against individual healthcare providers, as well as hospitals or healthcare facilities, if their negligence contributed to the harm.

Q: What is the Difference Between a Medical Error and Medical Negligence in Medical Malpractice?

A: When a medical professional makes a mistake while providing medical care, a medical error has occurred. However, not every error is the result of negligence. Sometimes, doctors can do everything they should, and still fail to detect an illness or prevent an adverse outcome.

When the standard of care for a patient’s condition is not met, however, medical negligence has occurred. The standard of care refers to the level and type of care another doctor with the same training would perform under similar circumstances. It might be challenging to demonstrate medical misconduct, therefore it’s crucial to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to explore your legal options.

Q: What Role Does Expert Testimony Play in a Medical Malpractice Case?

A: Expert testimony is often crucial to establishing the standard of care and demonstrating how the healthcare provider deviated from that standard. Experts help explain complex medical issues to the court. Expert testimony can also aid in establishing the full extent of the damages you have suffered and the compensation you are owed as a result.

Q: How Much Does it Cost to Hire A Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

marion munleyA: At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, that answer is simple: $0. Unlike other law firms, we will never charge you an hourly rate to take your case and then run your bills up. We are so committed to fighting for justice for medical accident victims and so confident in our ability to win for you that we’ll use a contingency fee model. Under this model, we will pay all of the costs needed to fight your case upfront out of our own pockets. And we will never send you a bill while your case is ongoing. Instead, we will simply subtract those costs out at the end if and when we negotiate a settlement you approve of or win a jury award. And if you don’t get paid, neither will we. You’ll walk away owing us nothing.

Contact a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation

If you were injured by a medical professional, you have the option to speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. We will be able to look at your medical malpractice case, provide valuable feedback, and help you get compensation for your injuries. Do not wait much longer —

Call, text, chat, or email a leading Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer from Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys for free today.

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