Medical malpractice errors occur far more often than anyone would like to imagine. In 2015, over 1,500 cases were filed in Pennsylvania alleging medical malpractice, and that number does not include all of the instances of medical malpractice that were not filed in Pennsylvania state courts. Furthermore, medical malpractice can occur in many different ways and by many different types of medical practitioners. But no matter how it happens, it is extremely frightening when you or a family member are injured or become sick because of medical malpractice. If this has happened to you, our experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers are here to help you with your case.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
The simplest definition of medical malpractice is when a medical practitioner does not follow the appropriate standard of care when treating a patient, and that failure to follow the standard of care results in harm to the patient. This definition is very broad, because medical malpractice can occur in many different ways.
First, many different kinds of people are involved in medical care, and they can all be held liable for medical malpractice if they deviate from the appropriate standard of care in their treatment of a patient. This means that a surgeon, a physician, a nurse, an anesthesiologist, a medical technician, and even a nursing home worker can be held liable for medical malpractice.
Second, many things can go wrong during the treatment of a patient, but not every problem or complication constitutes medical malpractice. If the doctor, nurse, or anesthesiologist follows standard procedure and makes reasonable judgment calls, they will not be held liable for malpractice. However, if they are careless, or if they do something risky or something that violates standard medical procedure, then they will be considered to have committed medical malpractice. The most common types of errors include prescribing the wrong medication or an incorrect dose, leaving surgical instruments in the patients body, infections from improperly cleaned equipment or instruments, anesthesia errors, failing to diagnose a serious illness, failure to properly deliver a baby, or failing to get a patients informed consent prior to certain medical procedures.
Surgical errors are unfortunately very common. The stories of doctors operating on the wrong body part or leaving surgical instruments inside the patients body are frightening, but true. It is especially upsetting when surgeons make mistakes because we trust them to handle the most serious and delicate medical procedures, and we expect them to be experts. When they make careless mistakes or fail to follow appropriate medical procedures, they should be held liable for any injuries or illness they cause to their patients.
Another upsetting form of medical malpractice is nursing home malpractice. It is extremely distressing when workers in nursing homes deliberately abuse their patients or make careless mistakes when working with the patients. Sometimes nursing home workers will leave patients unattended, causing them to call and hurt themselves. Others may fail to change the patient’s bedsheets, which can cause bed sores, or fail to deliver medicine or meals in a timely fashion. Because most nursing home patients have trouble taking care of themselves, it is very disturbing when nursing home workers commit medical malpractice. If a loved one has suffered from nursing home malpractice, our attorneys can help.
Emergency rooms are another common place where medical malpractice occurs. Because emergency room doctors are often rushed and do not have much time to see each patient, mistakes can happen fairly easily. Unfortunately, people in the emergency room are often the ones who are the sickest or most seriously injured and cannot afford any mistakes in their medical treatment. In serious cases, emergency room patients can get very ill or even die as a result of medical malpractice.
You may even face medical malpractice when dealing with your primary care doctor. This usually happens if your doctor prescribes the wrong medication or dosage or if your doctor fails to see signs or symptoms of a serious disease or illness. Contacting a medical malpractice attorney right away will allow you to recover from your illness or injury without having to worry about dealing with every aspect of your legal case against your doctor.
How Your Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
Medical malpractice cases can unfortunately be fairly complex and require a lot of evidence and information gathering. Medical malpractice victims have to not only show that their medical practitioner violated the medical communitys standard of care during their treatment, but also that that violation caused or worsened the patients injury or illness. Additionally, medical malpractice cases usually have to be filed within a certain time period after you discover your illness or injury.
Usually in a medical malpractice case, the victim will have to have medical experts testify on the stand about what the standard of care should have been during the victims medical treatment. Your attorney will be able to find a qualified expert who can demonstrate that your doctors behavior was not in keeping with the medical communitys standard of care. In addition, your lawyer will know how to clearly show that you were not already sick or injured or that your doctors actions worsened your injury or illness.
You will also need to be able to prove how much your case is worth. This typically means showing how much you had to pay to cover your medical bills, as well as proving that you suffered other damages such as pain and suffering or emotional trauma. Your attorney will help you collect this information and present it in your case to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys know how upsetting and stressful it can be when you or a loved one was injured or made ill by a medical practitioners mistakes. We are here to help you with your case so that you can focus on recovering. As soon as possible, you or a loved one should contact our office for a free initial consultation with our attorneys so that we can begin working on your case right away.