Upper Darby Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice is also referred to as medical negligence and pertains to the misconduct of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, technicians, and other medical professionals. In Pennsylvania, a medical professional must have a preliminary finding of negligence before an Upper Darby medical malpractice lawyer can file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Typically, medical malpractice cases result from mistakes made during a patient’s treatment. These errors can range from medical misdiagnosis, mistakes made during surgery, failure to follow medical protocols, or administering incorrect amounts of medicine. A medical malpractice lawsuit can name multiple defendants, including, but not limited to: insurance companies, hospitals, nurses, clinics, individual doctors, medical corporations, physician’s groups, and technicians.
Is medical malpractice common in the U.S.? The short answer is yes. Recent studies have shown that medical errors account for as many as 251,000 U.S. deaths each year. Medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death.
It is essential to know that Pennsylvania is the only state that mandates acute healthcare facilities to report all potentially harmful events. The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS) is the most extensive collection of patient safety data in the U.S. and one of the largest globally.
In 2019, there were 293,400 patient safety reports submitted. Ninety-seven percent of those reports were from hospitals, and 3 percent were from ambulatory surgical facilities. The majority of these reports, 284,847, were classified as incidents versus serious events, which accounted for 8,553 reports.
Between 2015 and 2019, the most frequent event type logged was errors related to a testing, a procedure, or treatment, which accounted for 33 percent of all acute care events reported in 2019. The top three categories revealed that serious medical mistakes were due to: medication errors at 18 percent, complication of a procedure, test, or treatment at 16 percent, and falls at 11 percent.
Common medical malpractice claims include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to diagnose;
- Failure to establish consent;
- Incorrect diagnosis;
- Delayed diagnosis;
- Failure to diagnose cancer or another disease promptly;
- Giving the wrong medication to a patient with a known allergy;
- Foreign objects left in the body after surgery;
- Fractures during an operation;
- Misreading a scan or x-ray;
- Anesthesia errors;
- Birth injuries and trauma;
- Spinal cord injuries during birth;
- Emergency room errors;
- Medical device errors;
- Postoperative negligence;
- Prescribing incorrect medications;
- Improperly delivering a baby; and
- Surgical errors.
The medical malpractice lawyers at MyPhillyLawyer build their cases with care while utilizing their decades of medical malpractice legal experience. Building a medical malpractice case involves many moving parts, several are used to construct a case’s foundation. Some of the elements involved are:
- In-depth research about a plaintiff’s injuries and how they occurred.
- Working hand-in-hand with medical experts to determine how an injury or injuries happened and to gain insight into them by reading numerous reports.
- Engaging medical experts to testify at trial.
- Diagnosing medical experts requires an in-depth understanding of the injury, its cause, and its prognosis.
- Searching for similar or relevant cases.
- Obtaining and analyzing a plaintiff’s medical records.
Additionally, a medical malpractice case includes:
- Providing proof of a patient-doctor relationship, that you visited the doctor and received treatment in the physician’s official role.
- Proving a medical professional had a duty to act with reasonable care and to cause no harm.
- Showing how the doctor violated their duty to act with a reasonable standard of care.
- Proving that a plaintiff’s damages directly resulted from the doctor’s inaction or action.
No matter the breadth and depth of evidence garnered in a medical malpractice case, there is no such thing as a quick resolution for these kinds of cases. Often, a patient waits about a year or longer to file a claim. It then can take two or more years to resolve that claim. The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for a medical malpractice case is two years, which begins once the person discovers, or should have discovered, their injury.
Why Medical Experts Are Needed for an Upper Darby Medical Malpractice Case
In two instances, expert medical witness testimony is required for a Pennsylvania medical malpractice case. The first is when a medical malpractice claim is first filed. The second is when the case is brought to trial.
The affidavit sworn, also referred to as a certificate of merit, must be produced within sixty days of filing the lawsuit, must be signed by an Upper Darby medical malpractice lawyer, and must state an expert supplied a written statement asserting one and more of the following situations:
- There exists a “reasonable probability” that the accepted standard of care was breached by the defendant(s);
- The defendant was responsible for the individual who breached the standard of care; or
- An expert testimony is not required to pursue a claim.
Should a defendant file a counterclaim, they must also file a certificate of merit. During the trial in Pennsylvania, the expert medical witness testimony is required to lay the foundation of the appropriate medical standard of care and that the defendant breached it.
A medical expert that testifies at a medical malpractice trial must:
- Be a doctor in active practice or teaching;
- Be a doctor who has experience in the field involved in the trial;
- Have similar or the same specialty as the defendant; and
- Be board-certified if certification is available and the defendants are board-certified.
Medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex affairs. It’s important to know where to turn in case such an event happens to them. At MyPhillyLawyer, we have the answers to all of your questions. We will help guide you on the next best steps to take.
Medical malpractice lawsuit jury awards often result in high damage awards, making the average award approximately twice the average negotiated settlement. Pennsylvania is noted as being one of the top five states in the nation known for significant medical malpractice settlements.
In the Keystone State, the only limits of awards in medical malpractice lawsuits apply to punitive damages. Punitive damages are assessed as punishment for egregious or dangerous behavior. The cap in Pennsylvania is typically two times the actual damages in the case.
Pennsylvania also has a “periodic payments rule.” This means damages are paid in installments if the future damages in a case total more than $100,000. Periodic payments are automatic in cases with over $100,000 in future damages unless the injured plaintiff objects.
Contact MyPhillyLawyer today at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 866-352-4572 to discuss your case, legal rights, and options. Our Upper Darby medical malpractice lawyers understand how to fight for the compensation you deserve. Your initial consultation is free. No recovery, no fees or costs, guaranteed.