When someone who is in a trusted medical position acts negligently or recklessly, and you become injured, that is medical malpractice. When it occurs, it can bring disastrous results and suffering. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your losses in a medical malpractice claim.
Some people must deal with the consequences of a medical mistake for many years. If something like this happens in your life, you have an avenue for financial recovery. A Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney from Morelli Law Firm can assist you in getting the monetary damages you deserve for your injuries.
Defining Medical Malpractice
It is helpful to have an understanding of what medical malpractice means. Medical malpractice happens whenever any medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, injures a patient through some act of negligence or omission. According to Johns Hopkins University, medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
Requirements of a Medical Malpractice Incident
In a medical malpractice case, the main focus of the lawsuit is generally on what the healthcare provider should have done in those circumstances. In order to prove medical negligence, there are a few things that need to be established:
- A relationship between the doctor or nurse and the patient
- An underlined duty of care was established in which they agreed to take medical responsibility for you
- A standard of care based on the expertise of the medical professional and their motives
A medical malpractice lawyer will document the link between your injury and the medical professional’s negligent actions. With the help of a medical expert, the events leading up to the injury or diagnosis of a condition can be investigated.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
Common medical malpractice cases fall within three different categories. A Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney knows the best way to prepare your case based on the type. These medical malpractice case types are as follows:
- Negligence in diagnosing: When a doctor fails to diagnose properly, it can lead to worse consequences. If your doctor had made the correct diagnosis, you would not have the complications, injuries, or problems that you do.
- Wrong treatment: When you are prescribed the incorrect treatment for an illness, disease, or condition, your situation can worsen. In some cases, the wrong treatment may be detrimental long-term.
- No warning of risks: Every patient has a right to know if some type of treatment or medication could potentially have dire consequences. People in the medical industry have a duty to inform the patient of the risks involved.
Some medical professionals may be liable for more than one of these. For example, a doctor may give the wrong treatment and fail to warn about the risks. If you are not sure about the specific medical wrongdoing, an attorney can investigate your case to determine if you are eligible for compensation.
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Calculable Damages in Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Suits
A medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia will help you collect for all the pain and suffering you have endured. Some of the recoverable damages that an attorney will fight for you to receive will include the following:
- Lost wages
- Future earning reduction
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Medical expenses for doctor appointments and surgeries
- Expenses for special care assistants, training, and home care assistance
If the victim is a minor, a parent will need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on their behalf. For that reason, the damages recovered belong to the infant and are generally placed in a trust. Fortunately, Pennsylvania does not cap economic or non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.
Loss of Consortium Damages in Medical Malpractice Claims
Loss of consortium refers to damages awarded to a family member of a person who has been seriously injured. In this situation, if, because of the injury, a family member has been deprived of having the same relationship with the injured plaintiff that they would have otherwise had, you can be eligible for additional compensation for this loss.
Can I Collect Punitive Damages From Medical Malpractice?
In cases where the actions of the liable party were grossly negligent or performed with willful recklessness for the safety of the patient, punitive damages may apply. Punitive damages are not awarded as compensation for a loss suffered by the victim of medical malpractice.
Instead, these damages are designed to punish the at-fault party. Punitive damages are only awarded in extreme cases. Your medical malpractice attorney will be able to help you determine if your case qualifies for punitive damages or not.
A Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Take On Your Case
As you focus on your injury, diagnosis, and rehabilitation, a medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia will take on your case and handle every step of the process. These steps include:
- Offering you legal advice
- Filing your claim
- Negotiating with insurance companies
- Completing all paperwork and communications
- Assessing your damages
- Hiring a medical malpractice expert
You may feel intimidated by the thought of seeking compensation from a medical professional or a pharmaceutical company. However, you will not need to worry when you have the personal injury lawyers at Morelli Law Firm by your side.
Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases
Pennsylvania requires that people with a medical malpractice case file a lawsuit before a deadline referred to as the statute of limitations. Under Pennsylvania Statutes Title 42 § 5524, the statute of limitations is two years. However, it is critical to remember that special circumstances may apply to your case that limit the amount of time you have to file.
Contacting a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia as soon as you have an issue will give your legal team the time needed to build a strong case. If you don’t file your claim within this deadline, your case can be dismissed and you’ll be prohibited from recovering damages based on the claim.
Pennsylvania law states that no medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed more than seven years from the date on which the underlying medical error was allegedly committed, regardless of whether you knew or should have known you were injured. An exception to this is if a foreign object was left in your body from a surgical procedure.
The Certificate of Merit in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
According to Pennsylvania Code §1042.3, as the medical malpractice plaintiff, you must submit a signed certificate of merit. This certificate must state that a medical professional looked at your claim and believes with reasonable probability that a health care provider’s conduct “fell outside acceptable professional standards” and caused you harm.
This certificate must be filed along with your initial complaint (the document that lays out your allegations to start the lawsuit) or within 60 days after submitting your complaint. Your medical malpractice attorney can outline any other relevant deadlines during a case review.
The Cost of Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers charge their clients differently from other legal professionals. Instead of charging clients for the amount of time the lawyer spends working on their case, personal injury lawyers are focused on results. Your attorney’s fee will be assessed as a predetermined percentage of the compensation you recover.
Your personal injury lawyer will work on a contingency fee basis where their pay is contingent upon you recovering compensation. If you don’t get money for your damages, your lawyer doesn’t get paid. On the other side of that, the more money you recover, the more your attorney gets paid.
This system makes it mutually beneficial for your attorney to ensure you recover as much money as possible from the liable party. It also makes it so that anyone can afford experienced legal representation in a personal injury case because you will never pay any money out of your own pocket.
Contact a Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer for FREE
Our goal at Morelli Law Firm is to create an airtight case before the negotiations take place, so you are more likely to get the financial settlement you want as opposed to going to court. With our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers working for you, you can have peace of mind knowing someone is helping you on your case.
Our attorneys bring our tools and knowledge to the table, which means you get the support you need. You do not have to suffer needlessly. You can have a personal injury lawyer who will fight for you. Get in touch with us today. We offer a free case evaluation to get you started.