Individuals who need medical treatment expect doctors and other medical professionals to provide quality care. A patient who sustains an injury as a result of a medical mistake may have a basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Not every mistake constitutes malpractice, however, which makes working with an experienced attorney crucial.
Cooper Schall and Levy is a leading medical malpractice law firm serving clients throughout the Philadelphia area, including Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster and Philadelphia Counties, as well as New Jersey. Guided by the principle that no one should suffer because of a healthcare provider’s negligence, we will provide you with powerful representation when your well-being and your future are on the line. Well-versed in the applicable negligence laws and relevant court rulings in medical malpractice cases, we will make sure that you receive every dollar you deserve.
What is Medical Malpractice?
You cannot file a malpractice lawsuit simply because you were dissatisfied with the medical treatment that you received. Moreover, not all medical mistakes cause injuries, which means that there is no basis for a claim. Instead, medical malpractice occurs when the negligence of a doctor, other medical professionals, or hospital causes a patient’s injury, worsens a patient’s condition, causes unreasonable or unexpected complications, or necessitates additional treatment.
To have a valid malpractice claim, you must be able to show that the doctor or healthcare professional failed to provide the appropriate standard of care and caused you harm. The appropriate standard of care is the type of care that a reasonably skilled physician would provide under the same circumstances. You must also be able to show that the doctor’s negligence or incompetence directly caused your injury and that the injury causes damages.
More precisely, this means that the injury (1) was caused by the healthcare provider’s negligence and (2) resulted in specific damages (e.g. loss of income, disability, pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, future suffering, and hardship) that would otherwise not have occurred had it not been for that negligence.
Finally, a malpractice lawsuit requires filing a certificate of merit (with the complaint) signed by a licensed medical professional to the effect that there is a reasonable probability that your healthcare provider’s conduct fell outside acceptable professional standards and caused your injuries.
Causes of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice lawsuits are typically the result of negligence, such as:
- Diagnostic errors (misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis)
- Surgical mistakes
- Anesthesia errors
- Postsurgical infections
- Emergency room errors
- Prescriptions errors
- Defective medical devices
- Birth injuries
- Nursing home abuse/neglect
What is informed consent?
All doctors and healthcare providers in Pennsylvania are legally required to (1) inform patients of the potential risks, benefits and alternatives to any treatment, surgery, or other medical procedure and (2) obtain the patient’s written permission to proceed. This is referred to as “informed consent.” A doctor who fails to obtain a patient’s informed consent and subsequently causes an injury can be held liable for medical malpractice.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
If you were injured because of a medical professional’s negligence, you must file a medical malpractice claim within 2 years from the date of the injury. This period actually begins 2 years from the date you knew or should have known about the injury, but in any case no later than 7 years after the injury occurred.
What kind of damages can I recover?
The following types of damages may be awarded in a successful malpractice lawsuit:
- Compensatory damages — Intended to compensate medical malpractice victims for monetary losses (e.g. past and future medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and other financial losses).
- Nonmonetary damages — Designed to compensate victims for pain and suffering, loss of use or impairment of a body part, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Although malpractice cases are complicated, our extensive experience going up against healthcare providers and medical corporations puts us at a distinct advantage inside or outside of the courtroom. We have the skills and resources to engage in intricate settlement negotiations or take a medical malpractice claim to court. Whether through litigation, mediation or arbitration, we bring to bear a proven history of achieving successful outcomes. Regardless of the forum, Cooper Shall and Levy is the informed choice in medical malpractice law.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a medical professional’s negligence, it is crucial to have the aggressive, efficient representation we are prepared to provide. We will take the time to conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, we will enlist the services of medical experts to provide testimony and other medical evidence in support of your malpractice claim.
Knowing that being injured as a result of medical negligence is an overwhelming physical, emotional and financial burden, we will work to lift that burden by fighting for your rights. Don’t go up against a healthcare provider and the medical establishment alone. Please contact our office today to learn how we can help.