If you’ve been injured because of another person’s negligence, you have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. You can also take legal action against an irresponsible medical professional who commits malpractice against you. Personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits allow victims to win the compensation they deserve when someone else has done them wrong. Having a skilled attorney in your corner helps you make the strongest possible case for the maximum award.
The attorneys of Cooper Schall & Levy are ready to get to work for you today. We have the experience that Montgomery County residents count on when they’ve been injured due to negligence.
The Basics Of Personal Injury In Montgomery County
A personal injury lawsuit allows an injured person to sue a negligent party for compensation to cover their injuries. That other party could be an individual, a business, a governmental unit, or another entity. Some of the most common personal injury lawsuits involve:
- Motor vehicle, motorcycle, and truck accidents
- Accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists
- Construction site accidents
- Slip and fall injuries
- Vicious dog attacks
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Product liability (for injuries caused by defective or dangerous products)
- Premises liability (for injuries that happen on someone else’s property)
- Railroad accidents
These and other types of injuries could cause major financial hardship to the victim. For example, the victim may be facing substantial medical bills due to:
- Bone fractures
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Dog bites
- Mental, emotional, and psychological trauma and injury
Personal injury lawsuits are based on negligence, which refers to irresponsible or reckless conduct. The law describes negligence as a party’s failure to adhere to a certain standard of care, which thereby causes injury to someone else. In Montgomery County, a victim must prove four specific elements related to negligence to win a personal injury lawsuit:
Duty of care. The wrongful party must have owed a duty of care to the victim at the time of the injury. For example, anyone who drives owes everyone else around them a duty to obey traffic laws and to drive safely.
Breach. A breach occurs when someone violates the duty of care through some negligent act or omission. Speeding and drunk driving are common examples of such negligence.
Cause. The victim has to prove that the breach caused direct injury to him or her. This means laying out a clear series of events linking the wrongful party’s negligence to the victim’s injuries.
Damages. Finally, the victim has to show what sort of financial harm he or she has suffered because of the injury. These may include things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
What Are Wrongful Death And Survival Actions?
In some cases, the victim will die because of his or her injuries. Certain survivors like a spouse, children, or parents of the victim can then maintain a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. A survival action is a similar lawsuit. These legal claims are designed to compensate the deceased victim’s survivors for a number of different losses and expenses, including:
- Medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- Income the victim would have earned had he or she lived
- Compensation for family services, society, and comfort
The Basics Of Medical Malpractice
Healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses are educated and trained to provide a certain level of care to their patients. The same expectations exist for healthcare facilities like hospitals. When these individuals and institutions fail to provide that care and thereby injure their patients, the victims have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Malpractice doesn’t simply mean that a doctor or hospital made a mistake. The law doesn’t require that healthcare providers be perfect. Rather, the error in question must be unreasonable in light of the circumstances. That means showing that the medical professional deviated from the accepted standard of care that all patients deserve. Some examples of malpractice are:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to treat
- Childbirth errors
- Prescription drug errors
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
Similar to personal injury, there are four elements that a Montgomery County victim of medical malpractice has to show in court:
Duty of care. The medical professional or facility must have had a duty to care for the patient. The doctor-patient relationship typically establishes this.
Breach. There has to be evidence of negligence, either by way of an act or omission. Example: a doctor who fails to properly read lab test results, where another similarly situated doctor would have done so.
Cause. The breach must directly cause harm to the patient, or increase the chance that the patient will be harmed.
Damages. These usually come in the form of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses and expenses similar to what personal injury victims experience.
Are There Time Limits To File My Claim In Montgomery County?
Personal injury and medical malpractice victims don’t have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit. Most personal injury and malpractice claims must be filed within two years of the incident, although there are sometimes exceptions. For example, with respect to medical malpractice, the patient might not discover the injury until later, which could allow him or her to delay taking action. Other circumstances may allow you to file your claim beyond the normal two-year window.
However, it’s a good idea to speak with a lawyer as soon as you suffer an injury or discover signs of medical malpractice. It’s generally much easier to locate evidence and witnesses and put together a strong case the sooner you file. Our law firm is ready to help.
Contact Our Montgomery County Personal Injury And Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you or a loved one were injured because of someone else’s negligence, reach out to Cooper Schall & Levy. We can discuss your personal injury or medical malpractice claim and get started on your case today. Give us a call to talk about your options.