We typically think of medical malpractice in terms of a doctor making a horrifying mistake, such as suturing a surgical patient whose body cavity has a foreign object in it or removing a healthy organ. In recent years, however, another type of medical malpractice has come to our collective attention: violation of a patient’s civil rights. At Cooper, Schall & Levy, LLC, our medical malpractice attorneys have increasingly been contacted by patients in the Philadelphia area whose healthcare has been more than negligent, crossing the line into civil rights violations.
If your mistreatment while receiving, or trying to receive, healthcare has resulted in a violation of your civil rights, our skilled civil rights medical malpractice lawyers will help you file a lawsuit to win you the compensation you deserve. We are an experienced team with comprehensive knowledge of both medical malpractice and civil rights law and proven litigation skills.
Types of Medical Malpractice Civil Rights Violations
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights pinpoints three distinct types of civil rights violations that occur in medical settings:
Violation of civil rights based on race, color, national origin, disability, age, or sex
This kind of civil rights violation remains prevalent in too many doctors’ offices, urgent care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities throughout the country. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is no exception.
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, however, discrimination based on color, race, religion or national origin is forbidden in all federally funded programs, so the law is definitely on your side.
Violation of conscience or religious freedom
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) enforces laws to protect patients from being coerced into having medical procedures they believe are immoral or which go against their religious beliefs. This means that patients can refuse both abortions and euthanasia.
Patients also have the right to practice their religion freely in healthcare facilities unless such practice is harmful to others. Hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes are also expected to make every effort to offer food acceptable to patients with religious dietary restrictions, such as kosher food for orthodox Jews and halal meat for Muslims.
Violation of privacy or security of health information (HIPAA violations)
All patients have a right to privacy. If healthcare providers divulge private sensitive medical data to anyone who is not entitled to such information, they can be held legally liable.
Why You Need the Experienced Attorneys of Cooper, Schall & Levy
Civil rights medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove. That’s why you need our accomplished attorneys to advocate for you. We have a proven record of successful outcomes, both in and out of the courtroom, and will:
- Handle all communications and negotiations with opposing attorneys
- Do a comprehensive investigation of your case and pinpoint responsible parties
- Examine all relevant medical records
- Find and interview any witnesses of your mistreatment
- Consult with medical experts who can bolster your case
Most of all, we will fight tooth and nail to right the wrongs done to you and win you the damages you deserve. In personal injury cases, we work on a contingency basis, so you will owe us no attorneys’ fees until we win.
Civil rights medical malpractice cases may be difficult to prove. If you have experienced any of the following in a healthcare setting, we will stand up for your rights:
- Denial of services
- Denial of access to benefits offered by healthcare or social service programs
- Lack of access to services for help if you have limited English language proficiency
- Inferior or delayed treatment because of a protected characteristic (e.g. skin color)
- Denial of special accommodations for a disability (e.g. deafness or hearing impairment)
What constitutes civil rights medical malpractice?
In order to prove medical malpractice, we have to prove that:
- A healthcare relationship existed
- The doctor or facility violated your civil rights in caring for you
- That violation of your civil rights caused you injury
- That injury led to specific damages
The specific damages you suffered may have been an adverse outcome in terms of your physical health, such as:
- The worsening of an infection, injury or disease condition as a result of a discrimination-based delay in your treatment
- Having an invasive procedure you could not make an informed consent to since you could not understand the explanation because of hearing impairment or unfamiliarity with the English language
- Emotional pain suffered as result of being unknowingly fed a food objectionable according to your religious beliefs
- Psychological trauma suffered because you received inferior care (e.g. were denied sponge baths or blankets) due to provable objections to your race, religion or ethnicity
If you are bearing the burden of losing a loved one to wrongful death, we know that we can’t make it right, but we will work tirelessly to win you a settlement that provides you with a sense of justice.
Contact Our Experienced Civil Rights Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
The lawyers at Cooper, Schall & Levy will provide you with the effective, respectful legal representation you deserve. We will do everything in our power to make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to for medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, psychological counseling, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. Contact our skilled Philadelphia civil rights and medical malpractice attorney today.
Cooper Schall & Levy medical malpractice lawyers serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as neighboring counties such as Montgomery County and Delaware County and cover neighborhoods such as Norristown and Drexel Hill.