Patients are the ones that wind up paying the price when medical experts like doctors, nurses, and others make mistakes. Thankfully, the law governing medical malpractice offers victims like you a path to justice in the form of compensatory damages so they can move on with their lives.
If you believe you were harmed by another’s negligent actions, contact our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers today for a free consultation. We will review your situation and explain how we can help.
Doctors and Nurses Owe Patients a Duty of Care
Medical malpractice lawsuits are filed against doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and others who owe patients a duty of care. A plaintiff must show that the defendant breached their duty of care and that the breach caused harm to the plaintiff.
- Physicians and registered nurses must follow strict protocols when administering anesthesia to ensure safe patient care. These procedures involve maintaining constant vigilance throughout the operation. Doctors and nurses must monitor vital signs while anesthesia is administered and train other healthcare providers properly.
- Surgeons must take special precautions if they are operating on pregnant women. They are obligated to perform thorough preoperative examinations and maintain constant vigilance during the operation.
- Physicians and nurses must be aware that drugs and equipment pose risks to patients. They must be prepared to treat complications that arise during operations. They must also know how to respond appropriately to emergencies.
For a free legal consultation in Philadelphia,
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur in any area of medicine, including surgery, emergency care, hospitalization, and nursing home care. It may also include mistakes that are not directly related to patient care but still cause harm.
Common examples of medical negligence or mistakes include:
- Wrong or missed diagnosis: A doctor fails to diagnose an illness or injury correctly. This could lead to improper treatment or no treatment at all.
- Failure to treat: This may have occurred if your doctor does nothing to treat an existing condition.
- Improper treatment: Your doctor or healthcare provider prescribed the wrong medication or performed an operation on the wrong part of the body.
- Negligent hiring or supervision: The hospital or doctor hired or supervised staff who do not provide adequate care.
- Failure to monitor: Healthcare providers fail to monitor patients closely enough after they leave their care.
- Anesthesia mistake: The anesthesiologist or support staff causes an error during anesthesia administration.
- Hospital errors: These may include problems with equipment, medications, procedures, or staffing levels.
- Wrongful death: You may be entitled to compensation if someone dies due to a medical mistake.
- Patient consent: Patients must give permission before undergoing certain tests or treatments. You may have a medical malpractice case if you do not give your permission.
- Medication error: Medications are given incorrectly or without proper monitoring.
- Infection: You may develop an infection if bacteria enter your body through an open wound or another break in your skin.
- Failed instrument sterilization: Sterilization ensures that instruments used in surgical procedures are free from germs.
- Surgical error: During surgery, the surgeon may make a mistake that leads to complications or death.
- Fluid overload: Fluid overload occurs when too much fluid enters the body.
- Blood transfusion: Blood transfusions replace blood lost due to trauma or disease. You could experience a transfusion reaction which could trigger allergic reactions including fever, chills, rash, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure.
- Delayed diagnosis: Delays in diagnosis can lead to serious consequences. For example, a delay in diagnosing cancer could allow it to spread throughout your body.
- Lack of informed consent: Lack of informed consent occurs when a person gives up their rights without being told about possible risks or alternatives.
- Birth injury: Birth injuries occur when your baby suffers physical damage during delivery.
If you or a loved one were injured due to medical malpractice, we will review all of your records and help you determine if you have a case against the negligent party. We will then take action on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys have years of experience handling cases just like yours. Please call us if you have questions about how our lawyers can assist you.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now.GoSimon.
Why do Medical Mistakes Occur?
Medical mistakes can be attributed to many factors. The most common reasons include lack of knowledge, inadequate training, poor communication skills, and an inability to think clearly. Here are reasons medical mistakes may occur:
Other Conditions May Mask Symptoms
A doctor may fail to recognize symptoms because other conditions mask them or are so subtle that the doctor cannot detect them. For example, a doctor may miss a symptom of appendicitis because the patient has a fever and complains of abdominal discomfort.
Doctor Fails to Take All Relevant Information into Account
A doctor may misdiagnose a condition because he fails to consider all relevant information. For instance, a doctor treating a patient complaining of chest pains may overlook the patient having diabetes.
Healthcare Workers May Fail to Perform Their Duties
A doctor may also make a mistake because they lack adequate time to perform their duties. They may be rushed, distracted, or preoccupied. Or they may forget to examine certain areas of the body.
They Fail to Follow Up On Tests
A doctor may commit a medical error because he does not follow up on test results. For example, a blood test may show a patient has high cholesterol levels. But the doctor may fail to order further tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Fatigue May Be a Contributing Factor
A doctor may make a mistake due to fatigue. Fatigue can impair judgment and lead to errors. It can also affect a doctor’s ability to communicate effectively with patients.
The Doctor does Not Understand the Symptoms
A doctor may fail to diagnose a disease because he does not know enough about its symptoms. For example, a physician may fail to diagnose a heart attack because he is unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease.
Some Doctors or Nurses Become Overconfident Under Stress
In addition to these external causes, doctors sometimes make mistakes because of their own personal characteristics. Doctors have different personality traits than non-medical professionals. These differences can cause doctors to behave differently in stressful situations.
Some doctors become overconfident and careless under stress, and others become anxious and worried. Still others become aggressive and impulsive.
Necessary Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
A medical malpractice claim requires meeting certain elements, such as the absence of negligence on the part of the defendant. You may need an expert witness to testify regarding the standard of care expected of a physician or nurse.
To establish causation, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s negligence directly contributed to your injuries. This requires proof of both proximate cause and legal cause:
- Proximate cause exists where the negligent act or omission is a substantial factor in bringing about the injury.
- Legal cause exists when negligent conduct is a substantial factor in causing the injury. In addition, no law will help protect the defendant from their liability because of how your injury occurred.
Elements of Medical Malpractice
The elements of medical malpractice cases include:
- Duty: The defendant owes the plaintiff a duty of care.
- Breach of duty: The defendant failed to perform according to the appropriate standard of care.
- Injury: The defendant’s failure to comply with the applicable standard of care caused you to sustain your injuries.
- Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
A successful claim requires that each element be proven by clear and convincing evidence.
To prevail in a medical malpractice case, you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, that the defendant breached this duty, and that the breach was the actual (legal) and proximate cause of your injuries.
Proving the Doctor or Medical Staff Was Negligent
You and your attorney must also prove that the defendant acted negligently. Negligence means failing to exercise reasonable care under all circumstances. In determining whether a doctor exercised reasonable care, you should consider what an ordinarily prudent physician would have done under similar circumstances.To determine whether your doctor was negligent, they must have violated accepted standards of medical practice. This may occur if they deviate from accepted standards of medical practice without performing due diligence. If the courts decide the doctor was negligent, they must decide whether that negligence directly caused your injuries.
Proving Your Doctor Had No Excuse for Their Negligence
In addition to the elements of proof mentioned above, you must establish that your doctor or healthcare facility had no legal excuse for their failure to act.
A medical professional who fails to do something which they are legally required to do is liable for damage caused by their omission. This rule applies even though the professional believes that they were acting properly. An exception may be if the doctor had an illness or another reason beyond their control.
Conversely, if the doctor could have complied with their legal obligations but failed to do so through their fault, our legal team will ensure they bear responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
Recovering Damages for Medical Malpractice
To recover damages for medical malpractice, you must prove the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in producing your injuries. It is not enough for you to show that the defendant’s negligence might have been a contributing cause to your injury.
However, suppose the court finds that the defendant was negligent and their substandard care directly caused your injuries. In that case, the court will decide on the amount of money you need to reasonably compensate you for your injuries.
In addition, the law does not allow recovery for speculation or conjecture. The court’s decision regarding damages cannot be based on guesswork or speculation. You, as the plaintiff, bear the burden of proving damages with reasonable certainty.
Compensation for Your Medical Malpractice Injuries
When you hire our firm, you can rest assured knowing that you are working with skilled legal professionals who understand the complexities of medical malpractice law.
We know how difficult it can be to deal with insurance companies and large corporations. That’s why we offer a no-fee guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about paying attorney fees until after we win your case.
When you suffer a loss because of another’s negligence, you should receive fair compensation for:
- Emotional distress
- Spousal support
- Reimbursement for future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Medical bills and other expenses related to your injury
- Future medical costs
- Attorney fees
- Child support
We Carefully Review All Medical Records to Evaluate Your Case
Medical malpractice claims often involve complex issues such as causation, liability, and damages. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to analyze your medical records and identify key evidence for your claim.
Evidence could include hospital charts, X-rays, lab results, physician notes, and emergency room reports. It’s important to gather this information because it shows what happened during your treatment and helps prove whether the doctor or healthcare facility was at fault.
Medical malpractice lawsuits require expert witnesses who can testify about the standard of care required by doctors and hospitals. Our attorneys also work with experts to ensure that their testimony is accurate and reliable.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Medical malpractice cases involve a doctor/patient relationship and often require expert testimony to prove negligence. If you believe you have been harmed due to negligent care, several steps are involved in pursuing compensation from your physician.
- First, you must file a claim against the health professional and their insurance provider.
- Second, you must hire a lawyer to represent you in court.
- Third, you must find experts who can testify about what happened during your surgery and how it relates to your injuries.
- Fourth, you must gather evidence to support your case.
Did You Suffer Harm?
Most people who suffer serious injuries go straight to a doctor or hospital after an accident. But even if you don’t have health insurance, there are still many options for covering the costs of your medical care.
A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through the process of recovering compensation for your injury. They can advise you about what types of claims you might pursue against the responsible party, such as whether to file a product liability claim or a negligence lawsuit.
If you decide to sue, hiring a lawyer experienced in handling personal injury cases is important. Many lawyers only specialize in one area of law, like car accidents, slip-and-fall incidents, or motorcycle crashes.
Simon & Simon, PC Will Fight to Get You Maximum Compensation
If you, or someone you know, have been injured due to a mistake made by a medical professional, it is crucial to contact us as soon as possible. Trust our team of medical malpractice attorneys for compassionate legal representation.
When you hire Simon & Simon, PC, you’re hiring personal injury lawyers who will fight aggressively to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses. We know that getting justice requires hard work and dedication. That’s exactly what we do every day. Call or contact us online today.
Need A Full-Service Personal Injury Law Firm?GoSimon.