Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The repetitive beeping of monitors, the hushed whispers of doctors and nurses, the uncertainty and confusion, the fraying patience, standing next to the bedside of an ailing loved one – these sensations represent the last situation you would ever want to experience. But if the worst does happen, you may have no other choice but to place absolute trust in the medical professionals working to treat someone you love.
Despite advanced technology and the best efforts of medical professionals, utter tragedy can occur during medical procedures. Sometimes, however, tragedy is not a result of chance, but can occur due to negligence or omission on the part of a medical professional or organization.
Learning that a loved one passed away because of an avoidable mistake can add even more pain in a time that is already full of grief. Similar feelings may arise if you or a loved one suffers a serious injury caused by a medical practitioner’s mistake. Most Americans do not expect doctors and nurses to make fatal mistakes. In fact, a 2019 study reported 90% of respondents expressing trust in doctors to do the right thing.
If and when a medical professional makes a mistake, however, it is imperative for you to protect your rights and the rights of your loved ones by educating yourself on medical malpractice. You may also need to seek out Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys who are familiar with the medical malpractice laws in Pennsylvania to stand up for your rights.
The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys defines medical malpractice as an event causing injury to a patient due to a negligent act or omission on the part of a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional. Claims of medical malpractice must meet three main criteria.
First, the event must involve a violation of the standard of care. This point refers to a set of accepted practices as standard approaches to medical procedures. So, the first criterion for a medical malpractice claim requires a medical professional to have gone outside the scope of acceptable treatment.
Second, a health care professional’s negligence must have caused the patient’s injury. This point means that an unwanted tragedy in itself does not qualify as medical malpractice. For instance, a cancer patient’s death only qualifies as medical malpractice if it was caused by a negligent action or lack of action – not just in the event itself.
Finally, the patient’s injury must have incurred significant damages. Sometimes, the costs of pursuing legal action may outweigh the potential benefits of said legal action.
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What Does Medical Malpractice Look Like?
Claims of medical malpractice can often fold under individual misconceptions of the term. Though no one wants a loved one to suffer permanent injury or death, not all cases involving injury or death qualify as medical malpractice. Again, medical malpractice must involve a case where a medical professional either did something unacceptable or failed to do something they should have.
Medical malpractice can manifest in a myriad of ways. Though this list is not exhaustive, medical malpractice often occurs in the following scenarios: diagnostic errors, surgical errors, treatment errors, medication errors, monitoring errors, and birth injuries.
Diagnostic errors can result in compounding problems, especially since treatment regimens follow a doctor’s diagnosis of a patient’s condition. If the doctor provided an incorrect diagnosis, a patient could undergo treatment or take medicine that, at best, does nothing to improve their health, and at worst, results in severe harm.
In other situations, surgeons can cause injury to patients by failing to remove tools or pieces from within a patient’s body or by making incorrect incisions. Regardless of the event, surgical errors can have serious repercussions for the patient.
Childbirth can make for stressful, high-pressure situations for everyone involved. Medical malpractice can occur, however, if the pressure gets to a medical professional, resulting in negligent action that causes injury to the baby or the mother.
No matter how it happens, injury as a result of medical malpractice can have lasting implications, not just for a patient’s body but the mind as well. If a medical malpractice injury causes significant mental, financial, or bodily damages, it is imperative you know your resources to help hold the right people accountable.
Can I Still Sue for Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice may not be the first thing that comes to mind in light of an unexpected tragedy. It may take time to realize something was not right, long after the actual event took place.
The Pennsylvania statute of limitations can be difficult to comprehend, especially for those inexperienced in law. In most cases, you can file a notice to sue even two years after the malpractice event. Just remember that your claim will fail to get off the ground if more than six years have passed since the event.
Evaluating the validity and significance of a medical malpractice claim isn’t always easy. If you need professional knowledge, our team of Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys at the J.P. Ward & Associates can help you determine if you have a case.
I Have a Valid Case. What Next?
Since medical malpractice can occur in various ways, carrying out legal action can vary from one case to another. If a hospital or a medical professional decides to fight your claim, the legal battle can drag on anywhere from two to four years – or more.
In other cases, medical malpractice suits can end with a settlement. This outcome involves both parties agreeing to end the case before going to trial, usually with financial compensation for the damages caused.
Settlements often emerge from negotiations among the involved parties of a malpractice case, so the actual financial compensation can vary from one case to another. You may not be able to receive any estimate of the settlement amount until such negotiations take place.
No amount of money can truly represent the pain and loss you experience from the injury or death of a loved one. Even so, our team of Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys stands ready to help you hold accountable those who failed in their medical duty. Contact us today for a consultation to evaluate your available options.