When you trust your doctor with your life or the life of a loved one, it is heartbreaking to know that you, or your loved one, may have been injured because of negligence. That’s why, when you need help after being injured at the hands of a doctor or other healthcare provider, the lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck are here for you. When healthcare professionals cause injury to members of our Philadelphia and surrounding community, our medical malpractice attorneys fight for justice. When a local city worker underwent surgery to remove a tumor on his esophagus and his care team failed to notice obvious signs of infection, resulting in our client becoming paralyzed, our team fought to recover $4.5 million on his behalf. And when a delay in performing an MRI led to our client suffering a spinal cord injury that left her wheelchair-bound, our medical negligence lawyers secured a $14 million recovery. These are only some of the top results our firm has obtained on behalf of clients who negligent healthcare providers have harmed. We will fight hard to help you get the compensation you need and deserve if a negligent healthcare provider has harmed you or a loved one.
What are Common Examples of Medical Malpractice?
There are many forms of medical malpractice. Some of the most common include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Emergency room errors
- Prescription drug errors
- Surgical or procedural errors
- Childbirth injuries
What Qualifies for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Not all medical mistakes are grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. You may be able to prove that your doctor made an error in your treatment, but this alone is not enough for a case. To file a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you must prove that your case meets the test for at least one of the following types of cases:
To prevail on this type of malpractice claim, the patient must establish at least three elements:
- The violation of the “standard of care”
- Injury to the patient
- The failure to meet the standard of care was a factual cause of the patient’s injury.
Proof of the standard of care, i.e., proof of what a reasonable doctor would or would not have done under the circumstances, in most instances, must be established by the “expert testimony” of another physician.
Lack of Informed Consent
The issue of “informed consent” usually arises apart from, or parallel with, medical negligence. The doctor has a duty to make a reasonable disclosure of available choices on a proposed treatment option and the potential dangers of each choice. Failing to provide such disclosure creates a basis for a claim of lack of informed consent. The basis of this type of claim is that the patient would not have consented to treatment if they knew all of the risks of the treatment or all of the alternatives to the treatment.
Physicians may be held liable for the negligent acts of their employees, even though the doctor was not negligent. The law holds employers responsible for negligent acts committed by individuals who are actually acting or appearing to act on their behalf. Such liability can be imposed when the agent’s or employee’s negligent conduct occurs while acting within the scope of the agency or employment. For example, a doctor may be held liable for the negligence of a nurse committed while acting as the doctor’s employee or under the doctor’s instruction.
Injury to third parties
Generally, a doctor’s duty does not extend beyond the patient to a third party, who is not a patient. However, under certain limited circumstances, a duty to nonpatients can arise. For example, a person can suffer emotional distress as a witness to a doctor’s negligent conduct. For example, a mother can suffer emotional distress as a result of witnessing the medical abandonment of her child.
Once the doctor or other health care practitioner undertakes the responsibility of treating a patient, the physician has a duty to continue that treatment as long as immediately necessary unless they agree to terminate the relationship or the patient dismisses the physician. For the physician to withdraw from a patient’s care, the physician must give the patient due notice and ample opportunity to secure other medical attention.
Compensation and Benefits
Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases allow victims to recover compensation for the damages they suffered, which may include:
Current and future medical expenses
You may need additional medical treatment to correct the negligent healthcare provider’s mistakes. This may include the cost of surgeries, hospitalizations, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other medical expenses. This can also include medical expenses you anticipate incurring in the future. A medical malpractice lawyer can demand payment for appropriate treatment.
You may also be able to recover compensation for the wages and employment benefits you lost while you were recovering from your injuries. If the negligent healthcare provider’s actions have caused you to suffer permanent disability and you cannot return to your regular job, you may also be able to recover compensation for a reduced earning capacity.
Pain and suffering
You may be debilitated by devastating pain and suffering and faced with reduced quality of life due to the negligent healthcare provider’s mistakes. Although it is difficult to put a price tag on these damages, you can seek to recover compensation for them.
Loss of consortium
If you are married, our medical negligence attorneys can seek loss of consortium damages on behalf of your spouse for the loss of your love, support, comfort, and companionship stemming from the medical malpractice.
Why Do Medical Mistakes Occur?
Every medical malpractice case we take on is different. The people we represent have suffered life-changing injuries and devastating illnesses due to medical mistakes by healthcare professionals. Although the details and damages in each case are different, there are some common causes of medical errors. In fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that the eight most common causes of medical errors include:
- Communication problems. Communication, both oral and written, is of the utmost importance in a healthcare setting. When there is a breakdown in communication among doctors, nurses, staff, and patients, serious errors can result.
- Inadequate flow of information. Problems with the flow of information between departments or facilities can lead to serious issues such as prescription errors, lack of communication on test results, issues with transfer of care, and other problems.
- Human problems. Physicians, nurses, and all other hospital staff are expected to follow the proper standards of care, as well as policies and procedures that have been put in place. In some cases, individuals may not have the training or knowledge to perform the work that is required. Other times, proper protocols may be ignored or steps skipped, leading to catastrophic errors.
- Patient-related issues. These issues include inadequate assessment of a patient, problems with patient identification, failing to get consent from a patient, and lack of patient education.
- Organizational transfer of knowledge. When new employees or temporary workers enter a healthcare setting, there should be a system in place to ensure they are trained and educated so knowledge is properly transferred. When this transfer of knowledge does not occur, medical mistakes can be made.
- Staffing patterns and workflow. When a healthcare facility does not have adequate staffing or does not properly manage workflow, healthcare professionals are operating in an environment where mistakes are more likely to be made.
- Technical failures. There are instances where medical errors occur due to defects in medical equipment or problems with medical devices. When this happens, patients who suffer harm may have a right to pursue a claim against the device’s manufacturer.
- Inadequate policies. When healthcare facilities do not have adequate procedures and policies in place, there can be a breakdown of care that leads to debilitating medical mistakes for patients.
Winning Your Medical Malpractice Case
Proving a case for medical malpractice requires more than finding that a medical error was made. A bad result alone does not support a finding of malpractice. The main factors you need to prove to win your medical malpractice case are:
- That the medical care or treatment provided was below the acceptable standard of care.
- That the alleged negligence caused injury, harm, or death to the patient
- The patient suffered quantifiable harm because of medical malpractice, which can include pain and suffering, loss of income, medical expenses, or other economic harm.
It is necessary to prove all these factors to win your medical malpractice case. If a doctor made a mistake but it did not result in harm to the patient, then a case cannot be filed under the law. Or, if a patient suffered harm during a medical procedure but it was not caused by a medical error, then a medical malpractice case cannot be filed. Hospitals and doctors defend every facet of a case to defeat your claim, so it is essential that there is a legal and medical basis to prove every element.
“It was a difficult time for my wife and me, but you always assured us that you would do your best to make life more comfortable for us in the future—and YOU CAME THROUGH. …We really appreciate all the time and research you put into our case. …You are more than our lawyers—you are our friends. As a former Vietnam Vet and Marine, I say to you “Semper Fi”.”— Leo & Diane Leinheiser
“Hi Nancy, thank you so much for your work on our case, you and your entire team were amazing throughout the whole process between how empathetic and understanding you all were and I cannot even begin to express how much this settlement means for our family in terms of the financial security it will bring to my mom and sisters, as well as my own future. Thank you once again, and let me know if anything else is needed.”— Mihailo
“Dear Nancy, I would like take this opportunity to thank you for everything you did for my case, not only because it is your job, but because you are a person who cared about me and my situation. Although my body will never be the same, I received in return something that will help me, and my son’s life, be a little better. I found in you a caring person that I can trust, not only as a lawyer, but as a friend. Thank you so much Nancy!”— Guadalupe Alvarado
“Nancy, thank you so much for your constant caring, support and friendship. We truly appreciate everything you have done for us. You are such a treasure and we are blessed to have you in our life. Thank you.”— Fred & Ella (Peg) Hettinger
“Stewart and Brian, we feel as though a great weight has been lifted from our lives. During this process we got to meet two great lawyers and people who will forever be a part of our lives. This family thanks you again for giving us back our lives.”— Marvin Harris and Stephanie Jones
What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in Pennsylvania?
Generally, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years of the injury. However, there are exceptions, such as if the injury occurred to a minor. A minor can file a medical malpractice lawsuit up until their 20th birthday.
In addition, it is often the case in medical malpractice claims that the patient is unaware of the mistake until they suffer a new medical crisis or continue to experience symptoms after their initial medical procedure. In these cases, the lawsuit may be filed within two years after the discovery of the malpractice. However, in any event, the suit must still be brought within seven years of the negligent act.
Why Choose our Philadelphia law firm as your Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Your choice of an attorney is one of the most important decisions in this process. After a medical professional injures you or a loved one, you want to ensure that the legal professional you hire will advocate for you and fight for the justice you deserve. We know that you have your choice of medical malpractice attorney, but we encourage you to consider hiring us because we:
- Are equipped to handle the most complex cases – Medical malpractice cases are a specialized type of personal injury case. Our firm has the mindset, specialized skills, and substantial resources necessary to handle these complex cases.
- Consider the full impact of the medical mistake on your life – We look at the full picture to determine the real impact medical malpractice has had on your life. This approach allows us to recognize the full and fair compensation to demand in your case.
- Prepare to win from the start – We prepare every case from the outset as though it were going to trial. We have found this allows us to achieve top results in trial, as well as giving us significant bargaining power when entering into settlement negotiations with negligent healthcare providers and their insurers.
- Offer world-class legal representation – Our medical malpractice team has decades of experience litigating medical malpractice cases. Our top litigators have been recognized nationally for their vigorous client advocacy and outstanding results. We are listed in the S. News Best Law Firms, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. Our firm’s attorneys have received an AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, an honor bestowed upon lawyers ranked with the highest level of professional excellence for their legal expertise, communication skills, and ethical standards.
- Have a track record of success – Our approach has led to a proven track record of outstanding results for our clients. Our medical malpractice case results include multimillion-dollar wins for our clients.
- Dedicate our own resources – In addition to not paying us any attorney fees until we have recovered compensation on your behalf, we also dedicate our resources to cover the substantial costs of litigating your case. We want you to focus on your health, not on whether you can afford a lawsuit.
- Have a network of experts at our disposal – Because we have years of experience handling medical malpractice claims, we have an elite network of medical, economic, and life care planning experts we can turn to in order to support your case.
How Do We Help With Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex. These cases require skilled and experienced attorneys. Because of this, our attorneys are with you every step of the way.
- Review your information for claim eligibility.
- Determine the value of your claim.
- Collect additional evidence if needed.
- Determine liable parties.
- Ensure you understand your options and legal rights moving forward.
- Handle all procedures and technicalities the court requires.
You can also expect our attorneys to
- Ask the right questions
- Be knowledgeable in both law and medicine.
- Expertly review your medical records.
- Have the connections to the right experts.
- Know what to expect from the doctor’s lawyers.
Contact Us as your local Medical Malpractice Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Our medical malpractice lawyers consult with experts in a wide range of medical fields to prove compelling cases. We thoroughly prepare every medical malpractice case as if it is going to trial. This approach has helped us achieve a record of success in obtaining favorable results for our clients, whether their cases go to trial or settle out of court.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to negligent medical treatment, we are here to help. Contact our law firm today to speak with a knowledgeable Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney. We offer free initial consultations and always handle cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you will not have to pay us unless we get results.