Medicine is not an exact science, and not all injuries are the result of negligence. But only an experienced medical malpractice attorney will be able to tell the difference. Sometimes a physician wants to admit their error and do the right thing, but the decision falls to their insurance company. After all, a malpractice claim is almost always paid for by the physician’s medical malpractice insurance policy, not their personal assets. Similarly, many hospitals will refuse to do the right thing where a patient has been injured by their hospital staff, because the payment either comes from their own insurance policies or would be paid for out of their corporate profits. You need a tough medical malpractice attorney to represent you every step of the way.
Medical malpractice cases are handled on a contingent fee basis. That means you do not pay an attorney an hourly rate; they get a percentage of any ultimate recovery by way of settlement or jury verdict. The attorney pays for all costs up front and is paid back for them only if there is a recovery. If there is no recovery, you are not responsible for paying the attorney back a single cent. Be careful of law firms that expect you to pay litigation costs; they can add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
There are two primary categories of medical malpractice: errors of commission (a negligent act) and omission (failure to act). Many injuries are caused by a physician not paying attention, or too many physicians being involved in a patient’s care and everyone relying on someone else to be in charge. Only an experienced medical malpractice attorney will have the ability to review your medical records and determine what happened and who is to blame.
There is a range of injuries for which you can recover if you have been injured. Some injuries are easy to put into black and white, such as medical bills and loss of income. Other recoverable injuries include pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of life’s pleasures.
The most devastating cases involve injuries relating to childbirth. In this day and age, many problems are easily preventable. Sadly, an injury caused by an obstetrician, midwife, or other medical provider can have lifelong effects.
Due to the aging baby boomer generation, nursing homes have more residents than ever before. Cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect are, sadly, common. These are areas of medical malpractice that have special legal requirements, and necessitate an attorney experienced in the field.
IMPORTANT: Any personal injury claim is governed by the applicable Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania or any other jurisdiction where you choose to bring suit. The Statute of Limitations governs how much time you have to file a lawsuit after you knew or should have known you were injured. If you do not bring suit within the prescribed Statute of Limitations, your suit may be forevermore barred. Therefore, you will want to contact an attorney as soon as possible to make sure you don’t lose any rights to recovery.