Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Malpractice Cases
Types of Personal Injury Litigation
- Medication or Prescription Errors
- Failure to Correctly Evaluate an X-Ray
- Blood Transfusion Errors
- Failure to Diagnose a Life-Threatening Condition
- Failure to Diagnose a Birth Injury of Fetal Condition
- Infections Related to Hospital Procedure
- Trauma Resulting in Cerebral Palsy
- Preventable Suicide
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Birth Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Failure to Diagnose Cerebral Palsy
- Failure to Diagnose Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Bone Cancer
- Failure to Diagnose Heart Attack
- Failure to Diagnose Pulmonary Embolism
- Failure to Diagnose Stroke-Stroke Misdiagnosis
- Hospital Negligence
- Post-Operative Complications
- Surgical Error
- Emergency Room Error
Have you undergone surgery and feel like your doctor is ignoring you when you tell them that something seems wrong? Have you been seeking treatment for an ailment but have not found any relief with what was prescribed by your doctor? Did you suffer a severe, adverse reaction from taking medication? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it is possible that you have been victimized by your healthcare provider. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or illness due to medical negligence or a medical error, then you may be entitled to compensation.
Who can be sued for medical malpractice?
Any healthcare provider that has met the following criteria can be sued for medical malpractice, regardless of what they practice:
- There existed an established provider-patient relationship;
- There was a breach of trust when the healthcare professional deviated from the standard level of care owed to the patient;
- There is a direct causal relationship between the healthcare professional’s conduct and the patient’s injury; and finally
- There was injury to the patient.
We have a reputation as Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyers that care and that get results. We know what is at stake for our clients; and we are relentless in our pursuit of justice.John Perkosky
Types of Medical Negligence
No two medical malpractice cases are the same. The following are some common types of medical malpractice, or medical negligence.
Delayed Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis
Some rare illnesses and cancers can be hard to pinpoint, but if your healthcare provider failed to diagnose the condition, failed to treat the condition, or if the condition was misdiagnosed, that provider may have been negligent. The question for us as medical malpractice attorneys becomes whether another doctor would have been able, in a reasonable amount of time, to properly identify and respond to the condition. In situations involving misdiagnosis, or a delay in diagnosis, the underlying illness or disease is allowed to continue to progress, ultimately causing harm to the patient. In both cases, patients are left feeling frustrated, ignored by their doctors, and afraid.
Negligence By Surgeons
Surgeons have many responsibilities. To begin with, they must receive consent from patients before operating on them, or the consent of their parents if they are minors. Because no doctor can guarantee an outcome for a patient, patients usually sign a waiver acknowledging the risk. But a competent surgeon doesn’t leave surgical materials or tools in patients, does follow up with proper care, uses sterile materials, and operates on the correct body part. There are emergency situations when a doctor has to make decisions for a patient without their consent but with the goal of saving their life, even if it means amputating a body part. Those aren’t the same as failures of doctors to provide the standard level of care for their patients.
A pharmaceutical company can be held liable if they fail to warn doctors of the harmful side effects of a drug, and if they also fail to notify consumers. The manufacturer of medical devices can also be held liable for making defective products that either caused harm or did not perform with the efficacy they claimed to have. Sometimes a medical professional can be held liable for prescribing the wrong medication or medical device, or an incorrect or fatal dosage.
What is a damages cap? Is there one for Pennsylvania?
In some states there are limits on how much a person can receive and compensation from a medical malpractice case, otherwise known as damages. In the state of Pennsylvania, there is no cap on how much a person can receive in economic and non-economic damages. However, there are limits on punitive damages, which are damages that are assessed as a punishment for outrageous and negligent behavior. In the state of Pennsylvania, punitive damages are capped at twice the amount of actual damages the patient suffered.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania?
There are time limits for filing a medical malpractice claim in every state. In the state of Pennsylvania, this time frame, known as the statute of limitations, is today two years after. The required elements for a medical malpractice lawsuit are:
- The patient was injured
- The injury was caused by a medical professional’s conduct
- There is a causal relationship between the healthcare provider’s conduct and the injury
For minors, however, they have up until 2 years after their 18th birthday to file a claim for an injury they suffered when they were young, or up until their 20th birthday.
Pennsylvania also subjects it’s medical malpractice lawsuits to a seven-year statute of repose. When a person has been injured they may not know right away, and that their healthcare provider is responsible for that injury. The statute of repose allows a person to report a medical professional’s conduct within seven years of the date the injury occurred. A medical malpractice lawyer in Pittsburgh can give you more information if you’re unsure whether or not you can still file your claim.
What is the “periodic payments rule”?
Because of the way the body works, you may still need medical treatment in the future related to your injuries. It may take years for someone to heal. Of course, it’s best to go ahead and file the claim so you don’t run out of time to file before the statute of limitations runs out. The periodic payments rule in Pennsylvania requires damages to be paid out in installments every year for medical expenses related to the injury not to total more than $100,000.
What happens in court?
A plaintiff has to prove in court that a particular negative and injurious outcome would not have resulted had it not been for the healthcare worker’s negligence. Medical malpractice cases often require expert witnesses to testify and provide their professional assessment or opinion. An expert witness is someone who is in authority in a specific field. In medical malpractice, they can be other doctors, pharmacists, dentists, surgeons, or even professors and researchers. The defendant is going to do everything he or she can to prove that they were not negligent. This is why you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney representing you in a Pittsburgh medical malpractice suit, or anywhere in Pennsylvania. Our aggressive attorneys at Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky have experience in proving fault in medical malpractice cases. Call us today.