We always expect the best from medical professionals, as they’re the only ones equipped with the knowledge to treat underlying problems and chronic illnesses. While it’s true that a doctor’s job is to improve our quality of life and allow us to perform in the best way possible, you shouldn’t forget that they’re not perfect. It’s always possible for them to act negligently.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to understand if complications were an expected consequence of your treatment or if you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that can guide you through this legal process. Be prepared for your case as you seek out a lawyer.
What is medical malpractice?
The legal term medical malpractice refers to the negligent treatment received by medical providers which fall below the accepted standard of care that a professional with a similar background would have respected in a similar situation. This can result in misdiagnosis and medication errors and will have long-term consequences for the victim’s health.
When is the best time to seek compensation?
When you’re dealing with cases involving personal injury, it’s recommended to file a claim as soon as possible. Waiting too long can make it harder to obtain evidence, and statements from witnesses will considerably lose value. Hospitals and insurance companies could also blame your symptoms on your inactions in an attempt to diminish your compensation.
It’s also important to remember that legally, you don’t have an unlimited amount of time. In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date the malpractice was discovered, or a patient passed away because of complications that were a direct result of negligence. Working with an attorney can help you build a strong claim while taking time constraints into consideration.
What damages can I recover?
As a victim of medical malpractice, you’ll be awarded both economic and non-economic damages for a successful claim. Economic damages include all expenses that can be quantified, like your medical bills, transportation costs, lost wages (if your injuries stop you from going back to work), and future medical equipment you may need to improve your well-being.
Non-economic damages are vastly different, as they don’t have a specific value, and include different elements like your pain and suffering, emotional traumas, and loss of enjoyment of life. If a loved one passed away because of medical malpractice, your compensation will also include compensation for the emotional suffering you experienced.
In rare instances, it’s also possible to recover punitive damages if healthcare professionals acted with malicious intent or extreme recklessness. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and prevent similar accidents in the future.
Do medical malpractice cases go to trial?
The majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court. While claims involving medical malpractice are notoriously difficult to prove, the presence of a qualified attorney can help you obtain the evidence needed for a positive and quick resolution without resorting to a trial, which is necessary only when insurance companies ignore evidence or keep trying to lowball you.
Even if this scenario takes place, you have no reason to be scared. If you choose to have an experienced malpractice lawyer by your side, you can rest easy knowing you have strong representation ready to help you get compensated. They will speak on your behalf and present your version of the facts in the most convincing way possible.
Do I need to consult with a lawyer?
Self-representation in medical malpractice cases can quickly go wrong. These cases require a significant amount of knowledge and experience. For example, you’ll need to interpret medical documentation while consulting with experts that can testify on your behalf and demonstrate how your injuries can be linked to a professional’s negligence.
Calculating the exact value of your claim can be complicated without extensive knowledge of the law, and letting defendants and adjusters make decisions about your financial future can be troublesome in the long run, as their proposals won’t take into consideration all your needs. An attorney can guide you through the right steps after examining your chances of winning.
Speak with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Pennsylvania Today
Medical errors can negatively impact your life in more ways than one, and when negligence is the culprit, they can be devastating. Seeking compensation can help you achieve peace of mind and find the stability you need to regain control of your life.
Connecting with a trusted medical malpractice lawyer that can take care of the claims process while you focus on your recovery is your best option. At Baratta Law, LLC, we’ll do anything to provide you with the best compensation possible. To get started immediately, give our office a call at 215-914-8132 or fill out the contact form below for a free case analysis.