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Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Philadelphia: A Complete Guide 2024 (reg website)

If your loved one died as the result of someone’s wrongful conduct, you may be able to sue that person in a wrongful death lawsuit in Philadelphia. A successful wrongful death lawsuit may conclude with a wrongful death settlement or a favorable jury verdict. But how do you get from the beginning stages of the wrongful death litigation to the resolution?

SET UP AN ESTATE

It is essential to know who represents the estate prior to filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
If your loved one died without a will, the court may appoint a personal representative called an “administrator.” An administrator of an estate may be a surviving spouse, other family member, or family friend. The administrator collects all the assets of the decedent, pays creditors, and distributes remaining assets to heirs or other beneficiaries.
If your loved one died with a will, the person appointed in the will as the “executor” has similar responsibilities to the administrator in that they must collect assets, make sure all debts and taxes are paid, and then distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with law and the will.

The other important function of an administrator or an executor is the ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

PURSUE AND PRESERVE CRITICAL EVIDENCE

How do you know what actions must be taken early in the process of your lawsuit with regard to critical evidence? Your wrongful death lawyer has handled countless cases and knows exactly what you need to do. One of the first essential steps is to order an autopsy on your deceased loved one if one is necessary. And when ordering the autopsy, an experienced wrongful death attorney knows whether to order toxicology along with the autopsy. Toxicology includes a search for chemicals or drugs in the blood, saliva, and urine. Obviously, this autopsy must be done prior to the burial or cremation so your wrongful death attorney will act swiftly to ensure that all necessary actions are taken before the decedent is buried.

Other examples of evidence that needs to be gathered in a timely fashion include police reports, witness statements, photographs and videos, death certificate, and physical objects that are related to the wrongful death. It is imperative that you help your lawyer gather these necessary pieces of information to the extent that you can. The presence or absence of this evidence will determine whether your wrongful death claim is successful or not.
HIRE THE RIGHT (AND BEST) EXPERTS
Your wrongful death case is likely complicated. It will require expert review and analysis. In a medical malpractice wrongful death case, for instance, your attorney will have to find a doctor that is trained in the same practice of medicine in which the defendant doctor practices. In other words, if your loved one died as the result of a medical error by a cardiac surgeon, your wrongful death lawyer will find you an expert in the field of cardiac surgery. Your experienced wrongful death attorney has access to experts across the country and they will ensure that the most qualified experts review your case and write a detailed expert report to bolster your claim in court.
FILE THE COMPLAINT, INCLUDING ALL NECESSARY CLAIMS
A wrongful death attorney evaluates the case with knowledge of all possible causes of action and claims for wrongful death damages. They know how to work with bereaved families to help them achieve a fair outcome for their wrongful death claim.
Your wrongful death lawyer will work with you to establish the extent of your damages and to make sure that the Complaint that they file contains all possible causes of actions and claims for damages so as to maximize the amount of compensation you receive in your wrongful death settlement.

THE COMPLAINT MUST BE FILED IN A TIMELY MANNER

Every state has its own wrongful death statute of limitations (which is the time period in which you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit). Under the Pennsylvania wrongful death statute, for instance, you have two years after the official death date to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Two years may seem like a long time, but your wrongful death attorney will need ample time to investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. They will need to order records such as medical records or employment records. They will need to talk with various individuals who were involved in or had substantial knowledge about the circumstances leading up to your loved one’s death. They will need to fully understand whether someone or multiple people are at fault for your loved one’s death. Thus, in order to comply with the wrongful death statute of limitations, you should contact a wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia as soon as possible after your loved one dies.
DISCOVERY AND TRIAL

After the Complaint is filed, there is a sometimes lengthy process called “discovery,” where the lawyers on both sides gather and exchange evidence. This is the period in which depositions (recordings of sworn testimony) are taken. After the discovery period has concluded, your wrongful death attorney prepares to go to trial.

The trial may take anywhere from one to four weeks, depending on how complicated the case is. Some trials can last longer than that. Sometimes, the case settles before or during trial. If the case doesn’t settle before the jury returns with their verdict, then it’s the verdict that determines the outcome of your wrongful death trial.

An experienced wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia can walk you through all the important steps. Find one now at VSCP Law.

Wrongful Death Attorney: Finding the Best Legal Representation

The success of your wrongful death lawsuit depends in large part on your wrongful death attorney. Wrongful death litigation is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for a lawyer who has little or no experience in handling a wrongful death claim. Indeed, it is only through a highly-experienced wrongful death lawyer that you will obtain the best compensation for negligence and wrongful death, whether that’s through a high jury verdict after a wrongful death trial or an agreed-upon amount as the result of a wrongful death settlement. Either way, it’s the seasoned wrongful death attorney who will help you in your wrongful death case.

But how can one find an experienced lawyer for their wrongful death case? What should one look for in their search for the best legal representation?

A seasoned wrongful death attorney will take on many essential roles in their advocacy for wrongful death victims. Here is just a sampling of the many roles your wrongful death lawyer takes on for you.

EVIDENCE GATHERER and INVESTIGATOR

In order to determine whether you have a valid wrongful death claim, your wrongful death lawyer must investigate the circumstances before, during, and after your loved one died. How do they best investigate the event? By gathering as much evidence as possible to prove your case. Examples of such evidence include: autopsy, toxicology lab reports, police reports, witness statements, photographs and videos, death certificate, and physical objects that are related to the wrongful death. The attorney also has to talk to you, other family members, and any possible witnesses. They often have to hire experts to help them investigate your claim.   

Let’s say your loved one died in a fatal vehicle accident in Philadelphia. Your wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia might go to the site of the accident – often with an expert – and document the physical conditions of the road, the surrounding streets, the traffic lights, etc. All of these environmental conditions could help determine liability in the accident. Your Philadelphia wrongful death attorney might also scour police reports, eyewitness accounts, emergency response team notes, and any related medical records. Wrongful death attorneys in Philadelphia will ensure that they understand all circumstances leading up to the fatal injury, and the circumstances that followed the fatal injury. This thorough investigation will ensure that there are no surprises at trial and they can build the strongest wrongful death case on behalf of your deceased loved one.

ANALYST

Once the attorney has collected a sufficient amount of evidence, they then have the difficult task of piecing all of these items together to establish that the defendants did something that they shouldn’t have done or that they did not do something that they should have done. They also need to establish that the defendants’ actions or failure to act caused your loved one’s death. The quality of this professional-level analysis is what leads to a successful (or unsuccessful!) outcome for your wrongful death case. An experienced wrongful death attorney is the best legal representative for you because they understand the factual and legal issues of a wrongful death case and will help you get the best compensation for the case.

CONSULTANT

Throughout your wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to make significant decisions that will affect the outcome of your case. The decisions might be related to who would be the best administrator or executive of your loved one’s estate; which family photos, videos, or personal items of your deceased loved one would be the best to show the jury; whether you should accept the first settlement offer from the defendants or stay the course and go to trial. Your wrongful death attorney can guide you and advise you so you can make the best possible decision at every turn.

REPRESENTATIVE

Insurance companies, hospitals, defendants’ lawyers – these are just some of the parties your wrongful death attorney will speak to on your behalf. Your attorney will represent your interests in these various important conversations that occur during the course of your lawsuit.

ADVOCATE

Your wrongful death attorney will be your zealous advocate throughout the case. During depositions, hearings, and trial; while filing motions; or while talking with defendants’ lawyers on the phone – before, during, and after your lawsuit, your attorney has your back. They will advocate for you so that you win the case and collect the greatest possible amount of wrongful death damages.

TEAMMATE

Your lawyer is on your side. They want to help you achieve justice and get compensated to the full extent of the law. They will help you and support you and encourage you. They will be accountable to you. And they will expect you to help out when you can (for instance, when they ask for information, you give it to them). Together, you and your wrongful death attorney can look forward to a successful outcome of your case.

LAWYER

This role may seem obvious, but it should not be overlooked because it’s one of the main reasons you sought help from a wrongful death attorney. Lawsuits cannot take place without specialized knowledge of the various laws in Pennsylvania, including the statute of limitations, the laws of intestacy, negligence, evidentiary rules, procedural requirements, and the wrongful death statute. That your attorney has a Juris Doctor degree is what separates them from literally anyone who doesn’t – your attorney is legally qualified to represent you in a court of law.

You could literally lose your right to file a lawsuit in the first place by failing to adhere to the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. Under the law, your Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney will have to file the lawsuit no later than two years from the date of death.    

Two years may seem like a long time, but your wrongful death lawyers in Pennsylvania will need ample time to investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. They will need to order records such as emergency room records or employment records. They will need to interview various individuals who were involved in or had substantial knowledge about the circumstances leading up to your loved one’s death. They will need to fully understand whether someone or multiple people are at fault for your loved one’s death. Thus, in order to comply with the wrongful death statute of limitations, you should contact a Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after your loved one dies.

An important exception to the Pennsylvania wrongful death statute is in cases of “fraudulent concealment.” This part of the statute can occur in the medical malpractice context. It provides that if a plaintiff is fraudulently persuaded or lulled by the defendant medical care providers that the cause of their loved one’s death was not actionable in court because they did nothing wrong and/or concealed relevant facts from the plaintiff, the plaintiff might argue that they have more than two years from the date of death. The plaintiff could have as much as two years from the time they discovered (or should have discovered) that the defendant’s actions or omissions could likely have caused their loved one’s death.

The following example may help illustrate why acting swiftly in the event of a loved one’s death is essential.

Let’s say that someone was in a fatal motor vehicle accident on January 1, 2024. Under the law, technically, the loved ones of the decedent could file the wrongful death claim by January 1,

  1. But it would be very unwise to wait until this date, which is the last legal moment to do so. What if, for example, it took six weeks to obtain an autopsy report and two weeks for the police report and then it took the lawyer two months to hear back from the only eyewitness who had been out of the country. Investigating the circumstances of the fatal accident could take several months. And if the investigation takes several months, then contacting the attorney near the day the statute of limitations expires won’t allow the attorney the necessary time to investigate. Therefore, you must contact the attorney as soon as you can, after your loved one dies.

And it’s not just the fact that attorneys need time to investigate the cause of the accident. It’s also that certain pieces of evidence need to be preserved as soon as possible. Examples of this kind of time-sensitive evidence includes: the vehicles that the decedent and the defendant were driving; photos and videos of the accident, which may be in the possession of eye witnesses, local businesses, or highway cameras; police reports; eye witness statements; and emergency room records.

Thus, if someone was killed in a fatal accident on a certain date, the family should not wait a significant amount of time after that to proceed. They should contact a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible so that the lawyer can begin the arduous tasks of collecting and preserving time-sensitive evidence as well as analyzing all of the evidence.

Find the best legal representative to take on your wrongful death case and do it now. To consult with a wrongful death attorney who will be your evidence gatherer, investigator, analyst, consultant, representative, and teammate — and who will zealously advocate for you – contact the attorneys at VSCP Law.

Medical Malpractice Lawyers: A Guide for Parents

A good parent spends considerable time and effort trying to make sure their child grows and develops academically, emotionally, mentally, and physically. A good parent will go to great lengths to protect their child from harm – in the earlier years, making sure they hold your hand when crossing the street to the later years, teaching them about the dangers of getting in the car with a drunk driver. And throughout childhood – from infancy to late adolescence – a good parent takes their child to the doctor for regular wellness visits and for the occasional sick visit. These are all ways a parent can help keep their child from harm. If you are a parent, you likely can think of other actions you take to ensure your child’s safety and wellbeing.

But what happens when a visit to the doctor ends up harming your child? What happens when your child’s doctor – or other healthcare professional – makes a mistake that ends up causing serious harm to your child?  

It is unimaginably difficult when your child suffers an injury at the hands of medical professionals. A parent had placed their trust in the medical professionals to care for and help the child and, instead, the child suffered an injury because of a medical mistake. A good professional to contact in this scenario is a medical malpractice lawyer (also referred to as a “medical negligence lawyer”). This lawyer can answer questions that you have, ease concerns, and guide you every step of the way. With a medical negligence lawyer’s assistance, you can be relieved of certain burdens so you can focus your attention on the care and wellbeing of your child. The following is a list of some of the steps a medical malpractice firm takes to help you with your birth injury case. 

GUIDING YOU IN ATTAINING THE PROPER CARE FOR YOUR CHILD

When your child suffers a serious injury, it’s common for you to be so overwhelmed that you don’t know what to do next. You don’t know how to deal with this massive injury that is afflicting your child. You don’t know whom to talk to, how to navigate various hospital systems, and how to obtain the appropriate medical care for your child. A medical negligence attorney can help by connecting you with the proper healthcare professionals who can provide thorough medical evaluations, early intervention, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other critical care.

PRESERVING YOUR RIGHTS TO FILE A CLAIM

In Pennsylvania, you can file a medical malpractice claim up to two years after the child turns 18 (i.e., up until their 20th birthday). But you should never wait that long to consult a law firm. If your child suffered a medical negligence injury, you need to contact a medical malpractice patient’s rights advocates as soon as possible to preserve your claims.

While your child’s case doesn’t expire until your child turns 20, your case expires two years after you knew or should have known that your child’s injury was someone’s fault.

Let’s say your four-year old child needed to have their enlarged tonsils removed and you took them to a hospital in Philadelphia for the procedure. The anesthesiologist in charge of your child’s sedation gave your child too much anesthesia and, as a result of the excessive anesthesia, your child suffered a seizure that led to brain damage. You should contact a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer immediately so you can understand how to preserve your Philadelphia medical malpractice claim. Legally, your child has until they’re 20 years old to file a medical malpractice case in Philadelphia against the Philadelphia hospital and medical team. But your case – as the parent of the harmed child – expires only two years after you knew or should have known that the anesthesiologist’s medical mistake caused your child’s brain damage.

Medical malpractice attorneys in Pennsylvania know the medical malpractice statute of limitations and contacting them as soon as possible ensures that you don’t lose your right to file your medical negligence lawsuit.

COLLECTING CRUCIAL EVIDENCE

Another way medical malpractice lawyers can help you is by collecting evidence that could be crucial to your medical injury lawsuit. Perhaps your baby was injured during labor at a Philadelphia hospital. A birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia would be the one to turn to. They can help you understand which several documents are necessary to prove your case. The medical terms may seem complicated and the medical records may be hard to understand. That’s why you need an experienced medical malpractice patients’ rights advocate to help you. They will review and digest all the necessary information that is essential to your child’s birth injury or medical negligence lawsuit. They will build a case that proves that the healthcare professionals’ actions or omissions caused your child’s injuries. This evidence will also help establish the extent of your child’s injuries, detailing every related issue, whether it’s physical or emotional.

NAVIGATING COMPLEX SYSTEMS

An experienced medical negligence law firm is obviously equipped to handle the complicated legal system with its various statutes, discovery schedules, motion practice, brief-writing, and depositions. They can also help navigate other complex systems that may arise. Whether it’s a large hospital system that refuses to give you medical records, for example, or the need to find a lifecare planner to help you figure out the costs of caring for your child over their lifetime, medical malpractice lawyers can help navigate these complicated systems.

OBTAINING MONEY DAMAGES

It goes without saying that no amount of money will take away the pain your child and your family feel after a medical mistake caused their injury. But, under our system of laws, an injured child and their aggrieved parent can collect compensation for the child’s injuries. Sometimes those injuries are related to temporary or permanent disabilities or incapacities in a broad range of contexts: emotional, developmental, behavioral, mental, and physical. And the parent can suffer too – in particular, emotional distress and, of course, the exorbitant costs of caring for the child in their post-injury condition. How could anyone possibly quantify all of the suffering of a child and parent? It’s not easy, but at least when you hire an experienced medical malpractice team, you can rest assured that you will get the most compensation possible for your case.

Bearing witness to your child’s suffering is extremely difficult for a parent. Let experienced medical malpractice attorneys ease some of your burden so you can shift your focus to loving and caring for your child. Find your medical malpractice support team at  VSCP Law.

 

Personal Injury Legal Protections: Know Your Rights 

If you or your loved one suffered injuries because of the negligent actions of another person or entity, you could file a personal injury lawsuit (also called a negligence lawsuit). But what is a personal injury lawsuit? What are your personal injury legal protections? Read on for personal injury law explained: what it is, and what you can expect.

Personal Injury Cases are Civil (not Criminal) Cases

Personal injury cases are civil cases. They are different from what you may have seen on

television when you’ve watched a courtroom drama for a homicide or criminal case, for instance. In criminal cases, a district attorney or a prosecutor will bring a criminal prosecution on behalf of the government against the defendant. And if the defendant is found to be guilty of the crime, they can be sent to prison and/or receive some other type of punishment. When a criminal defendant is sent to prison, our criminal justice system has two main objectives: to punish the defendant and to deter others from committing the same crime. That first objective – to punish the defendant – is the way we hold criminal defendants accountable for their actions.

In civil cases, we have a different judicial and trial system, but we have the same objectives: to hold the defendant accountable and to deter other potential future defendants from committing the same error. 

Specific Regulations, Rules, and Statutes

There are essential regulations, rules of law, and statutes that apply to your case. One such rule is the Statute of Limitations. Each state has its own Statute of Limitations so it will be important for your personal injury lawyer to have keen knowledge of the state’s law. If you fail to comply with your state’s Statute of Limitations, you will lose your legal right to file your personal

injury lawsuit. Not only will you lose your right to file your personal injury lawsuit, but you also forfeit your right to be compensated for your injuries and seek reimbursement of the costs of your injuries (such as medical bills and wage loss, discussed in more detail below).

Under Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations law, for instance, you have two years to file a lawsuit, starting from when you knew or should have known that your injury was the result of the defendant’s actions or negligent behavior.

To comply with this rule, the best time to contact a personal injury lawyer to evaluate the facts and file your lawsuit is as soon as possible. The earlier, the better. As soon as you are able after the injury occurs, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Civil Complaint, Including Claims for Personal Injury Damages

Your negligence attorney will also file a Complaint in the court. The Complaint will set forth the legal support for your injury case and list all possible claims. The Complaint’s averments (or, assertions) will vary, depending on what kind of personal injury lawsuit you are filing. Personal injury cases could involve, for instance, vehicle accidents, premises liability, sexual assault, workplace accidents, and medical malpractice. 

The Complaint will ask for compensation for your injuries, often claiming both economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are quantifiable – in other words, the exact figure can be established

with documentation. They include medical expenses, disability expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, and loss of future earnings.

Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the

sad consequences of a personal case. They include loss of quality of life, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, disfigurement, scarring, and emotional distress.  

If you’ve been injured, you have the right to file a civil cause of action for your injuries. You have the right to hold the defendant accountable for their actions. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you file (and win!) your personal injury lawsuit. Find one at VSCP Law.

 

Timeline for Birth Injury Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

A birth injury is often a tragic consequence of medical negligence in the childbirth setting. It can be heartbreaking for parents to witness their baby’s injury at the initial stages and then of course for years following the date the injury occurred.

If you are a parent whose child suffered a birth injury and you suspect a medical error caused the injury, time is of the essence. The timeline of everything that occurs immediately following the birth injury is extremely important. Failure to meet certain deadlines for birth injury lawsuits could mean that you lose your rights to file a birth injury lawsuit. 

The following are three important steps in the timeframe for birth injury claims that you need to take in the timeline and they all should happen in relatively quick succession.

Make Sure the Child is Getting the Medical and Rehabilitative Care They Need

An error that people often make is failing to get follow-up care for their injured baby. Whether it’s because the parent is overwhelmed and feeling stress – or whether it’s out of a distrust of doctors or inconvenience – some people just discontinue seeking medical treatment for their child after the baby’s medical injury. This is a huge mistake. The parent may seek a second opinion, they may change doctors, but they should not skip their baby’s critical follow-up care. Further, the parents should make sure to document and keep track of all out-of-pocket medical expenses. Medical expenses include hospital and specialist copays, pharmaceutical costs, rehabilitation expenses, and any and all purchases related to the medical and rehabilitative care of the child. Extensive follow-up care helps establish the baby’s future care needs for the birth injury case and, hopefully and most importantly, it also helps the child recover.

Contact a Lawyer

The person best equipped to help a parent file a successful birth injury case is an attorney who specializes in birth injury malpractice cases. The sooner the parent contacts this attorney, the more likely they will have a good outcome for their case. Time is of the essence as there is a statute of limitations, which is a law that requires a person to file a lawsuit within a certain time period or else the person will lose their right to sue. In Pennsylvania, they can file a birth injury claim up to two years after the child turns 18 (i.e., up until their 20th birthday). But the parent should never wait that long to consult a lawyer. If their baby suffered a birth injury, they need to contact birth injury advocates as soon as possible to preserve their claims. And while their child’s case doesn’t expire until the child turns 20, the parent’s case expires two years after they knew or should have known that their child’s birth injury was someone’s fault.

Collect and Preserve Evidence

It’s important that the parent maintain a detailed record of all medical reports, diagnoses, treatments, and conversations with healthcare professionals regarding their child’s birth injury. Fetal heart monitoring strips, medical records, intake forms, and lab slips are all examples of crucial pieces of evidence. This is another reason the step “contact a lawyer” is so essential: the birth injury lawyer can, as mentioned above, tell the parent what evidence is necessary and will review and digest all of the necessary information because it is essential to the birth injury lawsuit. The parent’s evidence is essential because it supports the argument that the healthcare professionals’ actions or omissions caused their child’s injuries. This evidence will also help establish the extent of the child’s injuries, detailing every related issue whether it’s physical or emotional.

If your child suffered a birth injury, it’s essential to contact an experienced lawyer promptly to help you navigate your time-sensitive birth injury claim. To find an experienced birth injury attorney, contact VSCP Law

 

When your loved one has died as the result of someone else’s actions (or inactions), you may be able to seek legal recourse in the death case. But wrongful death cases are complicated.  There are legal requirements related to filing an estate, the timing of your claim, and what damages you can claim. There are often complex medical records to review and understand. Here are some important legal actions your wrongful death attorney can take, which will help you win legal remedies for your wrongful death case.

 

FILE A TIMELY LAWSUIT

 

Under the Pennsylvania wrongful death statute, you have two years after the official death date to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This restriction is typically referred to as the wrongful death statute of limitations. 

Two years may seem like a long time, but your wrongful death attorney will need ample time to investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. They will need to order records such as medical records or employment records. They will need to talk with various individuals who were involved in or had substantial knowledge about the circumstances leading up to your loved one’s death. They will need to fully understand whether someone or multiple people are at fault for your loved one’s death.  

SET UP AN ESTATE

 

It is essential to know who represents the estate prior to filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

If your loved one died without a will, the court may appoint a personal representative called an “administrator.” An administrator of an estate may be a surviving spouse, other family member, or family friend. The administrator collects all the assets of the decedent, pays creditors, and distributes remaining assets to heirs or other beneficiaries.  

If your loved one died with a will, the person appointed in the will as the “executor” has similar responsibilities to the administrator in that they must collect assets, make sure all debts and taxes are paid, and then distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with law and the will.

 

The other important function of an administrator or an executor is the ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

 

Your wrongful death attorney in Philadelphia will help you figure out who should represent the estate.

 

PURSUE AND PRESERVE CRITICAL EVIDENCE

 

One of the first essential steps in pursuing and preserving evidence is to order an autopsy on the deceased. And when ordering the autopsy, your experienced wrongful death attorney knows whether to order toxicology along with the autopsy. Toxicology includes a search for chemicals or drugs in the blood, saliva, and urine. Obviously, this autopsy must be done prior to the burial or cremation so your attorney will act swiftly to ensure that all necessary actions are taken before the decedent is buried.

 

Other examples of evidence that needs to be gathered in a timely fashion include police reports, witness statements, photographs and videos, death certificate, and physical objects that are related to the wrongful death. It is imperative that you help your lawyer gather these necessary pieces of information to the extent that you can. The presence or absence of this evidence will determine whether your wrongful death lawsuit is successful or not.

HIRE THE RIGHT (AND BEST) EXPERTS

Your wrongful death case is likely complicated. It will require expert review and analysis. In a medical malpractice wrongful death case, for instance, your attorney will have to find a doctor that is trained in the same practice of medicine in which the defendant doctor practices. Your wrongful death attorney has access to the best experts in the country and they will ensure that the most qualified experts review your case and write an ironclad report to bolster your claim in court.

FILE THE COMPLAINT, INCLUDING ALL NECESSARY CLAIMS

A wrongful death attorney evaluates the case with knowledge of all possible causes of action and claims for wrongful death damages. They know how to work with bereaved families to help them achieve a fair outcome for their wrongful death claim. Your wrongful death lawyer understands how to maximize the value of your wrongful death lawsuit so you get all possible legal remedies for wrongful death. 

The above are a sampling of some important legal actions to take in cases of wrongful death. To talk with an experienced wrongful death attorney who will walk you through the essential steps, contact the lawyers at VSCP Law.

For birth injury cases in Medical and Rehabilitative Care Philadelphia, time is of the essence. The short answer to the question, “When should I seek legal assistance?” is as soon as possible. The long answer follows.

In a birth injury case, a common error that people make is not to do anything. That’s right. Inaction is a common response to the tragedy of a birth injury. It’s a natural human reaction to freeze when overwhelmed with panic or stress. But when a baby has suffered a birth injury, the parent must focus first on getting the child the care they need. Once they have the child’s initial care treatment, the parent should immediately contact a birth injury attorney in Philadelphia. That Philadelphia birth injury lawyer will guide the parent through the next steps, such as collecting and preserving evidence. 

Read on to learn more about all of these important steps, which need to happen in relatively quick succession.

Make Sure the Child is Getting the Medical and Rehabilitative Care They Need

As mentioned above, an error that people often make is failing to get follow-up care for their injured baby. Whether it’s because the parent is overwhelmed and feeling stress – or whether it’s out of a distrust of doctors or inconvenience – some people just discontinue seeking medical treatment for their child after the baby’s medical injury. This is a huge mistake. The parent may seek a second opinion, they may change doctors, but they should not skip their baby’s critical follow-up care. Further, the parents should make sure to document and keep track of all out-of-pocket medical expenses. Medical expenses include hospital and specialist co-pays, pharmaceutical costs, rehabilitation expenses, and any purchases related to the medical and rehabilitative care of the child. Extensive follow-up care helps establish the baby’s future care needs for the birth injury case and, hopefully, and most importantly, it also helps the child recover.

Contact a Lawyer

The person best equipped to help a parent file a successful birth injury case is an attorney specializing in malpractice cases. The sooner the parent contacts this attorney, the more likely they will have a good outcome for their case. Time is of the essence as there is a statute of limitations, which is a law that requires a person to file a lawsuit within a certain period, or else the person will lose their right to sue. In Pennsylvania, they can file a birth injury claim up to two years after the child turns 18 (i.e., up until their 20th birthday). But the parent should never wait that long to consult a lawyer. If their baby suffered a birth injury, they need to contact birth injury advocates as soon as possible to preserve their claims. And while their child’s case doesn’t expire until the child turns 20, the parent’s case expires two years after they knew or should have known that their child’s birth injury was someone’s fault. 

Collect and Preserve Evidence

The parent must maintain a detailed record of all medical reports, diagnoses, treatments, and conversations with healthcare professionals regarding their child’s birth injury. Fetal heart monitoring strips, medical records, intake forms, and lab slips are all examples of crucial pieces of evidence. This is another reason the first step (“contact a lawyer”) is so essential: the birth injury lawyer can, as mentioned above, tell the parent what evidence is necessary and will review and digest all of the necessary information because it is essential to the birth injury lawsuit. The parent’s evidence is essential because it supports the argument that the healthcare professional’s actions or omissions caused their child’s injuries. This evidence will also help establish the extent of the child’s injuries, detailing every related issue whether it’s physical or emotional.

If your child suffered a birth injury, it’s essential to contact an experienced birth injury lawyer promptly to help you through it all. To find an experienced birth injury attorney, contact VSCP Law.

It is every parent’s nightmare to consider their child suffering a serious injury. Children can be injured in a variety of contexts: a serious automobile accident, a medical error, a workplace injury, an assault, or a product defect. And when a child is injured, the parent will undoubtedly want to hold the wrongdoer accountable. The parent may also wish to be compensated for the child’s injuries, in particular, when there are considerable costs to pay for the medical and rehabilitative care for their child.

Personal injury lawyers in Philadelphia can assist you every step of the way, relieving you of certain burdens so you can focus your attention on the care and well-being of your child. Philadelphia negligence lawyers will also help you understand the important laws that apply to your rights as a parent. For instance, you have the right to bring a personal injury claim on behalf of your child, so long as your child is under the age of 18.

That may sound strange: a parent is always a parent to their child – why would the right to sue on their behalf change at the age of 18? As you may have guessed, the age matters because at the age of 18, the child becomes a legal adult and as a legal adult, the child will have the right to sue on their behalf.

So, age matters, and timing matters.

BRINGING A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM ON TIME

In Pennsylvania, you can file a personal injury claim up to two years after the child turns 18 (i.e., up until their 20th birthday). But you should never wait that long to consult a lawyer. If your child suffered an injury, you need to contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney as soon as possible to preserve your claims.

And while your child’s case doesn’t expire until your child turns 20, YOUR case expires two years after you knew or should have known that your child’s injury was someone’s fault. It is thus critical that you connect with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney as soon as you suspect your child was injured. 

It’s important to note, as mentioned above, that once your child turns 18 years old, they can sue on their behalf. But the same statute of limitations applies to their case. In other words, they have two years from the time they knew or should have known that their injury was the fault of someone else.

COLLECTING DAMAGES FOR YOUR CHILD’S PERSONAL INJURY CASE

In Pennsylvania, there are two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable, the exact figure can be established with documentation. Examples of economic damages include past and future medical expenses (often incredibly expensive), loss of future earnings, and lost wages (for parents who had to stop working to care for their injured child).

Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the sad consequences of a birth injury. Examples of non-economic damages include loss of companionship, loss of life’s pleasures, pain and suffering, humiliation and embarrassment, and disfigurement.

No amount of money will take away the pain a child and their family feel after their child gets injured. But, with an experienced personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, you can at least rest assured that you will get the most compensation possible for your case.

Learn more about the rights you have as a parent to file a personal injury claim on behalf of your child. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at VSCP Law today.

If you or your loved one has suffered injuries because of what a healthcare provider (like a doctor, nurse, surgeon, etc.) did, you may be able to sue them for Understanding Medical Malpractice in Philadelphia. In some cases, it’s not what the healthcare provider did that caused your injuries, but what your healthcare provider didn’t do. In both cases – whether it’s the action of the healthcare provider or the inaction of the healthcare provider – you have the right to sue them and be compensated for your injuries if there is merit to your case.

Medical Malpractice in Philadelphia cases are civil cases

Understanding Medical Malpractice in Philadelphia cases are civil cases. They are different from what you may have seen on television when you’ve watched a courtroom drama for a homicide or criminal case, for instance. In criminal cases, a district attorney or a prosecutor will bring a criminal prosecution on behalf of the government against the defendant. If the defendant is found to be guilty of the crime, they can be sent to prison and/or receive other punishment. When a criminal defendant is sent to prison, our criminal justice system has two main objectives: to punish the defendant and to deter others from committing the same crime. That first objective – to punish the defendant – is the way we hold criminal defendants accountable for their actions.

In civil cases, we have a different judicial and trial system, but we have the same objectives: to hold the defendant accountable and to deter other potential future defendants from committing the same error. In civil cases, generally, and in medical error cases, specifically, the person bringing the lawsuit is the person who was injured by the healthcare provider. If the person who was injured by the healthcare provider is deceased or incapacitated, a representative of the injured person can bring the lawsuit. The lawsuit has a higher likelihood of success when the injured person or their representative hires an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia to bring the lawsuit.

Hospital Malpractice Lawyer in Philadelphia

A medical or hospital malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia knows the essential rules of law that apply to your case. For instance, the timing of filing can determine whether your lawsuit can proceed or not. Under Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations law, you have two years to file a lawsuit, starting from when you knew or should have known that your injury was the result of the defendant’s medical mistake. In the case of a deceased party, current Pennsylvania law allows you two years from the official death date to file a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. If you miss this crucial deadline, you may lose the right to file a lawsuit.

Philadelphia Medical Negligence Attorney

Your Philadelphia medical negligence attorney will also file a Complaint along with the Certificate of Merit in the court. The Complaint will list the possible claims for medical injury compensation, including both economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are quantifiable – in other words, the exact figure can be established with documentation. They include lost wages, medical expenses, loss of future earnings, disability expenses, physical therapy, etc. Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the sad consequences of a medical malpractice case. They include loss of quality of life, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, disfigurement, scarring, and emotional distress.

Your medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia understands how to maximize the value of your medical negligence lawsuit. They will work with you to establish the extent of your damages and to make sure that the Complaint that they file contains all possible causes of actions and claims for damages. And they will ensure that you receive the most compensation possible for your medical malpractice claim.

If you’ve been injured, you have the right to file a civil cause of action for your injuries. You have the right to hold the defendant accountable for their actions. An experienced medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia will help you file (and hopefully win!) your medical malpractice lawsuit. Find one at VSCP Law.

There are birth injury medical malpractice cases. There are other medical malpractice cases. And then there are all the other lawsuits, like personal injury cases. What is the difference?  Read on to learn the important factors that distinguish one from another.

PERSONAL INJURY

Generally speaking, personal injury cases involve someone suffering an injury as the result of someone else’s negligent action or omission. An “injury” can be physical (eg, a broken leg), emotional (eg, depression), or reputational (eg, customers no longer come to your store because of your damaged reputation).

And while “injury” describes damages to your body or mind or heart or good name, actual “damages” is a broader and more conceptual term. You can have economic damages. These are quantifiable damages, such as lost wages (eg, you had to stop working for six months to recover from your injury so you lost six months of wages). Other obvious examples of economic damages are medical bills and co-pays, pharmaceutical costs, and drugstore purchases – all expenses you had to undergo to treat the injury caused by the defendant.

In addition to economic damages, you can collect non-economic damages. These are damages that are real, but not easily quantifiable. For instance, pain and suffering are non-economic damages. They are to compensate you for the inconvenience, the physical discomfort, and the emotional anguish you suffered following the injury. Other examples of non-economic damage include loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, and emotional distress. 

In addition to the injury in your personal injury lawsuit, you also must establish that the defendant was negligent. Negligence is, simply put, the failure to take appropriate care in doing something.

Sometimes it’s easier to understand this concept of negligence with concrete examples. In the context of a car accident, let’s say a truck driver drove through a red light and hit a car that was driving through the intersection when it had the green light. The truck driver was negligent because he didn’t take care to stop at the red light, as he should have. So, in that case, it was the truck driver’s action that caused the accident. 

But sometimes someone is negligent when they fail to act at all. The next example demonstrates this negligence by omission circumstance.

In the context of a slip and fall, perhaps a box of beads fell on the floor of an art store and the beads spilled all over the aisle and no one cleaned up the beads as they should have. A man was walking through the aisle, focusing on the paints on the shelves, and stepped right onto the beads. The beads caused his feet to slip and he fell hard on his back. The art store would be considered negligent for failing to sweep up the scattered beads. So, it was the art store’s failure to act – its omission – that caused the person’s injuries.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

How does medical malpractice differ from personal injury negligence? There’s one key difference: medical malpractice is when negligence occurs in the context of medical treatment. In other words, the wrongdoer is a healthcare provider, such as a doctor, nurse, hospital administrator, hospital staff member, or even the hospital itself – as a corporate entity. 

While the identity of the defendant is a key distinguishing factor between a standard personal injury case and a medical malpractice case, there are other very important distinctions:

Negligence Analysis

In a medical malpractice case, instead of asking whether the defendant simply failed to take care, the question is more about what the reasonable professional standard of care was for the defendant to follow. And to measure that, your medical malpractice attorney would have to hire a good expert to review the medical records and make that determination.

Need for Expert Testimony 

As stated, your medical malpractice attorney will need to hire a good expert to review your medical records and determine whether or not your healthcare provider was negligent, or failed to meet the standard of care. Not only do you need a medical expert to help prove that medical negligence occurred in your case – but you also need a medical expert who practices the same field of medicine as the healthcare professional who harmed you. For instance, if your injuries occurred during orthopedic surgery, your medical malpractice attorney will likely discuss the case with an expert who is an orthopedic surgeon.

Evidence

Typically, there are more medical records in a medical malpractice case compared to a standard personal injury case and the records are more complex. The question isn’t simply is the plaintiff injured, yes or no? The medical records are instead evaluated to determine both liability and injury. In other words, was the patient injured, and did a healthcare provider contribute to the cause of the patient’s injury? Thus, your attorney must help you collect and preserve all forms of evidence including blood work, radiology reports, medical records, prescription history, intake forms, discharge instructions, etc.

Collection of Evidence

The evidence in a medical malpractice case is often different from a standard personal injury case in that, in many cases, you’d have to get the evidence from the defendant. In other words, if your injury occurred in the hospital where the defendant was your doctor, you’d need your medical records to help determine whether there was medical malpractice. So, your medical malpractice attorney would have to ask the defendant to supply a good portion of the evidence. Naturally, this is not always easy, and often the defendant will not hand over all the essential evidence immediately. This is why you need to hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney who knows what to ask for and how to ask for it (and then, if necessary, how to file a motion to compel the defendant to produce it).

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the time you have to file a lawsuit. In a standard personal injury case, like, for instance, a car accident, this is two years from the date of the accident. In other words, the day you first encountered the defendant and were injured is the day the clock starts ticking, and you have two years to file a complaint. But, in medical malpractice cases, your injury might not occur the day you first encountered the defendant. You may be treating the defendant for days, weeks, months, or years before your injury occurs. Also, you are not required to file the lawsuit within two years until you know or should have known that your injury was the result of the defendant’s negligence. For instance, say you had abdominal surgery and were discharged from the hospital and felt fine. But within days, you start to become feverish and very ill. An x-ray determines that the abdominal surgeon accidentally left a surgical tool in your abdomen and it caused an infection. While the negligent act occurred the day of your surgery, the statute of limitations doesn’t begin to toll until the day you discover that the negligent act occurred. It’s a different timetable. 

BIRTH INJURY

Birth injury cases are similar to medical malpractice cases in that they occur in the context of a medical setting and the defendants are doctors, nurses, hospital staff, etc. They are also similar because they require expert review and testimony and complex review of medical records.

Birth injury cases, though, are arguably more complex than medical malpractice cases for the following reasons:

–Evidence. In birth injury cases, your birth injury lawyer needs to evaluate both the baby’s and the mother’s medical records. These include fetal heart monitoring strips, the mother’s blood pressure readings, the prenatal medical records, the delivery report, bloodwork, etc.

–Statute of Limitations. In birth injury cases, the parents have two years after the child turns eighteen to file the lawsuit. However, the parent’s right to file the lawsuit for a birth injury case is two years from the date of birth. This is the law in Pennsylvania. To make sure you don’t lose your right to sue, it is imperative to contact an experienced Pennsylvania birth injury attorney.

Because birth injury cases are more complex than run-of-the-mill personal injury cases and often more complicated than other types of medical malpractice cases, it is advisable to connect with a birth trauma lawyer in Pennsylvania who has the background and experience to help you navigate this highly specialized and complex area of law.

The experienced birth injury, neonatal, and cerebral palsy lawyers at VSCP Law can help.