According to the American Medical Association, more than a third of all doctors have had a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against them. The top five most common medical malpractice claims filed against healthcare professionals are as follows:

MISDIAGNOSIS AND DELAYED DIAGNOSIS

Misdiagnosis 

Healthcare providers often misdiagnose patients, which could lead to serious injury or death. One area of misdiagnosis that has gotten press lately is doctors’ frequent misdiagnosis of heart attacks in women. Because women experiencing heart attacks have symptoms that differ from men’s heart attack symptoms, doctors fail to recognize that a heart attack is indeed what the woman is suffering from. While men may often experience chest pain or numbness in their left arms when having a heart attack, women may experience nausea, stomach pain, or dizziness. Poorly-informed doctors misdiagnose women with menstrual cramps or indigestion rather than treating them urgently for the heart attacks they’re experiencing.

Delayed Diagnosis

There are many medical conditions that require prompt intervention by healthcare professionals. For example, a stroke is when blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced. This is an urgent medical issue and requires a timely diagnosis. When the healthcare professional recognizes the signs of stroke and acts quickly, they can help restore blood flow to the brain. Failure to do so will lead to oxygen deprivation in the brain, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death. If a healthcare professional delays diagnosis of stroke and/or fails to act urgently, thereby delaying or withholding lifesaving treatment and disability-preventing treatment, they could be held liable for medical malpractice.

Misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses can result in serious injury or death and, in those cases, the patient or their loved ones should consult a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney immediately.

SURGICAL ERRORS 

Surgeons are responsible for doing exactly what they stipulate to and nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps they damage a nerve, operate on the wrong body part, leave a piece of surgical equipment (eg, gauze or scalpel) inside the body cavity, or they damage an organ. All of these mistakes support a medical malpractice action, as does any negligence by the anesthesiologist in the administration of the anesthesia. Your medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia can evaluate the actions and inactions of the surgical team who rendered you care and determine whether they committed medical malpractice. 

PRESCRIPTION DRUG ERRORS

While prescription drugs can promote healing, ease pain, calm nerves, balance out blood levels, lower dangerous cholesterol, regulate heart functions, etc., they can also cause serious harm and even death, if not prescribed appropriately. Prescription drug errors include prescribing the wrong medication, prescribing the wrong dosage of medication, failure to warn a patient of serious side effects, and not taking into account the patient’s medical history and current drug use. Your Scranton medical malpractice lawyer can help determine whether your doctor made an error while prescribing drugs. 

FAILURE TO PROPERLY TREAT

A doctor commits medical negligence when they fail to provide the appropriate treatment to their patient. Perhaps the doctor fails to administer emergency care to a patient suffering from a stroke. Perhaps the doctor ignores certain symptoms and orders the wrong kind of surgery for the patient. Perhaps the doctor misreads an x-ray. In all of these cases, the healthcare provider failed to properly treat their patient. Contact your medical malpractice attorney in Pennsylvania if you suspect your doctor committed medical negligence during their treatment of you. 

BIRTH INJURIES

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about seven in 1,000 children will suffer from a birth injury. A birth injury refers to damage caused to a baby shortly before, during, or after their birth. Birth injuries can result in permanent damage to the baby that will last into childhood and adulthood. Common birth injuries include bone fracture, cerebral palsy, brachial plexus, vacuum extraction complications, brain damage, and encephalopathy. Your Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer can help evaluate whether your child’s birth injuries are related to a healthcare provider’s negligence or medical malpractice.

The above are the most common and frequent claims of medical malpractice. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at VSCP Law – www.vscplaw.com

When you go to the doctor for a medical issue, you don’t expect to feel worse after. And you certainly don’t expect to suffer an injury from the doctor’s care. When a doctor – or any healthcare professional – fails to treat their patient with competent care, that failure is called medical negligence or medical malpractice. And if that incompetent treatment causes the patient to suffer an injury, the patient likely has a viable medical malpractice claim, for which the patient and possibly their family may be compensated.

In order to prove your medical malpractice claim, your medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia will have to prove the following four essential elements:

DUTY

A professional duty is the first element in a medical malpractice claim in Philadelphia. This means that the medical malpractice attorney has to establish that there was a doctor/patient (or healthcare staff/patient) relationship. You can ask: was this healthcare provider charged with taking care of the patient? If the answer is yes, then duty has been established.

BREACH OF DUTY

The next element in your medical malpractice claim is breach of duty. Once you’ve proven that the healthcare professional had a duty to care for the patient, your attorney must next prove that the healthcare professional breached that duty. In other words, you have to prove that they failed to provide the standard of care expected of them. An example of breach of duty is when a surgeon leaves a surgical tool inside your body during surgery. Surgeons are expected to remove all surgical tools used during surgery from the body cavity. If they fail to do so, they have breached the duty they owed to their patient.

Other examples of breach of duty include:

In all of the above instances, the healthcare professional had a duty to protect the patient and failed to meet that duty — or breached that duty.

CAUSATION

The next element your Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney must prove is causation. If you can establish that your injury would not have occurred if it weren’t for the defendants’ actions or inactions, then you have proved causation. In other words, in order for the medical malpractice claim to be successful, your attorney must prove that the healthcare provider’s mistake – their negligence – led to your injuries and/or increased your risk of harm of sustaining your injuries. It’s not necessary to prove that the healthcare provider’s negligent actions were the only cause of your injuries. It’s only necessary to prove that due the medical provider’s negligence increased the risk of harm to you.

DAMAGES

The last element your medical malpractice attorney must prove is damages. Your attorney will need to establish that as the result of your healthcare professional’s medical negligence, you suffered injuries. These injuries may be new injuries or they may be an old injury that has been aggravated or worsened due to the healthcare professional’s mistake.

If your medical malpractice attorney can prove the above four elements, your medical malpractice claim will have all the essential elements to move forward in a court of law.

If you believe you or a loved one has suffered an injury as the result of a healthcare professional’s mistake, contact the Scranton medical malpractice lawyers and Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at VSCP LAW at vscplaw.com.

In Pennsylvania, your medical malpractice attorney must prove four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Each one of these elements is explained in this blog post. This article will examine that third element, causation, in depth. The reason this particular element should be highlighted is that many attorneys get it wrong. The difference between an experienced medical malpractice attorney and an unexperienced medical malpractice attorney is often how well they have proved causation. Not surprisingly, this is also often the difference between a win or a loss in your medical malpractice claim. 

FACTUAL CAUSE

In order to win your case, your medical malpractice lawyer should prove that the medical malpractice injury would not have occurred without the defendants’ negligence. In other words, the defendants’ actions or inactions led to the medical malpractice damage. This is true even when the medical malpractice injury was unusual or unexpected. The courts call this “factual cause.”

What’s important about “factual cause” is that your medical malpractice attorney is not expected to prove that the defendants’ actions or omissions were the only cause of your injuries. Sometimes there are multiple causes of an injury that occur around the same time as the defendants’ negligence. That’s okay as long as the defendants’ own negligence is a factual cause of your injuries.

For instance, let’s say Dr. Negligence failed to read your chest x-rays properly and didn’t notice a cancerous tumor in your lungs. You continue to smoke cigarettes not knowing that by doing so, you’re worsening your condition. Months later, Dr. Proper reviews those x-rays, sees the cancerous tumor, and starts you on cancer treatment. Your cancer would have been much easier to fight and your chances of survival would have been much higher had Dr. Negligence read your x-rays properly. Both Dr. Negligence’s failure to read the x-rays and your continued smoking may have caused your cancer to worsen. And even though your cigarette smoking was a harmful cause of your worsening condition, Dr. Negligence’s failure to read the x-rays was a factual cause in your injuries as well. In other words, Dr. Negligence isn’t off the hook simply because there were other reasons for your injuries.

INCREASED RISK OF HARM

Your medical malpractice attorney, with the help of medical experts, will prove that the defendants’ actions or omissions increased the risk of harm to you. In the example above, your medical malpractice lawyer will have their experts testify that Dr. Negligence’s failure to properly read your x-rays has increased your risk of injury. Had Dr. Negligence read that chest x-ray correctly, your damages could have been avoided and/or your risk could have been minimized.

Of course, it’s rarely possible to demonstrate to an absolute certainty – no doubt whatsoever – what would have happened if Dr. Negligence wasn’t negligent. Your attorney just has to prove that if there was any significant possibility of avoiding your harm, Dr. Negligence destroyed that possibility by failing to read those chest x-rays properly.

If you find any of this confusing, you are not alone. This complex Pennsylvania rule is mastered only by the most experienced medical malpractice attorneys.

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys, with the help of their topnotch medical experts, understand Pennsylvania’s complex requirements for proving medical malpractice. To speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney and ensure the greatest likelihood of success in your complex medical malpractice claim, contact the attorneys at VSCP LAW (www.vscplaw.com).

If you believe your loved one died as the result of the actions or omissions of his or her health care providers at a hospital, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Read on to understand what steps you should take to sue a hospital who may be liable for your loved one’s death.

1) HIRE A LAWYER. 

The first thing you should do is find a medical malpractice attorney — or a wrongful death attorney who has experience trying medical malpractice cases. This lawyer will be able to make sure you abide by all the necessary regulations, such as the wrongful death statute and the wrongful death statute of limitations. When you meet with this lawyer, you must provide as much information as you can about the circumstances before, during, and after your loved one died. That will enable your lawyer to evaluate the viability of the claim – that is, whether the claim is likely to be successful in court.

You should find medical malpractice lawyers who will take your case on a contingency basis. That means that the attorney gets paid contingent on the case being successful (either winning a plaintiff’s verdict at trial or receiving a payment through a settlement agreement). In a contingent based case, you don’t pay any money to the attorney to try your wrongful death case. When the case resolves in a successful verdict or settlement, the attorney is paid a percentage of the verdict or settlement amount.

2) PRESERVE RECORDS

It is imperative that all necessary records are preserved and not inadvertently destroyed. There are certain actions that must be taken early in the process such as ordering an autopsy for the decedent (which needs to take place before burial, obviously). Toxicology reports may be ordered as well – toxicology measures the amounts and types of chemicals or drugs in the blood, saliva, and urine. 

Other examples of evidence that needs to be gathered in a timely fashion include medical records, intake forms, labwork, prescription slips, photographs and videos, death certificate, and physical objects that are related to the wrongful death (eg, prescription bottles, medical devices, etc).

Make sure you hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer so that they can guide you on how best to retain critical evidence, the addition or absence of which could determine the success (or failure) of your lawsuit.

3) IDENTIFY ALL RESPONSIBLE PARTIES 

Your wrongful death attorney will review all of the records and – with your help – identify all possible responsible parties. There may not be only one person whose negligence caused your loved one to die – there may be multiple people who all played a part in the tragedy. It might have been a nurse who handed the wrong tool to the surgeon. It may have been an assistant who was doing intakes in the medical office and wrote down the wrong information. It may have been the pharmacist who doled out the wrong dosage or potency of the medicine. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will know all of the parties involved and who should be added to the Complaint.  

4) SEEK EXPERT REVIEW

Your medical malpractice attorney has a collection of top-notch medical experts who can review the circumstances of the case and give an expert opinion as to the liability of the hospital and its staff. The expert has to be strategically selected – for instance, a cardiologist who has never operated on a patient should not give an expert opinion as to how to perform a quadruple bypass surgery. Your medical malpractice attorney will be able to find the perfect expert for your case. 

5) RESPOND TO YOUR LAWYER’S REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

Your lawyer will need information from you during the process. Be readily available for your lawyer so that the lawyer can gather the necessary information exactly as soon as possible. Your lawyer will do most of the hard work to make sure your lawsuit against the hospital is successful, but your lawyer certainly needs your cooperation to ensure the best possible outcome.

If you wish to sue a hospital for wrongful death due to medical malpractice, contact the premiere medical malpractice lawyers in Philadelphia – VSCP Law at vscplaw.com  – for a thorough evaluation of your claim.

Many people who suffer from a medical injury often wonder, “Do I have a medical malpractice lawsuit?” Read on to understand the basics of medical malpractice and what you should be on the lookout for if you think you may have a medical malpractice case.

WHAT IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?

Medical malpractice is a negligence claim in the context of medicine. This means that if you have been injured because of what a doctor, nurse, or any healthcare professional has done (or has not done, but should have), then you might have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. 

UNEXPECTED OUTCOMES

If you seek help from a healthcare professional to address a medical concern and after the treatment or procedure, you suffer from surprising outcomes, you may have a medical malpractice case.

For instance, let’s say you went to your doctor for a routine stent placement. The stent is intended to open up one of your arteries that was blocked. But when the doctor was inserting the stent, she punctured the artery, which caused internal bleeding or “hemorrhaging.” This hemorrhaging episode was an unexpected outcome of the stent procedure. Any time you suffer an injury after being treated by a healthcare professional, that unexpected outcome could be the basis of your medical malpractice lawsuit.

DELAYED DIAGNOSIS (OR FAILURE TO ACT URGENTLY)

There are many medical conditions that require prompt intervention by healthcare professionals. If you do not receive that prompt intervention, you could suffer catastrophic consequences.

For example, a stroke is when blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced. This is an urgent medical issue and requires a timely diagnosis. When the healthcare professional recognizes the signs of stroke and acts quickly, they can help restore blood flow to the brain. Failure to do so will lead to oxygen and nutrient deprivation in the brain, which can lead to brain damage, disability, and even death.

If a healthcare professional delays diagnosis of stroke and/or fails to act urgently, thereby delaying or withholding lifesaving treatment and disability-preventing treatment, they could be held liable for medical malpractice.

MISDIAGNOSIS

Healthcare providers often misdiagnose patients, which could lead to serious injury or death. Misdiagnoses could be based on misunderstandings of gender, race, or just a lack of necessary medical knowledge. 

One area of misdiagnosis that has gotten press lately is doctors’ frequent misdiagnosis of heart attacks in women. Because women experiencing heart attacks have symptoms that differ from men’s heart attack symptoms, doctors fail to recognize that a heart attack is indeed what the woman is suffering from. While men may often experience chest pain or numbness in their left arms when having a heart attack, women may experience nausea, stomach pain, or dizziness. Poorly-informed doctors misdiagnose women with menstrual cramps or indigestion rather than treating them urgently for the heart attacks they’re experiencing. 

Misdiagnoses can result in serious injury or death and, in those cases, the patient or their loved ones should consult a medical malpractice attorney immediately.

SURGICAL ERRORS 

Surgeons are responsible for doing exactly what they stipulate to and nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps they damage a nerve, operate on the wrong body part, leave a piece of surgical equipment (eg, gauze or scalpel) inside the body cavity, or they damage an organ. All of these mistakes support a medical malpractice action, as does any negligence by the anesthesiologist in the administration of the anesthesia.

If you believe you may have a medical malpractice cause of action, contact the medical malpractice lawyers at VSCP LAW (www.vscplaw.com).

If you believe you have been injured because of what a doctor has done (or has not done), then you might have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit and you should contact an attorney right away to discuss your options. But there are so many lawyers in Philadelphia and in the whole state of Pennsylvania, how do you decide whom to hire?

To start, you wouldn’t hire a math teacher to help your child learn how to play the piano. Just as there are specialists in education, so, too, are there specialists in law. Thus, for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania, you should hire a Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer. And not just anyone. You need to hire an experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney. Here’s why.

YOU WILL BE ABLE TO FILE THE LAWSUIT AND YOU’LL BE ABLE TO RETAIN CRUCIAL EVIDENCE

In every medical malpractice case, time is of the essence. If your Philadelphia, Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyer does not act efficiently and swiftly, critical information could be permanently lost or worse: You could lose the opportunity to file a lawsuit at all! You need to hire an experienced attorney who appreciates the time-sensitive nature of your medical malpractice claim.

         Statute of Limitations

Pennsylvania law allows you two years from when you knew or should have known that your injury was the result of the defendants’ medical mistake.

In the case of a deceased party, Pennsylvania law allows you two years from the official death date to file a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit.

In some exceptional cases, the plaintiff can show that the defendants “fraudulently concealed” their negligence (for instance, if they persuaded the plaintiff that their injury was not caused by their actions or inactions). In the case of fraudulent concealment, the plaintiff is granted 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.

         Retaining Critical Evidence 

An experienced medical malpractice attorney knows what actions must be taken early in the process such as ordering medical records including hospital intake forms, nurses’ logs, doctors’ notes, lab results, diagnostic orders and test results, etc.

Other examples of evidence that needs to be gathered in a timely fashion include witness statements, photographs and videos, and physical objects that are related to the medical malpractice claim such as prescription bottles and medical devices.

The presence or absence of these crucial forms of evidence could dictate whether your lawsuit is successful or not.

YOUR LIKELIHOOD OF SUCCESS IS INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY

Despite aggressive advertising to the contrary, many attorneys do not actually have experience working on Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases. Many law firms list “medical malpractice” on their websites because they want people to come to them with medical malpractice cases, but they don’t actually have any significant experience trying these types of complicated cases.

An experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney will have tried at least dozens of cases in an actual courtroom. Taking a case from the beginning stages to verdict involves multiple levels of work and effort. With each case, the Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney becomes more and more capable because they learn something new every time. And not only do you want an attorney who has tried many medical malpractice cases, but you want an attorney who has tried many medical malpractice cases successfully. So it’s not just experience, per se, that matters – success rate is important as well.

YOUR COMPLAINT WILL INCLUDE ALL NECESSARY CLAIMS FOR COMPENSATION

An experienced medical malpractice attorney evaluates the case with knowledge of all possible causes of action and claims for damages. For example, here are the various forms of compensation you can collect in a Pennsylvania medical malpractice case in the context of a birth injury. Also, there are special statutes in Pennsylvania that apply to certain cases. An experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney knows which statutes apply to your case and how to craft your claim in the way that puts you in the best position to win.

If you believe you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a medical error in Pennsylvania, contact VSCP Law at vscplaw.com.

 

 

 

 

When you go to the doctor to treat a medical issue, you don’t expect to feel worse after. And you certainly don’t expect to suffer an injury from the doctor’s care. When a doctor – or any healthcare professional – fails to treat their patient with competent care, that failure is called medical negligence or medical malpractice. And if that incompetent treatment causes the patient to suffer an injury or to die, the patient and/or their loved ones likely have a viable medical malpractice claim, for which the patient and/or their loved ones may be able to compensated under Pennsylvania law.

NECESSARY ELEMENTS TO PROVE YOUR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM IN PENNSYLVANIA

There are four main elements needed to prove a medical malpractice claim in Philadelphia and the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Read this blog post for a complete overview of each necessary element that your Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney has to prove.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS

The most common types of medical malpractice claims include delay in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, failure to act urgently, and surgical errors. Read this blog post for a description of each claim.

CATEGORIES OF COMPENSATION IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM

In a medical malpractice claim, your medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will fight to get you the highest compensation possible to help you regain your financial footing. Compensation is typically divided into “economic” (that is, quantifiable with documentation) or “non-economic” (that is, not quantifiable with documentation) damages. A third category, punitive damages, requires proof of malice and this is rarely applicable, although still possible, in medical malpractice claims. Economic damages include medical bills, pharmacy bills, and funeral costs. Non-economic damages include loss of the enjoyment of life, humiliation, and pain and suffering. For a more detailed overview of the categories of compensation, click here

WHAT ARE THE SPECIAL LAWS AND STATUTES THAT APPLY TO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

 *Statute of Limitations*

In the case of a surviving plaintiff, Pennsylvania law allows you two years from when you knew or should have known that your injury was the result of the defendants’ medical mistake.

In the case of a deceased party, Pennsylvania law allows you two years from the official death date to file a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit. This restriction is typically referred to as the wrongful death statute of limitations.  

In some exceptional cases, the plaintiff can show that the defendants “fraudulently concealed” their negligence (for instance, if they persuaded the plaintiff with false statements that their injury was not caused by their actions or inactions). In the case of fraudulent concealment, the plaintiff is granted 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.

 *MCARE Act*

The Pennsylvania Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund (“MCARE”) Act requires that healthcare providers carry a minimum of $500,000 in liability insurance coverage per lawsuit. This ensures that victims of medical negligence can be reasonably compensated for their injuries. As part of the MCARE Act, there’s a special fund that pays claims in excess of the $500,000 in required coverage.

By way of example, let’s assume your medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia files a lawsuit against the doctor who treated you and the hospital where you received the treatment. Each party (the doctor and the hospital) are statutorily required to carry primary insurance for $500,000. On top of that, the MCARE fund can provide an additional $500,000 in recovery per provider. Unfortunately, the process of filing claims and working under the MCARE Act is not very straightforward and requires a medical malpractice lawyer who has vast experience in working under the MCARE Act.

The attorneys at VSCP LAW have worked hard to recover substantial compensation for their clients under the MCARE Act. To learn more, contact them at www.vscplaw.com.

 

A recent Johns Hopkins study that analyzed medical death rate data over an eight-year period calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are due to medical mistakes, or “medical malpractice.” The types of medical treatment that resulted in the deaths of these patients varies exponentially. Read on to understand the most common types of cases a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer might handle.    

DELAY IN DIAGNOSIS

When someone presents to their doctor with a list of symptoms, the doctor should consider whether any of the symptoms indicate a medical problem that requires timely action. For instance, if a healthcare professional fails to recognize signs of stroke or for any reason delays treatment, the person could suffer otherwise preventable injuries. In other words, if a doctor acts quickly to treat the patient for stroke, the patient is likely to make a full recovery. But if the doctor delays in diagnosing (and therefore treating) the patient for stroke, the patient could suffer serious, life-altering, permanent injuries.

If a healthcare professional delays diagnosis of stroke or any other time sensitive medical event, thereby delaying or withholding lifesaving treatment and disability-preventing treatment, they could be held liable for medical malpractice.

MISDIAGNOSIS

Healthcare providers often misdiagnose patients, which could lead to serious injury or death. Misdiagnoses could be based on misunderstandings of gender, race, or just a lack of necessary medical knowledge.

One area of misdiagnosis that has gotten press lately is doctors’ frequent misdiagnosis of heart attacks in women. Because women experiencing heart attacks have symptoms that differ from men’s heart attack symptoms, doctors fail to recognize that a heart attack is indeed what the woman is suffering from. While men may often experience chest pain or numbness in their left arms when having a heart attack, women may experience nausea, stomach pain, or dizziness. Poorly-informed doctors misdiagnose women with menstrual cramps or indigestion rather than treating them urgently for the heart attacks they are experiencing.

Misdiagnoses can result in serious injury or death and, in those cases, the patient or their loved ones should consult a medical malpractice attorney immediately. 

FAILURE TO ACT URGENTLY

As discussed above, there are often cases where a doctor or hospital staff needs to act quickly in order to save the patient from serious illness, injury, or death. Strokes and heart attacks are obvious examples of the need to act urgently, but what about other medical events? For instance, if a radiology report picks up an aggressive tumor in the brain, the treating doctors should act urgently to schedule surgery or chemotherapy or radiation to get the patient the timely care they need. Or what if a patient presents with a bacterial infection? Failure to treat that infection with the proper antibiotics could result in serious illness, sepsis, or amputation. 

Your Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer will evaluate your medical records to determine whether the healthcare providers failed to act urgently.

SURGICAL ERRORS

Surgeons are responsible for doing exactly what they stipulate to and nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps they damage a nerve, operate on the wrong body part, leave a piece of surgical equipment (eg, sponge or scalpel) inside the body cavity, or they damage an organ. All of these mistakes support a medical malpractice action, as does any negligence by the anesthesiologist in the administration of the anesthesia.

If you believe a loved one has suffered injuries or has died as the result of medical negligence, you may have a medical malpractice cause of action. Learn what to do next from the lawyers at VSCP LAW (www.vscplaw.com).

Birth injury medical malpractice cases can be complicated. They require people with specialized knowledge in navigating the many moving parts of these complex cases. Birth injury cases involve medical experts, financial experts, life care planners, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, rehabilitation specialists and education experts, among other experts. 

Victims of birth injury medical malpractice and their families can rest assured that their attorneys at VSCP LAW work tirelessly to ensure that they are getting the highest possible compensation for their injuries. Some clients wonder how their Philadelphia birth injury lawyer does this. Read on to learn how VSCP LAW’s birth injury attorneys in Philadelphia work towards getting you compensated in your birth injury lawsuit.

SIGN A CONTINGENT FEE AGREEMENT

The Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at VSCP LAW can begin working on your case after you sign a Contingent Fee Agreement with them. In a Contingent Fee Agreement, you authorize the attorneys to work on your behalf to seek justice. The Agreement includes a contingent fee: when you win your case, the attorney gets a fixed percentage of payment from the amount that you are paid at the end of your lawsuit. Until that time of resolution, you don’t have to pay the lawyer at all despite the fact that your lawyers at VSCP LAW are working long hours, often for years, on your behalf.

THE LAWSUIT IS FILED

After you have authorized the birth injury lawyers at VSCP LAW to seek compensation on your behalf, they have to draft – and then file – a Complaint (or a statement of claims and damages) with the court on your behalf.

But before they draft this Complaint, according to Pennsylvania law, they must find a medical expert to review the medical records and form an opinion as to whether there was negligence involved in your child’s birth injury. This medical expert will then sign what is called a Certificate of Merit. A Certificate of Merit is an official statement from a medical expert that they have reviewed the relevant medical records and the expert has concluded that there is reason to believe that the defendants failed to meet the proper standard of care in treating their patient (your child). The statement also provides that the defendants’ failure to meet the proper standard of care resulted in your child’s injuries. 

This affirmation by counsel concerning the fact that a Certificate of Merit has been received must be filed in addition to the Complaint in the lawsuit.

DISCOVERY

Next, your lawyers must engage in a sometimes lengthy process called “discovery.” Discovery includes collecting and reviewing all medical records, doctors’ notes, hospital summaries, discharge instructions, etc. It also involves interviewing witnesses in what are called “depositions.” Both parties – that is, your lawyer and the lawyers on the other side – engage in this process, trying to collect as much information as possible to truly understand what happened before, during, and after the birth injury. They will also need to hire medical experts to serve as expert witnesses. These medical experts have to write reports to support your case. Your lawyers will review these reports and submit them to the other side as part of this information-gathering process.

TRIAL

After the discovery period has ended, the lawsuit goes to trial in a civil court. On TV and elsewhere, you may have seen a judge or lawyer state that they must prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That is the burden of proof in criminal cases.

But your birth injury case is different. Your birth injury case is tried in a civil (not criminal) court. And in a civil court, your birth injury attorneys need only prove their case beyond a “preponderance of the evidence.” This just means that they have to show that – more likely than not – the defendants’ negligence caused your child’s injuries. (Thankfully, this is a far easier burden of proof to meet than “beyond a reasonable doubt”!)

RESOLUTION

Your case will resolve with one of two outcomes: 

(1)  Settlement — At some point prior or during trial, the parties might agree to a settlement of your lawsuit. This occurs if you and the defendants come to a settlement amount that is satisfactory to both parties; or

(2)  Jury verdict – The case has been tried in full and concluded in front of the jury and they determine the defendants’ negligence and award a compensation amount, if the jury finds in your  favor.

In either of the successful scenarios – a mutually agreeable settlement or a jury award in your favor – you will be awarded compensation. Click here for an overview of the types of compensation you can receive.

If you are ready to have the birth injury attorneys at VSCP LAW fight to get you compensated for your child’s birth injury, contact them at www.vscplaw.com

When your child suffers from a birth injury, you and your family may suffer immense emotional and financial burdens. Filing a lawsuit against the medical team and establishment responsible for the injury can help you recover financially. Your birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia will fight to get you the highest compensation to help you regain your financial footing.

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. Non-economic damages are not quantifiable – they are more of a subjective assessment of the sad consequences of a birth injury. Read on for the list of categories of compensation that your Philadelphia birth injury attorney can win for you:

Categories of Compensation

ECONOMIC


Future earnings.

If your child’s birth injury will likely prevent your child from working in any meaningful and gainful employment for his/her entire life and therefore you may be able to collect compensation for the future earnings that your child can no longer earn.

Medical expenses.

This category of compensation is related to all of the bills from the hospital, doctors, physical therapist, pharmacy, and any other healthcare service or provider in the time leading up to, during, and after your child’s birth injury.

Burial/Funeral costs.

If your child’s birth injury led to their death, burial and funeral costs may be compensated.

 

NON-ECONOMIC


Loss of companionship, comfort, and society.

Sometimes referred to as “loss of consortium,” this describes the loss of the benefits of having someone in your life. For a parent of a child who suffered a birth injury, this may include the loss of the opportunity to witness certain milestones like walking, talking, riding a bike, and playing sports. Or the loss of emotional connection through words or hugs or facial expressions.

Loss of life’s pleasures.

Also referred to as “loss of enjoyment of life” or “loss of quality of life,” this category refers to the loss of typical experiences an able-bodied person may enjoy. Perhaps it’s tasting ice cream on a hot summer day or riding a scooter to the neighborhood playground or baking cookies with a grandparent.

Pain and suffering.

This category refers to the physical and emotional pain and suffering that someone undergoes as the result of the birth injury. Some pain is obvious because it’s accompanied by moans, groans, and/or winces; other pain is invisible because it’s experienced internally, but it is no less significant.

Humiliation/embarrassment.

In some birth injury cases, a child is left immobilized or physically disabled and that can result in feelings of embarrassment.

Disfigurement.

If your child suffers from disfigurement as the result of their birth injury, they can be compensated. Disfigurement could be the loss of a limb, scarring, misshapen body parts, etc.

It goes without saying that no amount of money will take away the pain a child and their family feels after a birth injury. But, with the right birth injury attorney in Philadelphia, you can at least rest assured that you will get the most compensation possible for your case.

If you believe your child has suffered a birth injury, contact VSCP LAW at www.vscplaw.com.