Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Philadelphia: Anatomy of a Winning Case

By VSCP LAW

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 case. Now what? How do you file a lawsuit? And how do you win the case?

ATTORNEY

A successful medical malpractice case in Philadelphia starts with an experienced Philadelphia medical negligence lawyer. There are some legal cases that people try to handle pro se – on one’s own behalf. While pro se litigation is generally ill-advised, it’s downright nonsensical in the case of a medical negligence lawsuit. You should not attempt to handle your own medical malpractice case. This is not the kind of case that can be done properly without an attorney. Pennsylvania medical malpractice law is highly specialized.

Below are additional elements of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. 

EVIDENCE COLLECTION AND PRESERVATION

Your attorney will review medical records, health summaries, hospital notes, lab results, and all other necessary paperwork to fully understand the actions (and sometimes inactions) of the health care staff who may have been responsible for the medical mistake. It takes an experienced attorney to know how to analyze piles and piles of medical records and which pieces of evidence are key to the success of the case.

Whether a medical malpractice case is a winning one can depend heavily (and sometimes exclusively) on the evidence. This is another reason you need to hire an attorney to try your medical negligence lawsuit. Your attorney will know which pieces of evidence are essential to your case and how to get them. Remember: a lot of the evidence you will need for your medical negligence case is in the possession of the defendants. In many cases, the defendants won’t initially give you every piece of evidence you are entitled to. Your medical negligence lawyer will ask for what you need to win the case and if the defendants fail to produce it, your medical negligence attorney will file a motion with the court to compel the defendants to produce it. Again, the evidence in a medical malpractice case is too important to overlook and only an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you get what you need when you need it.

STATUTORY REGULATIONS COMPLIANCE: THE WHEN AND THE WHERE OF FILING THE LAWSUIT

Pennsylvania medical malpractice law can be complex. There are several important statutes that must be followed in order to successfully file your lawsuit. For instance, 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 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. If you miss this crucial deadline, you may lose the right to file a lawsuit.

An important exception to the Pennsylvania statute of limitations is in cases of “fraudulent concealment.” This statute provides that if a plaintiff is persuaded or lulled by the defendant medical care providers that the cause of their injury was not actionable in court because they did nothing wrong and/or concealed relevant facts from the plaintiff, the plaintiff may argue that they have two years from the date of when they knew or should have known their injury was caused by the defendants to file a case.  The potential exception means that the plaintiff may have two years from the time they discovered (or should have discovered) that the defendant’s actions or omissions could likely have caused their injury.

As mentioned above, it’s complicated. Your medical malpractice attorney will have to figure out the best timing for filing the Complaint. In addition to the question of when to file the lawsuit, your attorney needs to figure out where to do so. Your medical malpractice attorney should spend considerable effort figuring out the best venue for your case. Several factors go into this analysis, including location of medical treatment, the location of defendants’ offices and practices, and whether the county is typically supportive of medical malpractice plaintiffs.

THE EXPERT SEARCH

Not only do you need a medical expert to help prove that medical negligence occurred in your case – you 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 gastrointestinal surgery, your medical malpractice attorney will likely discuss the case with an expert who is a gastrointestinal surgeon. Your experienced Philadelphia hospital malpractice lawyer has a vast database of the top experts across the country, hailing from various disciplines and practices. Hiring the right expert for your case is an important element in the anatomy of a winning medical negligence lawsuit.

THE COMPLAINT AND CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

Assuming the expert described above agrees that a medical error took place and caused your injuries, the expert will prepare a Certificate of Merit. Your Philadelphia medical negligence attorney will file a Complaint along with the Certificate of Merit in the court.

The Complaint will list all possible claims for medical injury compensation.

There are two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are quantifiable, 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 hospital malpractice 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.

THE RESOLUTION

Your case will resolve either in a medical malpractice settlement or it may go to trial.

The medical negligence trial might take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks, depending on how much evidence your lawyer needs to present to the jury. Either way, an experienced medical negligence attorney will help to ensure that you receive the most compensation possible for your medical malpractice claim.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia or Scranton will help you file (and win!) your medical malpractice lawsuit. Find one at VSCP Law.

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