Bethlehem Medical Malpractice Lawyers
As a patient, you are put in a naturally vulnerable position when you receive any form of medical care — from a diagnostic assessment to surgical treatment, and everything in-between. Patients rely on their medical professionals to adhere to certain standards and provide quality care. When medical professionals in Bethlehem or any other city in Pennsylvania fail in their duties, they risk causing further injuries, and even death.
Pennsylvania law entitles those who are injured due to medical malpractice to obtain compensation. Medical malpractice claims are not easy, however, and are rarely straightforward.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
It’s important to understand that not all mistakes made by medical professionals constitute medical malpractice. The law is designed to allow for mistakes, within reason — medical professionals in Bethlehem and elsewhere are not privy to perfect information, of course, and many decisions made in the diagnostic and treatment contexts are subject to a baseline level of uncertainty.
Still, medical professionals must adhere to a “standard of care” when treating patients. The standard of care is not a universal standard. The acceptable standard of care varies depending on a number of factors, such as the specialization of the medical professional, the particular illness, injury, or prior medical history of the plaintiff, and the geographic location, among other things. For example, the diagnostic standard of care that applies to a generalist doctor in a rural area will likely be lower than the diagnostic standard of care for a radiologist in Philadelphia who is taking a look at your scans.
Whenever a medical professional is acting in their professional capacity, they must exercise reasonable care given the circumstances (and the aforementioned standards). Failure to do so will constitute medical negligence, and may open them up to medical malpractice claims.
Damages for Medical Malpractice
In the context of medical malpractice, you can claim any damages that you suffered as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of a treating medical professional. Fortunately, the state of Pennsylvania — unlike many other states — does not impose any economic or non-economic damage caps on medical malpractice recovery. This not only increases the potential ceiling for recovery, but also raises the floor for settlement negotiations, which creates a substantially more favorable environment for medical malpractice claimants overall.
Economic and non-economic damages available to medical malpractice claimants in Bethlehem and elsewhere throughout the state include, but are not necessarily limited, to:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses (for new injuries or exacerbated injuries suffered as a result of the purported medical malpractice)
- Wage loss
- Loss of future earning capacity
In some cases, you the court may consider an award of punitive damages. Punitive damages are rather uncommon, but are sometimes awarded in cases where the conduct of the defendant is particularly egregious — fundamentally, punitive damages are meant to “punish” the defendant for their conduct and discourage others in society from such behavior. Punitive damages are awarded based on the existing compensatory damages amount. Pennsylvania limits the total punitive damages award to three times the compensatory damages. For example, if you are entitled to recover $200,000 for your various losses, the punitive damages award could run as high as $600,000.
Speak With Experienced Bethlehem Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
Medical malpractice claims are some of the most difficult injury claims to litigate, for a number of reasons — as such, it’s important that you work with attorneys who have a track record of success in litigating medical malpractice claims, specifically. The unique complexities and difficulties associated with medical malpractice claims can capsize well-meaning attorneys who have little experience navigating the muddy waters of medical malpractice litigation. If you’re serious about recovering for your medical malpractice claim, you should consult with one of the specialized Bethlehem medical malpractice lawyers here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC. Our attorneys are equipped to handle your medical malpractice claims, and have the case results to prove it.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries due to the negligent acts of a medical professional, you may be entitled to compensation pursuant to Pennsylvania law. Call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, at (888) 777-7098 for a free consultation with a skilled medical malpractice attorney today.