Our Easton Medical Negligence Attorneys Will Help Establish Liability
In Pennsylvania — and elsewhere — patients may suffer medical injuries while being diagnosed, treated, or otherwise under the care of healthcare professionals, due in substantial part to the negligence of the treating professional(s). Most medical workers are consummate professionals, and do consistently provide (or attempt to provide) adequate healthcare services, given the circumstances. In some situations, however, healthcare professionals may fail to adhere to the standards required of a professional in their position, with their training and experience. If you are injured as a result of such negligence, Pennsylvania law may entitle you to compensation. Medical injuries are quite complicated to litigate. If you’re considering moving forward with a medical injury lawsuit, call (888) 777-7098 to connect with an Easton medical negligence attorneys here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, today.
Types of Medical Negligence Claims Our Firm Handles
Errors due to medical negligence occur daily at hospitals and other medical care facilities throughout the United States. In many of these cases, this negligence constitutes medical malpractice, which is when a healthcare professional is careless and makes an error that causes harm to a patient. The error is made negligently, and not intentionally so as to be considered criminal activity. Whether or not an error committed by your medical professional is one you can recover from is a question you can discuss with our Easton medical negligence attorneys. Following are some of the more common errors we encounter.
Pharmacies are responsible for dispensing life-saving medicines every day. They must ensure the correct medicine in the exact amount is given to the proper patient. When they fail to do so, grievous injuries, or even death, can occur. Our Easton medical negligence attorneys will hold pharmacies that fail to follow through with the level of care that is owed to their patients liable.
When you are in the hospital, you trust that your medical care team will provide you with appropriate care, which includes administering the medicines that you need to heal. However, it is alarming how many medication errors our Easton medical negligence attorneys have encountered. Some of the ways these errors occur include administering:
- The wrong prescription to the wrong patient
- The correct medication, but in the wrong dosage amount
- Medications to which the patient is allergic
Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing homes and other assisted living facilities have an obligation to provide a certain level of care to their residents. Failure to do so often results in injuries or loss of life. Some of the ways in which this duty of care is breached include:
- Being inadequately staffed or not providing appropriate training to staff
- Neglecting the needs of the residents
- Administering improper medications, or failing to administer proper medications
Anesthesia can make undergoing surgery and other medical procedures much more comfortable than it would be if there were no anesthesia. However, mistakes involving anesthesia occur far too often. Our Easton medical negligence attorneys have seen different forms of anesthesia errors, including the following:
- Too much or too little anesthesia administered
- Administration of the wrong type of anesthesia
- Administration of anesthesia to a patient that is on another medication that is known to cause an adverse reaction
Surgical errors vary greatly depending on the area being operated on and the type of surgery being performed. Common surgical errors include:
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Causing damage to healthy organs while operating on a different organ
- Failure to monitor for conditions such as internal bleeding post-surgery
Medical Injury Lawsuits Can Be Difficult
In Easton and Pennsylvania generally, there are few artificial barriers in the way of pursuing a legitimate medical injury claim. Unlike other jurisdictions, Pennsylvania does not place damage caps on medical injury claims. As injured plaintiffs can recover in full, there is less up-front risk imposed on plaintiffs who aggressively pursue their claims. For example, consulting with an expensive, industry-leading medical expert may be justified by the potential damage award at stake.
Still, medical injuries, when compared to various other categories of injuries, can be particularly difficult for an injured plaintiff to litigate effectively, for a number of reasons. Some of the most common medical injuries we see are:
What Is Needed to Prove Medical Injury Claims in Easton?
There are basic elements that must be proven in any type of claim for medical injury or medical malpractice. Those elements are:
Duty of Care Owed to Injured Party
The first element that must be proven is that the medical professional that committed the medical malpractice owed a duty to the person that suffered from the medical malpractice. Proving the existence of the duty of care is not typically difficult, as the doctor/patient relationship is generally well documented. However, in cases where it is not, before a person can recover against a medical professional for medical malpractice, they must be able to show that a duty of care existed.
Breach of Standard of Care Owed to Injured Party
A healthcare professional will be found liable for medical negligence if you can show that they have not met their standard of care, and in violating that standard of care, they caused you to suffer injuries. The standard of care is dynamic depending on the circumstances. Generally speaking, the standard of care is based on how similarly situated healthcare professionals would have acted. As such, the training and experience of the healthcare professional and the nature of the patient’s illness or injury are considered when determining the applicable standard of care.
A medical injury does not itself create a legitimate claim for recovery. In order to recover damages for your medical injury, you’ll have to not only show that you were injured due to some act of a healthcare professional — such as a misdiagnosis, or surgical errors — but also that the defendant did not adhere to the standard of care, given the circumstances.
Breach of Standard of Care Caused Injured Party’s Damages
Once it has been proven that the duty existed and was breached, then the injured party must prove that the breach was the factual cause of their injury.
Actual Damages Incurred by Injured Party
Actual damages must exist in order for an injured party to recover for medical malpractice. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The actual amount you may be able to recover is a matter you should discuss with our Easton medical negligence attorneys.
Medical Injury Facts & Statistics
- In 2020, there were 1,476 complaints filed in the Pennsylvania courts for medical malpractice. This was a little lower than the 1,565 filed in 2019.
- Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
- Medical errors result in approximately 250,000 deaths in the United States per year.
- Approximately 7,000 to 9,000 people die every year as a result of medication errors.
- Approximately 250,000 deaths in the United States per year are due to medical errors.
Medical Professionals are Well-Connected and Aggressive
Doctors are not the only healthcare professionals that can be sued for medical negligence. In Pennsylvania, any licensed professional (or entity, such as a hospital) that provides medical services can be held liable for medical negligence. For example, you can hold your nurse liable for medical negligence if they violate the standard of care when treating you.
It’s worth noting that physicians and other healthcare professionals in Pennsylvania are covered by liability insurance. In the medical injury context, insurers are extremely aggressive and will engage extensive financial and industry resources in order to defeat your claims. Essentially, defendants do not want to “open the door” to further medical injury litigation.
As a plaintiff, you will have to overcome the inherent advantage that a healthcare professional defendant enjoys: resources and industry connections, for example, among other things. You can do so by working with an experienced and successful medical malpractice lawyer.
Consult with Our Qualified Easton Medical Negligence Attorneys
Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, is a personal injury and medical malpractice law firm with a thirty-year track record of success in litigating medical injury claims. Unlike many other firms, we value the attorney-client relationship and believe that a client-oriented approach is critical to the successful litigation of a medical injury claim. We will not force you to settle for an amount that you’re not comfortable with. If necessary, we can and will take your claim to trial and bring our experience to bear in the courtroom.
Easton, PA has a number of healthcare facilities, from smaller clinics to large hospitals like Easton Hospital and St. Luke’s. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a healthcare professional in Easton, contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced medical injury attorney today. We look forward to speaking with you.