Stroudsburg Medical Negligence Lawyers
If you have suffered injuries at the hands of a healthcare professional in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to recover damages as compensation. Let’s take a brief look at some of the basics to help you understand why you need to contact the Stroudsburg medical negligence lawyers at our firm.
What is Considered Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania?
Medical malpractice occurs when:
- A qualified healthcare professional fails to adhere to the standard of care, and
- As a result, causes you to suffer injuries.
The standard of care is based on the totality of circumstances (i.e., the nature of the illness/injury/condition, the training and experience of the healthcare professional, the location of the healthcare facility, and more). To show that the treating healthcare professional violated their standard of care, you will likely want to introduce the testimony of medical experts who can make a persuasive argument about what the standard of care would have been in the situation at-issue. Your medical negligence attorney can then show that the defendant’s conduct violated that standard of care.
Of course, some situations are so egregious that it is immediately clear that the defendant violated the standard of care. For example, if you complain to your Stroudsburg physician about severe heart pain, and your physician fails to refer you to a cardiologist, or fails to conduct any diagnostic tests on you, then they have arguably violated the standard of care, and would be liable for medical malpractice if you suffered from injuries due to an undiagnosed heart condition.
Our Stroudsburg Medical Negligence Lawyers Explain the Standard of Care
In most medical malpractice lawsuits, the standard of care lies at the heart of the legal conflict. As a plaintiff, you can only hold the defendant liable if they have violated the standard of care, and in doing so, caused you to suffer injuries. Even if the Stroudsburg healthcare professional at-issue made a mistake and caused you injuries, they cannot be held liable unless you can demonstrate that other similarly-positioned professionals would not have made the same mistake.
The standard of care in the medical context is rather dynamic, however, and depends largely on the circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. For example, the standard of care required of a radiologist diagnosing cancer using an image will likely be different than the standard of care required of a generalist diagnosing cancer with the same tools.
Factors that influence the standard of care include, but are not necessarily limited, to:
- Training, experience, skill
- Geographic location
- Specialization of the healthcare professional
- Tools available to the professional
- Time concerns
- And more
Examples of Negligence Leading to Medical Injuries
With respect to medical injuries, negligence that often leads to such injuries includes:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to diagnose
- Inadequate training
- Failure to properly supervise professionals
- Negligent administration of procedure
- Failure to consider patient’s medical history
- Provision of incorrect instructions
- Errors in surgery
- Failure to get a second opinion
- Failure to consistently monitor the patient
- And more
What is Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Negligence Claims?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Pennsylvania is two years from the date that you discovered your injuries (or reasonably should have discovered your injuries). For example, suppose that your surgeon makes a mistake during surgery, causing you injuries. These injuries do not develop into a symptomatic condition until several years later, however. If you discover the injuries later, you could likely assert that you should not have been expected to have reasonably discovered the injuries earlier, and that your statute of limitations period should not begin to run until the date that you actually discovered the injury.
If you wait too long to file your claims, you will be deemed to have relinquished your claims under Pennsylvania law, and you will no longer be entitled to pursue damages through litigation, so make sure to get in contact with a qualified Stroudsburg medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Pennsylvania Does Not Have a Damage Cap for Medical Malpractice Claims
Pennsylvania — unlike many other states — does not implement a damage cap for compensatory damages in the medical malpractice context. In states like California, for example, plaintiffs are limited to recovering just $250,000 of non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.). In Pennsylvania, by contrast, you may recover damages for whatever losses you actually sustained. The only limitation is on punitive damages.
Punitive damages are damages designed to punish the defendant for their malicious or egregious conduct. If you have suffered medical malpractice injuries or suffered the loss of a loved one due to the defendant’s malicious conduct, the court may award punitive damages, but in the Pennsylvania medical malpractice context, these damages are limited to just two times the total compensatory damages.
Connect with Stroudsburg Medical Negligence Lawyers Today
Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, our attorneys bring to bear nearly a century of experience representing injured plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits against physicians, surgeons, nurses, and hospitals, among others. We fully understand the challenges associated with litigating medical malpractice claims against defendants with substantial resources and with the built-in legitimacy provided by their profession, and are well-equipped to pursue litigation and recover damages on behalf of our clients.
Our firm is dedicated to personalized legal advocacy in all forms of personal injury claims. Throughout the litigation process, we are readily available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your lawsuit and about the litigation process generally. We recognize that every client is different, and that some clients may have different strategic objectives. At every stage, we will work closely with you to ensure that your objectives are properly targeted and enabled by our efforts.
Call (888) 777-7098 today to setup a free consultation with the Stroudsburg medical negligence lawyers here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC.