Erie Medical Malpractice Lawyers

The Erie Medical Malpractice Lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin are dedicated to helping clients who never thought medical malpractice could happen to them.  Most everyone we represent explains to us “I am not the suing type, but someone needs to be held accountable.”  We find that people whose lives have been turned upside down by medical malpractice contact us for the right reason – they want to make sure the medical malpractice that injured them or a loved one does not happen to anyone else.” 

The simple truth is that no one plans to be the victim of medical malpractice.  Paralysis, death, birth injuries and terminal illnesses are what we hope to avoid through medical care – not have happen to us due to medical negligence.

Unfortunately, medical malpractice happens regularly in Erie, Pennsylvania, and across the United States. 

If you or a loved dies or is left with a devastating medical condition due to medical malpractice, you need a top-notch medical malpractice law firm like Lupetin & Unatin, LLC to help make things right, hold your healthcare providers accountable and secure the financial compensation that the laws in Pennsylvania provide for.

Erie PA

Map of Erie, PA

Serving Erie County, including Erie, Millcreek Township, Corry, Edinboro, Fairview Township, Girard, Harborcreek, Union City, Wesleyville, North East and Lake City.

Erie County Hospitals we have successfully brought suit against include:

  • Children’s Hospital of PA
  • Hamot Hospital
  • St. Vincent’s Hospital
  • Union City Memorial Hospital

What is Medical Malpractice?

To know whether you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it is important to know what qualifies as actionable medical malpractice in Pennsylvania.

In Erie, Pennsylvania, medical malpractice is when a health care professional (e.g., hospital, doctor, or nurse) fails to provide proper medical treatment (doing the wrong thing or not doing the right thing) or gives substandard treatment that causes serious injuries or death to the patient.

The medical malpractice law in Pennsylvania states that medical malpractice consists of a negligent, careless, or unskilled performance by a physician, nurse or hospital of the duties imposed on him or her by the professional relationship with the patient.

Medical malpractice boils down to a doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider not being as careful as they should have been when providing you or a loved one medical treatment.

In Erie, Pennsylvania, if you prove your doctor or hospital was not as careful as the medical standard of care required and that this medical negligence caused you harm, you are entitled to bring a claim to recover money for all your harms and losses.

Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

As medical malpractice lawyers, we have handled numerous Erie medical malpractice lawsuits and have reviewed thousands of potential medical malpractice claims in Erie and across Western Pennsylvania.  While in some cases we know just based on the facts you describe that you have a winning medical malpractice case, we normally must first undertake an in-depth investigation of your case that includes an interview, a study of the relevant medical records, and consultation with a doctor or nurse familiar with the medical standard of care in your case. 

Notwithstanding the investigation we always undertake into your potential medical negligence case, there are certain warning signs, or “red flags” you can look out for to know whether what happened in your case was the result of medical malpractice. 

The following list describes some of the telltale signs we believe may be evidence of medical malpractice:

  1. Admission of fault. From time to time, the Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, LLC, work on medical negligence cases where the doctor or hospital admits they made a medical mistake or error.   In a recent case we settled that involved a substantial delay in diagnosing lung cancer, the defendant surgeon wrote in the patient’s medical records that he missed a small lung nodule on an earlier CT scan, which cost the patient a meaningful chance of earlier and more effective medical treatment.  In another case we resolved, a primary care doctor admitted that he failed to read a test result that allowed our patient’s treatable hepatitis infection to progress into liver cancer.

    In fact, some of the major hospital systems in Erie, Pennsylvania have policies for disclosing medical errors to patients.  For example, UPMC, the parent company of Hamot Hospital has stated publicly that “UPMC has a disclosure policy that exceeds the dictates of the Joint Commission and the Pennsylvania Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act of 2002 (Mcare). UPMC’s doctors do not disclose errors just because of regulatory requirements; it is the right thing to do for both the patient and the physician.”[1]

  1. Serious event letter. Under the medical malpractice laws in Pennsylvania healthcare providers are required to give patients written and verbal notice when a “serious event” in the course of medical treatment.[2]  A “serious event” is defined as an event, occurrence, or situation involving the clinical care of a patient in a medical facility that results in death, compromises patient safety, or results in an unanticipated injury requiring delivery of additional health care services.

    If you or a loved one receives a “serious event” letter, you should contact an Erie medical malpractice lawyer who will investigate what happened and determine whether you have a case.  In addition to the greater likelihood of there being a medical malpractice case, one medical study determined that medical malpractice lawsuits that involved a serious event letter resulted in higher compensation payouts when compared to malpractice cases that lacked such a letter.[3]

  1. A totally unforeseeable outcome. In some situations, the patient’s outcome was so catastrophic or out-of-the-ordinary that you should assume it was caused by medical malpractice.

    If any of the following situations happened to you or a loved one, it was likely due to medical malpractice, and you should call an Erie Medical Malpractice Lawyer:

    • Wrong site surgery – If your surgeon operates on the wrong body part or performs medical care for you that was meant for a different patient, it was probably due to medical malpractice. In one case we handled, a neurosurgeon operated at the wrong level of the spine and injured the patient by removing a part of the patient’s spine that was healthy.
    • Medication Error – If you or a loved one was given the wrong medication or wrong dose, it was probably due to medical malpractice.  The Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, have handled numerous medication mistake lawsuits.  We recently settled a lawsuit for a patient who underwent a routine surgery to correct a deviated septum in his nose.  Because of medical malpractice, the patient was injected with the wrong medication.  This caused him to suffer a cardiac arrest, which left him with a brain injury.
    • Surgical mistake – Medical malpractice lawsuits frequently occur due to a surgeon’s error before, during or after surgery. When a surgeon injures a part of the anatomy that should never be injured, it was probably due to medical malpractice.  For example, in gallbladder surgery, the surgeon is required to establish the “critical view of safety” to protect the nearby bile ducts and blood vessels from injury.  We have handled numerous medical malpractice cases where the surgeon failed to create the critical view of safety and damaged the patient’s bile ducts or blood vessels, always with devastating consequences. A recent spine injury case we settled involved a surgeon performing a routine vertebral disc removal procedure.  The doctor was not as careful as he should have been, went too deep with his instruments and severed a major blood vessel in the patient’s abdomen.  The patient nearly bled to death, had to undergo multiple emergency surgeries and was left with severe scarring and a mild brain injury.
    • Death or serious injury following medical care – If you or a loved on seeks medical care at an emergency room, are discharged, and shortly after suffer a catastrophic injury from an untreated medical condition, it was probably due to medical malpractice. In a medical malpractice lawsuit we worked on, the patient was discharged from the ER with a diagnosis of “noncardiac chest pain.”  In fact, he was suffering from an aortic dissection, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency surgery.  Because the patient’s healthcare providers misdiagnosed him, the patient went home with an emergency condition that he died from a few days later.  The Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, have handled cases involving patients who present with obvious signs and symptoms of heart attack or stroke, are misdiagnosed as having less dangerous conditions, discharged to home where they suffer massive injury or die.  
  1. Your signs and symptoms were ignored – If your doctor or nurse ignores your obvious signs and symptoms of a serious medical condition and you then suffer harm from that condition, it was probably due to medical malpractice. In another case our medical malpractice lawyers worked on, the patient’s doctors and nurses ignored his complaints of sudden, severe back pain.  The patient told the treating doctors that his back pain started without any injury or trauma.  The patient described his pain as very severe.  Still, the doctors who treated the patient assumed he was suffering ordinary, muscular back pain.  Signs of infection in the patient’s lab work were missed.  Radiology studies also showed signs of infection in and around the spine.  The doctors ignored warning signs like weakness and changes in sensation in the patient’s legs. With their mind already made up about the cause of back pain, the doctors overlooked obvious clues that this patient was suffering from an emergency medical condition.   Unfortunately, our client was left with permanent spinal cord injuries from an infection in his spine.  

What are the Types of Medical Practice?

Medical malpractice can strike in any medical situation, including outpatient care, inpatient care, surgery, labor and delivery, and in the emergency department.  There are several categories of medical malpractice you want to know about.

Errors in Medical Diagnosis

Stethoscope

Medical diagnosis is the bedrock of proper and safe medical care. Unfortunately, as Erie medical malpractice lawyers, we see the devastation caused by misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and wrong diagnosis.  Diagnosis errors occur when healthcare providers are not as careful as they should be when assessing a patient for a particular illness or medical condition.  According to a study of medical malpractice claims brought between 2013 to 2017, a full third or 33% of all medical malpractice claims were due to diagnostic errors.    When a patient is suffering from a serious medical condition, but the doctor fails to reach the correct diagnosis, the results can be catastrophic. 

Another study published in 2019, found that nearly 75% of all medical malpractice claims involving death or serious, permanent disability were related to errors in diagnosis.  The following medical conditions were most frequently misdiagnosed:  

  • Vascular events – including stroke (most common), heart attack, blood clots, and aortic aneurysms and dissection.
  • Cancer – including lung cancer (most common), breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and melanoma; and,
  • Infections – including dangerous infections in the blood (sepsis), brain, heart, and lungs. 

Doctors must apply a “differential diagnosis” when determining what medical condition a patient may be suffering from.  A differential diagnosis consists of a list of possible conditions or diseases that may explain the cause of your symptoms.  Your doctor must take a history to learn your symptoms and complaints, physically examine you and review the results of various laboratory and diagnostic tests.  The doctor must consider the most harmful, life-threatening conditions first, rule them out (or treat) and then work their way down the list of potential diagnoses.  Once a working diagnosis is reached, the doctor must make sure you receive the treatment you need.

Misdiagnoses are often due to decision making errors.  For example, instead of considering all the possible diagnoses that can explain the patient’s signs and symptoms, a doctor, from years of practice, may have tunnel vision or fixate on what might be the least obvious diagnosis for the patient.  Other times, fatigue or stress, may lead to distraction and failures to consider the patient’s full clinical picture.   We have also handled medical malpractice where the wrong conclusion was reached due to patient stereotyping.  For example, in one case, a young woman suffering from a serious infection died after she was wrongly turned away from ER because the emergency room physician assumed she was drug seeking.

Surgical Mistakes and Procedural Errors

Surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and physicians’ assistants have a duty to protect you from preventable harm during surgery.  Despite doctors’ sworn oath to “do no harm,” patients are routinely injured or killed because of medical negligence during surgery.  Medical malpractice can occur in any type of surgery or procedure, be it emergency or elective surgery, same day procedures, even biopsies and other minor procedures.

Some of the most common mistakes the medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin see include:

  • Surgeries performed on the wrong body part.
  • Surgeries performed on the wrong patient.
  • Leaving medical instruments, sponges, pads, or other medical devices inside the patient upon completion of surgery.
  • Failing to take precautions to avoid cutting or injuries arteries, nerves, or ducts which shouldn’t be cut.
  • Failing to recognize and repair inadvertent injuries to the bowel or intestines.
  • Failure to properly position the patient to avoid injuries from excessive pressure on nerves or parts of the body that control breathing.
  • Failure by anesthesiology staff to monitor the patient’s heart rate, oxygen saturation or blood pressure for signs of preventable complications.
  • Surgeries performed below the medical standard of care that result in avoidable injuries or death to the patient.

Failure to Treat

The Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, have worked on many cases involving a failure to provide needed treatment.  Failure to treat claims may involve:

  • Discharging the patient prematurely or without proper instructions.
  • Refusing care to a patient without first assessing whether the patient requires immediate or emergent care. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) – requires hospital to assess and stabilize anyone coming to an emergency department regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. 
  • Failing to order appropriate medical tests to reach the correct diagnosis. 

Birth Injuries

Injuries that occur before, during, or after childbirth can have catastrophic results. Birth injuries can be caused by:

    • Substandard care of the unborn child or pregnant mother.  Obstetricians are trained to evaluate pregnant woman and their unborn babies for several diseases or conditions that can harm baby or mom if not properly treated.  For example, a pregnant mother may develop high blood pressure during pregnancy, or a related condition known as preeclampsia.  The elevated blood pressure if not diagnosed and treated can lead to problems with the placenta which provides oxygenated blood to the fetus and serious complications for the pregnancy.
    • Improper use of forceps, vacuum extraction devices, or standard maneuvers to remove a baby from the birth canal may result in devastating injuries. Occasionally, a baby’s descent through the mother’s birth canal is stopped due to factors beyond the mother or doctor’s control.  Depending on the position of the baby, the umbilical cord may become compressed.  Sometimes the baby may develop signs distress and indication the baby is being deprived of oxygen.  Obstetricians are trained to use specialized devices, maneuvers, and surgical techniques to help deliver a distressed baby as quickly and safely as possible.   When your baby’s doctor disregards the medical standard of care, they increase the risk your baby may suffer permanent, debilitating injuries.
    •  Many times, the fastest and safest method to deliver the baby is by emergency cesarean section. Emergency C-sections are used to deliver the baby as soon as possible in the following scenarios:

Medical personnel holding a newborn infant

 

    • Nuchal Cord – The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck.
    • Umbilical Cord Prolapse – The umbilical cord moves in front of the baby and protrudes into the birth canal.
    • Placental abruption – All or a portion of the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus, causing dangerous bleeding
    • Oligohydramnios – Abnormally low levels of the amniotic fluid that cushions the baby in utero can lead to cord compression
    • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome – The fetus can suffer distress after inhaling its own feces, known as meconium
    • Severe Infection – Infection can reach the placenta (chorioamnionitis), umbilical cord and the fetus, especially after rupture of the mother’s fetal membranes, resulting in a cascade of harmful effects to the fetus and newborn.
  • Inadequate Resuscitation – Many newborns need help transitioning from the stress of labor to life outside the womb.  When the fetus is exposed to harmful events in utero, the transition may be even more difficult.  Pediatrician, nurses, and anesthesiologists are trained and certified to follow specific steps to help a newborn when it doesn’t start to breathe on its own, or when the baby’s heart rate remains too low after birth.  If doctors and nurses don’t follow the steps of neonatal resuscitation, a baby may not be able to avoid harm from insufficient oxygen or blood flow to their brain and other organs.

Medication Errors

Mistakes involving prescription drugs – giving the wrong medication or the wrong dose – can result in major injuries or death.  A report from the Institute of Medicine estimated that 1.5 million people suffer injury from medication errors every year. There are different types of medication errors including:

  • The wrong medication is prescribed.
  • The wrong dosage of the correct medication is prescribed.
  • Prescribing a medication that causes a dangerous interaction with another medication.
  • Prescribing a medication that is contraindicated for the patient’s medical condition.
  • Failing to prescribe medication that a patient needs to treat a life-threatening condition. For example, failing to administer a clot busting drug for someone suffering a stroke or failing to prescribe a blood thinner for someone suffering from atrial fibrillation or blood clotting disorder.

Informed Consent

In Pennsylvania, a physician must obtain a patient’s consent or permission to provide treatment to or perform surgery on the patient. The only exception to this rule is when the medical care in question is being provided during a life-or-death emergency.

If a doctor does not obtain your full and informed consent for a medical procedure or treatment, they may be liable for any harm caused by the procedure – even if the procedure is performed properly.

To win an informed consent claim, you only need to prove that the information the doctor failed to tell you about would have been a “substantial factor” in your decision to consent to the procedure or treatment. The doctor is responsible whether they intended to harm you or not.

Hospital and Corporate Negligence

In Pennsylvania, hospitals are liable for medical malpractice if they violate any of the non-delegable duties owed to patients by law to ensure their safety and well-being. There are four duties hospitals owe to patients:

  • They must use reasonable care to maintain safe and adequate facilities and equipment. For example, if the hospital doesn’t keep the hospital clean and sanitary and you contract an infection as a result, the hospital may be liable for your injuries from the infection.  Similarly, if there is an equipment failure within the hospital that injures you, the hospital is responsible.
  • Hospitals must select and retain only competent health-care personnel. For example, hospitals are required to vet doctors that apply to work at the hospital and only grant treating privileges to qualified medical providers.  If the hospital grants privileges to work at the hospital to a physician who lacks the appropriate skills and knowledge to safely provide medical care, the hospital is liable to the patient for any harm caused by the unqualified doctor.
  • Hospitals must oversee everyone who practices medicine or provides care to patients within the walls of its hospital. If a hospital has reason to know that a particular doctor or nurse is practicing medicine in a dangerous or substandard fashion, it has a responsibility to do something about it.
  • Hospitals must formulate, adopt, and enforce adequate rules and policies to ensure quality care for the patients. For example, if the industry standard for hospitals required a policy for a certain type of medical care and a defendant hospital failed to have any such policy, the hospital is liable for any harm caused to the patient attributable to the lack of such a policy.  It is also negligent for a corporation to fail to train its health care staff about policies or procedures and assure every doctor, nurse, or medical technician follows the policies and procedures while caring for patients.

How Common is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice happens often and is considered an epidemic by some in the medical community.  One study out of Johns Hopkins, found that medical malpractice may be the third leading cause of death in the United States contributing to more than 250,000 wrongful deaths each year. “Study Suggests Medical Errors Now Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

What is the Most Common Medical Malpractice?

The top 5 most common claims of medical malpractice are: misdiagnosis (33%), surgical negligence (23%), negligent treatment (18%), obstetrics and birth injuries (10%), and medication errors, which includes anesthesia malpractice (10%).  Of all the patients that allege death or injury by medical malpractice, 45% are inpatients and 38% are outpatients.  The mean age of a person who files medical malpractice claims is 42 years old.

How long do you have to file a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?

The statute of limitations in Erie and throughout Pennsylvania for filing a medical malpractice is two (2) years.  If more than two years passes from the date you were injured by medical malpractice, your claim may be barred by Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.  

There are, however, exceptions to some exceptions to Pennsylvania’s two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits. 

Minor’s Claims.  For minors under the age of 18, injured by medical malpractice, the two-year statute of limitations does not begin to run until they turn 18.  If your child suffers an injury, they have until their twentieth birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Late Discovery.  The Discovery Rule creates another exception to Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.  Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations for a victim of medical malpractice only begins to run once the patient reasonably could have known they were injured, and the injury was caused by the conduct of another person or entity.  For example, by its very nature, patients cannot know of a misdiagnosis until a later date.  For misdiagnosis cases, the two-year limitations period will start to run from the time the victim reasonably could have known they were injured by a health care provider, even if the victim doesn’t know the exact cause of their injury.

If you suspect you or a loved one are the victim of medical malpractice you should never delay and promptly speak with an Erie medical malpractice lawyer.

What if I Don’t Remember Everything that Happened?

Some people worry about their chances of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit if they don’t remember everything about what happened to them or were unable to take detailed notes.  You should not worry about this. 

When you contact our firm, we start with the big picture of what happened to you.  You do not need to remember every detail. We will ask questions to help you remember as much as you can and help us make the decision whether to further investigate your case.  We will then order your medical records and piece together the story of what happened.

Will the Hospital or Doctor Alter or Change by Medical Record to Escape Liability?

Victims of medical malpractice often worry that their medical records will be altered to cover up the hospital or doctor’s negligence.  While this used to happen routinely and can still occur, the advent of electronic medical records has made medical record alteration much more difficult and thus, less likely to occur.  This is because the electronic medical records are kept within medical record software that is required to maintain an audit log.  An audit log – which we routinely request for our medical malpractice clients – shows the electronic footprint of who did what to your medical record and when they did it.  Anytime someone accesses your medical record there is a record kept of their identity, what they did or looked at in your record and when they accessed your record.  Hospitals and doctors are keenly aware that if they go back and change your record, there will be evidence of their actions that will be used to hold them accountable in court.

How Long Does It Take to Settle a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

A New England Journal of Medicine study found that medical malpractice lawsuits take approximately five years, from the time of negligence and injury to the completion of the case.  On the other hand, a 2017 Medscape survey of medical malpractice defendants found that these lawsuits took approximately 2 years.

Though a medical malpractice lawsuit can settle at any time, when your claim may settle depends on several factors.

Some malpractice claims are so clear-cut that the doctor or hospital may want to settle your claim immediately, without the need to file a lawsuit.  The medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, have an impressive track record of reaching life-changing settlements for clients before filing suit.  For some of our clients, this is the most attractive option because many people are nervous about or not interested in being a party to a medical malpractice lawsuit.  If there is little to no defense to the malpractice in your case, we will discuss with you the option of potentially settling your claim without a lawsuit.

However, most medical malpractice claims, no matter how strong the claim, are vigorously defended by doctors, hospitals, and their insurance companies. In these situations, an early resolution may not be possible despite how much you may want an early resolution.  Sometimes the defendants need more proof of malpractice or the extent of related harm and damages.  Other times, the doctor or hospital will never accept the patient’s claim of medical malpractice without a jury verdict ordering them to pay.  In these situations, the only way to receive financial compensation for your medical malpractice claim is through a verdict entered after a trial by judge and jury.

When you contact our firm, it will take us time to full investigate your case.  First, we interview you to learn the basic facts of what happened.  Then we obtain your medical records to see how the doctors and hospital documented what happened.  Next, we research the applicable medical literature and determine the current medical standard of care for your case.  If we conclude that medical malpractice was the cause of the patient’s injury or death, the final step of our investigation involves consulting with medical experts to confirm that you have a winnable case.  Though we work diligently and efficiently, the pre-suit investigation period can take up to 3 months to complete. 

Once we file your medical malpractice lawsuit, it can take two or three years to get your case to trial.  While your case may settle at any point during the litigation, we find that trial dates have the greatest influence on the timing of settlements.  The reality of facing a jury and having a sizable verdict entered against them is often the event that brings defendants to the settlement table.

Unfortunately, even if you “go the distance” and obtain a favorable medical malpractice jury verdict a settlement may not immediately materialize.   Instead, defendant hospitals and doctors frequently file an appeal of the verdict to the Pennsylvania Superior and then Pennsylvania Supreme Courts. 

In our experience it typically takes one to two years for an appeal to conclude.

Historically, we feel it is prudent for you to assume your medical malpractice lawsuit may take up to 3 years to fully resolve.

Will I Win my Erie Medical Malpractice Case?

As a starting point, if the Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, decide to handle your case there is a very good (but not guaranteed) chance you will win your case.  This is because we handle only clear-cut medical malpractice lawsuits that result in a wrongful death or catastrophic injuries.

Notwithstanding our winning track record, whether you have a winning medical malpractice case depends on many factors. 

To establish your medical malpractice case, you must prove: 1. The applicable medical standard of care; 2. That your healthcare provider deviated from or violated this medical standard of care (this is medical negligence); 3. That the medical negligence was an actual cause of your harms and losses; and 4. The full extent of your harms and losses.

You have a strong case if each of these four factors can be clearly proven.  If any of these case elements are in question, your case has a lower chance of success.

Here are just some factors that can impact the success of your medical malpractice claim are:

  1. Whether the standard of care is established in the medical community.
  2. Whether the healthcare provider’s mistake was aggravated or morally forgivable.
  3. Whether there is an admission of fault versus a vehement denial of fault.
  4. Your age or life expectancy.
  5. Your overall health and other medical conditions you were suffering from when the malpractice.
  6. Whether you sustained any economic damages like lost earnings or unpaid medical bills in addition to noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
  7. The type of medical care in question. For example, some surgeries have such a high risk of complications it becomes more difficult to prove medical negligence or that negligence was the cause of the poor outcome.
  8. In a wrongful death case whether there are any beneficiaries that can make a claim under the law, and if there are, what their relationship was with the deceased.
  9. If you have any “skeletons in the closet.” For example, if your case hinges on your credibility regarding your testimony about what happened but you have a past criminal conviction for wire fraud or writing bad checks, your believability issues weaken your chance of winning.
  10. How likable you are versus how likable the defendant is. If you are someone who makes a great impression and the defendant doctor does not, your chances of reaching a settlement or favorable jury verdict improve.

When you call our law firm, we take the time to gather the information we need to decide whether you have a winning case.  We study the medical records, conduct extensive research, and consult with medical experts to determine if we can make a meaningful recovery for you or your family.  We are selective in the cases we undertake and decline to handle more than 90% of the potential cases that injured persons present to us.  If we take your case, you can rest assured that we believe in your case, and while we cannot guaranty an outcome, we believe you will win.

How Much Money is my Erie Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Worth?

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the average settlement payment for a medical malpractice lawsuit was $329,565.  The biggest settlements involved neurosurgery claims at $469,222.  Dermatology cases had the smallest average settlements at $189,065. $309,908 was the average settlement for recent medical malpractice claims, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). According to the same NPDB data, the state of Pennsylvania had the second highest total medical malpractice payments in the country, with $3.416 billion.

The above figures are only statistics.  Over the past several years the Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin have on average recovered settlements and verdicts for our clients far above these national averages.  You can review our Recent Case Results to get a sense of some of the recoveries we have secured for our clients.

The exceptional medical malpractice recoveries obtained by our Erie medical malpractice lawyers is due to several factors including: 1. We only handle cases that involve wrongful death or catastrophic injuries; 2. We do a deep investigation into any case we are considering handling to make sure the malpractice is clear-cut and that the negligence was the primary cause of the bad outcome; 3. We only handle a limited number of cases so that we can maximize our time and effort to bring about exceptional outcomes; and 4. We have a proven track record of obtaining significant medical malpractice jury verdicts for our clients, which increases the settlement we are able to obtain because our opponents know we will go to trial and when we do we often win.

What are the Chances of Winning an Erie Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Plain and simple, medical malpractice cases are difficult for victims and their families to win.  While strong evidence, high quality plaintiffs, and credible testimony by expert medical witnesses improve the chances of, there are few “slam dunk” cases.  Therefore, it is critical that you have your medical malpractice claim handled by an experienced Erie medical malpractice law firm.

A New England Journal of Medicine study found that 78% of all medical malpractice claims did not result in payments to claimants.  A 2009 study by the Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research found that doctors win 80% to 90% of medical malpractice jury trials with “weak” evidence of medical negligence, approximately 70% of the “borderline cases”, and 50% of the trials in cases with “strong” evidence of medical negligence.

While these medical malpractice statistics may seem daunting, the leg work we do before and after deciding to handle your medical claim results in a greater chance of a full and fair recovery of your case.  Over the past 7 years, the Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin have secured settlements or jury verdicts in more than 95% of the medical malpractice claims we have handled.   

Is My Erie Medical Malpractice Settlement Taxable?

No.  The current IRS tax code states that medical malpractice settlements are not taxable as long as the settlement is for personal.  The tax code specifically instructs recipients of personal injury settlements like those from medical malpractice lawsuits NOT to include the settlement proceeds in your annual income on your tax return. Similarly, any proceeds you receive for emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of the enjoyment of life and other non-economic harms from a medical malpractice lawsuit are similarly NOT taxable. 

The one area that you may need to consult with your attorney about for tax purposes is if your settlement is for lost earnings.

How Much Does it Cost to Consult with an Experienced Erie Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Your consultation with the Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin to find out if you have a winning medical malpractice lawsuit will cost you absolutely nothing.  Our consultation and investigation are 100% free.  We do not charge any fee or ask to be reimbursed for any costs associated with the investigation of your potential medical malpractice claim. 

If we investigate your case and determine that we cannot handle it, you will not owe us anything.  Though we will not charge any fee for our investigation, we will provide you answers to your questions and explain what happened and why we cannot handle the case.

The only way we are paid for our time and effort working on your medical malpractice case is if we win you’re a financial recovery through settlement or jury verdict.  Speaking with our firm is risk free.

Were you or a loved one the victim of Medical Malpractice? Contact Lupetin & Lupetin, LLC

Contact Lupetin & Lupetin, LLC if you believe that you or a loved was the victim of medical malpractice that resulted in a catastrophic injury, terminal prognosis, or death.  You should contact the experienced Erie medical malpractice lawyers of Lupetin & Unatin, LLC because we will get you answers quickly and will work tirelessly to get you the best result.  As one of the premier Erie medical malpractice law firms we have the reputation, resources, and track-record that you need to obtain the best outcome for your case.

What can we help you find?

During these unusual circumstances concerning the coronavirus, we are working to respond as quickly as possible to your phone calls and emails. You can expect to hear back from us within 24 hours or one business day (Monday – Friday).