Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled answers to some of the most common questions about medical malpractice and personal injury cases in Pennsylvania.
Do you have questions that are not answered here?
Our legal consultations are always free unless we recover money for you. During the course of our investigation into your medical malpractice claim, we advance any costs that we deem necessary in the proper handling of your case. If we do not recover money for you, you do not have to return any of the costs incurred associated with your case. This is called the Contingent Fee.
There is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. In Pennsylvania, in most cases that statute of limitations is two years from the time of the injury. However, there are some cases in which that time limit may be longer. Learn more about PA statutes of limitations or contact us to discuss your situation.
Most medical malpractice cases are settled outside of the courtroom. It is uncommon that a trial is required in a medical malpractice case. This is to your advantage because the settlement of a claim permits the victim or their family to have direct input into the solution that is crafted as opposed to awaiting the decision of twelve strangers (the jury.)
Our attorneys and medical staff will retrieve any necessary medical records. You are not required to provide us with any records, however any documentation you have pertaining to the injury should be considered important.
The process of determining whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim begins with an in-depth interview of the victim (when possible), family members, and any other person who was a witness to the injury. Simultaneously or shortly thereafter, we perform intensive research both in our thousand+ volume medical library and on internet sites mostly subscribed to by physicians and hospitals. What we find during this stage determines whether or not we should pursue further investigation into your potential claim of medical malpractice.
The next stage includes retrieval of medical records, including X-Rays, CT Scans, microscopic slides, medical charts, notes by the doctors, and anything else associated with your claim.
If at this point we have reason to believe standards of care have been violated and there has been medical malpractice, we consult with independent experts to confirm our belief.
Any medical professional that was responsible for some aspect of your care, and was negligent or made errors that led to a serious injury can be held responsible for medical malpractice. This includes but is not limited to:
- Doctors (Primary care physicians & consultants of all types)
- Surgeons of all types
- Physician’s Assistants
- Laboratory technicians
- X-Ray technologists
- Other hospital staff
In addition, the hospital or facility in which the incident occurred may also be held financially responsible for the medical malpractice committed by their employees and the people they hold out as employees.
If the patient has died, in addition to medical malpractice claims, you may also have wrongful death and survival action claims.
The following factors are considered when determining and agreeing upon a settlement amount.
- Establish the full extent of the injury.
- Determine the future needs of the victim, including expected medical costs and cost associated with living with the injury, such as retrofitting of the home, devices and appliances that may be required, and long-term personal care.
- Determine the maximum recovery obtained in similar cases that may have set a precedent.
- Calculate how much the victim would have reasonably made in wages over the course of their lifetime or in the case of homemakers, their contribution to the needs of their family. Find out more about the value of a homemaker.
- Attorney fees will ideally be recovered for such sums as are awarded for pain and suffering. This is much easier to do by settlement than by verdict.
In most medical malpractice cases the victim can be compensated for pain and suffering based on the physical pain and emotional anguish they suffer as a result of their injury.
Our firm has successfully helped hundreds of victims of medical malpractice, in most cases without need of trial.
Medical malpractice cases that we have handled include birth injuries, delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis of illness including cervical cancer & other types of cancer, brain injuries due to oxygen deprivation while under medical care, medication & prescription errors during surgery or hospitalization, surgical accidents during routine procedures, and death due to medical malpractice or negligence.
We can provide you with broad examples of the types of medical malpractice cases we have handled, but due to a Pennsylvania Law called MCARE we cannot legally provide you with specific details including names of victims, doctors, hospitals, and settlement amounts. Click here to read about some examples of the types of situations that may result in medical malpractice cases, and that we have extensive experience dealing with.
The time required both to investigate and if appropriate to litigate (pursue a lawsuit) a medical malpractice claim is extremely variable. It depends on factors such as the difficulty of recruiting experts in particular specialties, the volume of medical records to be analyzed, and the index of suspicion that our early investigation generates. Contact us to discuss your situation.