Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, trailing only heart disease and cancer. Hundreds of thousands of people in our country are injured or killed due to the negligence of healthcare providers every year, yet medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the most complex to win. This is why you need an experienced and proven Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer on your side from the moment you are harmed.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
There are countless instances of medical malpractice in Pittsburgh. I’ve been involved in cases where a newborn baby is tragically injured by the actions of a doctor, during what should have been a routine birth. I’ve seen surgeons sever part of the spinal column during surgery, causing paralysis to the patient. We’ve been involved in many cases where doctors simply failed to diagnose potential cancer or other serious conditions. And I’ve seen many cases where ordering a simple test would have avoided a tragedy.
Our Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys at Hal Waldman & Associates handle all types of cases including those involving:
- Hospital and emergency room error
- Surgical error
- Birth injury
- Missed or delayed diagnosis
- Medication error
- Anesthesia error
No matter what type of negligence resulted in your harm, our Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you get every penny you are due and answer all of your medical malpractice questions.
Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider violates their duty of care and it leads to your injury or a poor health outcome. Anyone in the continuum of care, from doctors and hospitals to nurses and pharmacists, can be guilty of medical malpractice.
If you’ve suffered harm under someone’s medical care, you may be wondering if you have a case for a medical malpractice lawyer. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about medical malpractice in all its forms:
I’m unhappy with the side effects or results of a surgery. Can I sue the surgeon?
The answer to this question depends largely on the specifics of your situation. Surgeons cannot guarantee results or desired outcomes of specific surgeries. If you’re unhappy with how a surgery came out, you’re not necessarily entitled to compensation. The main distinction is whether your unhappiness or troubling side effects arose from provider negligence.
To succeed in a medical malpractice claim, you must show that an injury or illness arose directly from a provider’s deviation from a standard of care. Being unhappy with a common side effect of a surgery is not grounds for a medical malpractice suit. Sustaining a post-operative infection from surgical materials left inside the body cavity is.
What is informed consent, and how does it affect my ability to sue?
Informed consent essentially means your provider highlighted the risks and benefits associated with a given procedure, and you agreed to go ahead with it. For example, before a surgical procedure, your doctor will tell you about the possible risks and side effects of a surgery. After he or she provides you with this information, they’ll hand you paperwork that describes each of these in detail. By signing, you agree to accept the risks and side effects of a given procedure, and give your provider the authority to perform the procedure within the standard of care.
It’s important to note, however, that signing an informed consent packet does not bar your ability to recover damages. Informed consent does not release a provider from negligence. If you can establish that your harm was directly related to a deviation in the standard of care, you may be able to gain compensation for your injuries. Call our Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys for help with your case.
What should I do if I think I have a malpractice claim?
If you think your provider committed negligence, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Each case has a statute of limitations, and after that time has passed, you’ll lose your right to compensation. Our medical malpractice lawyers use your medical records and witness testimony to determine if negligence occurred. We work on a contingency-fee basis, so you’ll only owe a fee if they win a settlement or jury verdict. This makes the process risk free for victims of negligence, so schedule a free initial consultation if you suspect anything may be amiss.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
When considering filing a medical malpractice claim, it’s important to understand the statute of limitations. Pennsylvania law determines timeframes to bring personal injury and other claims to the attention of courts. For medical malpractice claims, the statute of limitations is two years, meaning that you must begin the filing process before this deadline.
Because not all instances of medical malpractice are recognizable at the time of treatment, the time period for the statute of limitations begins when the patient recognizes the error or the damage suffered as a result.
For example, consider that you received an implant to help your health. The surgery went by without any issues, and everything seems to be in working order afterwards. However, three years later, you discover that the implant has been having an adverse impact on your health due to improper surgical procedures. Although it’s been more than two years from the original surgery, you are still eligible for compensation. You have two years from the date you discovered the improper surgical procedures to file.
Pennsylvania courts take statutes of limitations very seriously; if you fail to file within the two year period, you may lose your right to compensation. Because of the short deadline for these cases, it’s imperative that you contact an attorney about your case as soon as possible. At Hal Waldman & Associates, you can trust our attorneys to inform you of your case’s timeline, conduct the necessary investigations, and file your case before the statute of limitations has passed.
Why Do You Need a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Medical malpractice cases can be very complicated matters, depending on the circumstances. One individual may be responsible for your damages, or a supervisor – or even an entire medical facility – may be the liable entity. In other cases, the error isn’t one of medical malpractice at all, but instead one of product liability – however, if a medical professional knew about the questionable status of a brand, it may be both.
Determining the at-fault party is one of the major parts of a successful medical malpractice case. However, if you’re unfamiliar with Pennsylvania’s medical malpractice laws, identifying the responsible party can be difficult. A skilled medical malpractice attorney can help by evaluating your case to correctly identify and file against the responsible party or parties.
In addition, there’s a chance that your medical malpractice claim may involve facing down a larger medical facility, like a hospital. These organizations have attorneys to handle their cases, and representing yourself can put you at a disadvantage if the case goes to court. Hiring a skilled attorney helps you stand on equal footing with even the biggest hospitals.
Like many other types of personal injury cases, medical malpractice cases also require proof that the medical professional violated their duty of care to you as a patient, resulting in your damages. Most often, proving this fact involves comparing the medical professional’s actions against those that a “reasonable” doctor would take in that situation. With the help of an attorney, you can have easier access to expert witnesses and medical professionals that can provide that reasonable standard to support your case.
While you should pursue compensation for any injuries you’ve sustained, medical malpractice can also lead to ongoing medical, financial, and emotional damages. For those unfamiliar with legal procedures, correctly determining the value of future damages can be difficult – or may not even occur to you at all. Medical malpractice lawyers are familiar with the impact medical malpractice cases can have on your future and will use that knowledge to help you obtain your rightful compensation.
When you hire the attorneys at Hal Waldman & Associates, we work to support you through all aspects of your case, from initial consultation to properly assessing your deserved compensation to settlement negotiations – we even fight for your rights in court if you can’t receive a fair settlement amount. Trust your case with us, so you can focus on your recovery.
How to Choose a Medical Malpractice Attorney
In the state of Pennsylvania, medical malpractice cases require a certificate of merit to be considered by the courts. A certificate of merit is a document from an established medical professional stating that the treatment you received was substandard or unacceptable. At Hal Waldman & Associates, we work with trusted medical professionals to thoroughly review records for all signs of malpractice and take every step necessary to ensure our clients get the compensation they deserve.
With over 50 years of combined experience, the Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyers at our firm know how to build successful cases and secure the largest settlements allowed by law. We welcome an opportunity to meet with you free of both charge and obligation to discuss your case, your rights, and the most effective course of action. And remember, if we do not win your case, you pay nothing for our services.