How Do You Know if You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

August 24, 2020

If something went wrong with your medical care, you might wonder, how do you know if you have a medical malpractice case You thought you made the right choices, but the doctor you saw or the hospital you used violated your trust. You’re in worse shape than you were before. Do you have a medical malpractice claim?

If a healthcare professional or organization acted negligently and harmed you, you may have a case. It’s a complex area of law. The best way to find out is to call Wapner Newman at (215) 569-0900 and schedule a free consultation.

Medical malpractice covers any severe injury caused by the negligence of healthcare providers and medical institutions. Here are examples of medical malpractice claims:

  • Misdiagnosis: You received the wrong diagnosis. You were told you were healthy, but you were not. You may have been told you have one condition when you have another. As a result, your condition isn’t treated and it progresses. You may be injured by treatment for a condition you don’t have.
  • Delayed diagnosis: Proper testing is delayed or a misdiagnosis is later corrected. This lost time may seriously harm you by making your treatment more difficult. The delay may also make successful treatment impossible.
  • Failure to treat: You may get the right diagnosis but not the right or enough treatment. You may be released from a hospital too soon. You didn’t get the right follow-up care. You might not be referred to a specialist as quickly as you should have been or you weren’t referred at all.
  • Surgical errors: Mistakes were made just before, during, or after your surgery. The wrong surgery was performed or it was not needed. You were injured because the proper technique wasn’t used. Anesthesia wasn’t administered correctly, surgical instruments weren’t sterilized, or something was left inside your body. These mistakes may cause infections, result in additional surgeries, prolong your condition or even be fatal.
  • Birth injury: The malpractice may not injure you but it harms your infant. You may not have received the right prenatal care. Mistakes may have been made during birth or shortly after. Your infant may suffer serious brain damage and physical disabilities.
  • Medical product liability: Malpractice claims may involve devices, like an artificial hip or a mesh used to treat a hernia. The surgeon may have been negligent or the device’s manufacturer may have made profits a priority over safety, causing severe harm.

Signs You May be a Victim of Medical Malpractice

Many issues may show medical malpractice happened to you. Here are some examples.

A loved one dies soon after getting treatment or seeing a healthcare professional.

A mistake during surgery may have caused a fatal injury. If there was a misdiagnosis, an untreated condition could quickly worsen. A pharmacy may have provided the wrong medication or the right one in the wrong dose.

The hospital or nursing home is understaffed.

The staff is responsible for too many patients. Too much is going on and they can’t focus on what they’re doing. Needed help is significantly delayed. Alarms are going off for a long time before anyone appears. The overworked nurse or physician makes a significant mistake and the organization’s management caused the situation.

You didn’t fully agree to receive treatment.

Forms were put in front of you to sign, but you couldn’t ask questions. An informed decision wasn’t made because the risks weren’t explained. If this happened to you and you were injured, it may be medical malpractice.

Someone admitted fault for the problem.

You suffered an injury during treatment and someone owned up to it. That admission, especially if the harm is severe, should cause you to talk to one of our attorneys.

You suffer new symptoms.

They may or may not be normal, so ask questions to find out. This may be caused by your condition worsening or because the treatment isn’t working because you were misdiagnosed.

If any of these situations apply to you, talk to an attorney with experience in such cases. Your attorney will let you know if you have a medical malpractice case.

When Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

To have a valid medical malpractice case, you would need to prove more than a mistake happened. Healthcare providers are allowed a range of decisions and actions, even the wrong ones, as long as they weren’t negligent. Negligence is more than an error or an unplanned outcome.

A successful medical malpractice case would show that the other party owed you a legal duty. That person or organization needed to provide you healthcare that was at least the applicable standard of care because of the relationship between the two of you (such as doctor-patient).

That standard is the watchfulness, attention, caution, and prudence that a reasonable provider in the situation would use. This varies on the type of healthcare provider and the treatment or service that’s provided.

What if the standard of care wasn’t met? What if the person did something they shouldn’t have done or did nothing when they should have done something? What if what happened was beyond a simple mistake that healthcare providers are allowed to make? In any of these situations you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

You would also need to show that any failure to provide you with a proper standard of care caused your injury. If this is the case, you are entitled to compensation for the harm done under Pennsylvania law. How much compensation you can get will vary. Having a skilled medical malpractice attorney to fight on your behalf can substantially increase the amount of compensation you get from an insurer.

How Do You Know if You Have a Medical Malpractice Case? Ask Us

If you’ve been seriously injured by a medical professional, you may not know where to turn. Medical bills may be piling up and you’ve lost too much time from work. You’re in pain and you can’t do the things you used to do. You need help to make things right.

A skilled Wapner Newman attorney with experience with medical malpractice cases can talk to you, discuss what happened and explain the law and how it might be applied. We can review your case and work toward getting you the compensation you deserve. If you want to know whether or not you have a medical malpractice case, call our Pennsylvania law office at (215) 569-0900 to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.