Philadelphia Hospital Malpractice Lawyer
Our Medical Malpractice Attorney Handles Hospital Malpractice
When you go to a hospital, you expect to get help from medical professionals and receive competent care so you can get well again. Instead, too many people suffer harm because of bad medical care or errors that can lead to worsening of the original condition, new and serious symptoms, and even death.
If you or a loved one was harmed or someone has died due to the negligent or incompetent care on the part of a hospital or its medical professionals, you may have grounds for a hospital medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain compensation for your losses. However, not everything that goes wrong in a hospital is necessarily grounds for medical malpractice; Pennsylvania medical malpractice laws are complicated, and hospitals and their insurers will typically attempt to deny your claim or get you to settle for as little as possible. Making mistakes can be costly, so for your claim to be successful, you should have a skilled medical malpractice lawyer on your side to fight for the compensation you deserve.
The Philadelphia hospital error attorneys of Wapner Newman have extensive experience dealing with hospital malpractice and can review your case and advise you whether you have grounds to seek financial compensation. Serving communities throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, our Eastern PA medical negligence lawyers believe that harm due to a hospital’s mistake or omission is unacceptable and will hold the at-fault parties accountable and make them pay for their mistakes.
We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your hospital medical malpractice case and determine the best way to move forward. There are no fees to you unless and until we win your case, so call us today at (215) 569-0900 to get started.
Hospital Malpractice Lawyers in Philadelphia Explain What is Malpractice
Medical malpractice is generally defined as any action (or inaction) by a healthcare provider that departs from accepted medical practices and causes patient injury. When a hospital employee fails to provide proper care in the course of his or her duties, the hospital can be held responsible for any resulting patient harm.
However, a hospital is not responsible for every medical complication, injury or death suffered by its patients. Whether a hospital will be liable depends upon whether the hospital acted reasonably and with competence with respect to the medical services provided. A hospital will also be liable when it employs a doctor or other healthcare professional who is negligent or when there is apparent employment. This liability encompasses all staff members, such as nurses, paramedics and technicians. Whether a doctor is an employee of the hospital or an independent contractor depends on the nature of his or her relationship with the hospital.
Examples of Hospital Malpractice
While not everything that goes wrong in a hospital is negligence, common actions by employees that may be negligent include:
- Delayed diagnosis/failure to diagnose
- Failure to monitor a patient
- Failure to order proper tests
- Foreign object left inside patient after surgery
- Improper reading of tests
- Improper anesthesia
- Improper treatment for the diagnosis
- Unnecessary surgery
- Wrong diagnosis
- Wrong medication or wrong dose
- Wrong-site surgery.
Patients can also be injured by the practices of a hospital, in situations where there may be:
- Failure to check that every staff member and independent contractor has the proper credentials
- Failure to safeguard narcotics from employee abuse
- Failure to use reasonable care in supervising all health care professionals that use the facility
- Improper or insufficient employee training
- Improper recordkeeping
- Inadequate staffing
- Nonfunctioning equipment
- Unsafe grounds/dangerous conditions
- Unsanitary supplies.
Determining employment status and assigning fault in medical malpractice cases can get complicated, so it’s important to speak with an experienced hospital negligence lawyer as soon as possible who can identify all the proper parties and determine if the negligence was a factual cause in bringing about the harm. Call us today at (215) 569-0900.
Damage Awards in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Our Philadelphia Hospital Malpractice Lawyer May Win an Award for Economic and Noneconomic Damages
Hospital malpractice can have a serious impact on the life of a patient, so damages can be substantial. When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you are saying that you have been harmed by a healthcare provider’s substandard care and that you want compensation for the harm you have suffered. In a successful medical malpractice claim, Pennsylvania allows compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are damages that can be calculated monetarily, including:
- Past, present and future medical expenses such as costs for rehabilitation, therapy, and corrective surgeries
- Lost wages and earnings and reduced or lost potential future earnings
- Alterations to one’s home, such as to accommodate a wheelchair
- Funeral costs, in case of death.
Non-economic damages are intangible, quality-of-life losses that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact your life, such as:
- Physical, mental, or emotional trauma, pain, and suffering
- Loss of consortium, companionship and life’s pleasures.
Punitive damages. In some rare cases, where a medical professional acted in ways that are deemed intentional or with a reckless disregard of the consequences, punitive damages may also be awarded to discourage similar situations from happening again. Pennsylvania caps punitive damages for medical malpractice at two times the amount of actual damages in the case.
Amounts of Damage Awards
There are a wide range of damage awards possible in a hospital medical malpractice lawsuit, from the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Amounts awarded depend on the circumstances and factors involved in the case, including the severity and permanence of the injuries; whether injuries require long-term, expensive continuing care; and whether a death was involved. The skill and negotiating ability of your attorney and the individual judge and jury involved are also factors.
Our hospital malpractice attorneys will examine all factors in your individual situation to determine how much your case should be worth.
Philadelphia Hospital Malpractice Attorney Must Prove Negligence
Hospitals Must Adhere to the Standard of Care
There is a standard of care that hospitals must adhere to or they can be found negligent and liable for damages. The standard is set out in the Thompson v. Nason rules for corporate responsibility of a hospital, as follows:
- Hospitals must use reasonable care in the maintenance of safe and adequate facilities and equipment.
- Hospitals must select and retain only competent physicians.
- Hospitals must oversee all persons who practice medicine within their walls as to patient care.
- Hospitals must formulate, adopt and enforce adequate rules and policies to ensure quality care for patients.
In addition, there is also vicarious liability, when a hospital agent, servant or employee acts in a negligent fashion. Not everyone working in a hospital is actually an employee – many are independent contractors with privileges to work there. In Pennsylvania, the Mcare Act addresses when a hospital is negligent because an individual appears to the patient to be a hospital employee even if that person is not. Under certain circumstances, a hospital can be responsible even for non-employees of the hospital.
To prove a hospital was negligent legally, our attorneys would have to show that the hospital:
- Had a duty of care to adhere to a standard of care and not cause you harm
- Breached that duty by acting negligently and violating the standard of care
- This failure of duty caused your injuries or a death
- You suffered damages as a result.
To prove negligence, our medical malpractice attorneys will gather evidence by obtaining medical records, photographs and videos, and eyewitness statements. We also work with expert witnesses to determine where there was malpractice and with experts to testify on your behalf as to how the malpractice negatively impacted your life and how it will affect your future. We will then negotiate with insurance companies and their attorneys for a fair settlement, and, if necessary, we are fully prepared to build your case and take it to court and present it before a judge and jury.
At Wapner Newman, we have the resources to work with experts and establish the proof of hospital negligence necessary to win your case. Call us today to get started at (215) 569-0900.
Get Help from Our Hospital Malpractice Attorneys in Philadelphia
There are far too many patients whose health is made worse by hospital errors. In addition to the physical damage, hospital medical malpractice can carry a hefty price tag, and patients have gone bankrupt trying to pay medical bills that they would not have had if they had not been injured by a negligent medical provider or facility. If a hospital mistake has harmed you or someone in your family, you need an advocate on your side – someone who will protect your rights and who is determined to get you the compensation you deserve. A successful medical malpractice suit also serves to alert the hospital to significant problems that should be addressed in order to prevent the same mistake from happening to another patient.
For almost 40 years, the Philadelphia hospital negligence attorneys at Wapner Newman have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf.
Don’t delay. It’s important to start our investigations as quickly as possible while evidence and witnesses can still be found, so call us today at (215) 569-0900.