Medical Malpractice Defined
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider makes a mistake during a procedure (e.g. surgery), while prescribing medicine, or during any kind of treatment that has adverse, harmful effects to a patient.
If you suspect that a physician, surgeon, doctor, nurse, or medical professional committed an error resulting in harm to yourself or a loved one, you may have a viable medical malpractice claim. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA is your best tool in discovering the worth and validity of your claim.
If you’re unsure if you have a legitimate medical malpractice claim, Contact The Villari Firm today. Our medical malpractice attorneys will give you a free, confidential consultation and answer all your questions.
How to Know You Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Claim
It’s important to understand that just because you had an unfavorable medical result doesn’t mean you have a medical malpractice claim. Some medical procedures come with inherent risks that cannot be mitigated anymore than they already are. A surgeon should make you or your loved one aware of any risks before a procedure.
It is your responsibility to sign off on those risks before said procedure.
In high-risk cases such as these, it’s not always clear that a physician’s mistake has led to a patient’s harm and suffering. This is why it’s vital to get the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer like the attorneys at The Villari Firm.
We analyze and investigate your case, inform you of the facts and guide you towards seeking compensation for any injuries suffered.
Steps to Take if You Suffered an Injury in the Care of Medical Staff
In Pennsylvania, to file a medical malpractice claim, you have to fill out and submit several documents to the proper state departments. If you suspect that you’ve been injured or harmed due to the negligence of a physician or medical professional, the most important action to take is calling a knowledgeable and experienced malpractice attorney.
The Villari Firm is staffed with medical malpractice specialists who’ve managed successful suits for almost 25 years. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation.
Common Medical Malpractice Claims
A misdiagnosis may not seem like a terrible mistake at first. If a medical issue goes unnoticed and undiagnosed, though, it could compound into something dire and catastrophically harmful to a patient.
A misdiagnosis can also be something as simple as a prescription that doesn’t agree with you either due to another medication you’re taking or an allergy. This dangerous mistake can also lead to unnecessary procedures or other treatments.
Sometimes it’s hard to define whether a misdiagnosis is worthy of a malpractice suit, so it’s important to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA.
Some of the most devastating medical mistakes are surgical errors. Because of the intense complexity of surgery, there’s a high margin of error. While not all mistakes during surgery are easily considered medical malpractice, many can be.
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer, like the ones at The Villari Firm, helps you discover if you have a claim due to a botched surgery.
Anesthesia is a medical procedure used for pain management. It is also used for inducing an unconscious state for more invasive procedures. Anesthesia is generally applied by a licensed and trained specialist called an anesthesiologist who mitigates the inherent danger involved in the procedure.
That said, anesthesiologists can still make errors that unfortunately bring tragic, sometimes fatal consequences. If an anesthesia mistake has harmed you or a loved one, speak with an experienced malpractice attorney right away. They’ll help you understand your rights, and guide you in seeking compensation for your pain and suffering.
Incorrect medication can lead to several complications. If a physician prescribes a medication that a patient is allergic to, or that reacts adversely with a medication already being taken, severe reactions may occur.
Additionally, if an incorrect medication is given to a patient, the prescribing physician may be misdiagnosing, a mistake that comes with further issues.
Birth injuries can run the gamut of severity–some cases are mild while others are debilitating, requiring a lifetime of medical care. These injuries occur when a healthcare provider commits an error during childbirth resulting in an injury to the mother, child, or both.
If you’re having trouble deciding if you or a loved one suffered a physician’s neglect during childbirth, contact The Villari Firm today. We’ve handled birth injury malpractice cases in Pittsburgh for almost 25 years.
Proving Medical Malpractice Occurred
To have a valid medical malpractice suit, you have to be able to prove the following four criteria:
- Failure to preserve standard of care: Medical professionals need to follow a code of ethics and standards with every procedure, and every procedure has different standards. A good medical malpractice lawyer in Pittsburgh will be able to help you understand if that standard of care was upheld or not.
- Factual cause of harm: If you are able to prove that your medical professional did indeed not live up to the standard of care set for them, you must then prove that the deviation from that standard resulted in harm suffered by you.
- Damages: The harm, or damages, that you suffered must be proven. In other words, you must prove that you did suffer injuries with medical documentation and the word of medical experts.
- Certification of Merit: A signed certificate from an expert witness helps validate your claims of medical malpractice. A physician or medical professional with experience in your claim’s field can provide this. Your attorney will help find and bring forth experts to bolster your claim.
What a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Does
A medical malpractice lawyer performs many important functions in helping you seek compensation for your pain and suffering. When an attorney from The Villari Firm is in your corner, though, you can expect a wide range of services including:
- Thorough claim investigation
- Medical expert opinions and validation
- Corresponding on your behalf with defending attorneys, judges, & other authorities and personnel
- Negotiating (with defendants, insurance company, etc.)
- Litigation (i.e. arguing on your behalf in court)
Medical Malpractice FAQs
Am I Able to Sue for Medical Malpractice?
Yes. Medical malpractice suits are common but need several key pieces of information to validate them. (See “Proving Medical Malpractice Occurred” for more.)
What is the Cost of a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Pittsburgh?
Total costs for a medical malpractice lawyer in Pittsburgh vary according to the services provided. You can spend anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or more. The higher end of the spectrum is likely if litigation is involved.
In any case, an honorable attorney will defer their payment until you get your settlement. The Villari Firm, for instance, forgoes any upfront costs and only deducts their agreed upon fee from your settlement amount.
What Kind of Damages Can You Expect From a Medical Malpractice Case?
There are three types of damages that can be sought in a medical malpractice case. Punitive damages carry criminal implications, and can result in consequences for the defendant including fines, and possible imprisonment.
Economic damages carry a price tag, and can be discerned from a victim’s medical bills, invoices, or anything else that proves financial damages were incurred.
Non-economic damages cannot be discerned quite as easily–they involve pain, suffering, and other adverse mental and physical effects not quantifiable. Despite that, these types of damages are just as important as others and should be treated as such.
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims?
Yes–the statute of limitations is two years. That means that if you wait for any longer than two years following a botched medical procedure or treatment, you cannot seek compensation in a court of law for any damages incurred as a result.
Talk with the Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Lawyers at the Villari Firm, PLLC
If you’re in need of a medical malpractice lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA, look no further than The Villari Firm. We’ve handled successful cases of medical malpractice for our clients for over two decades.
The Villari Firm provides you with the compassionate, diligent counsel you deserve. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation.