Lancaster Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical Malpractice and Medical Errors in Lancaster PA
Many people believe frivolous lawsuits are the cause of the thousands of medical malpractice lawsuits across the country each year. In reality, many patients suffer serious harm from the negligent practices of a physician, surgeon, or other medical professional each and every year. Of the hundreds of thousands of patients who suffer medical malpractice injuries, few of them will bring a legal claim of medical malpractice. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, as many as ten percent of all deaths in the United States are now due to medical error, making it the third highest cause of death, following cancer and heart disease.
When patient safety experts from Johns Hopkins analyzed medical death rate data over an eight-year period, they calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error. Johns Hopkins notes that because the CDC fails to classify medical errors separately on death certificates, many deaths resulting from medical errors are not currently recognized. In 1949, when the U.S. adopted the ICD billing codes, diagnostic errors, and medical mistakes were excluded from national health statistics. It is important to note that most medical errors are not the result of inherently bad doctors, rather represent systemic problems, including fragmented insurance networks, variations in physician practice patterns, and poorly coordinated care.
The Experience of Your Pennsylvania Attorney Counts in a Medical Malpractice Claim
Those who are harmed by a medical professional may be frightened for their future, anxious, confused, and wondering how they will pay their medical expenses. If you or a member of your family have suffered harm as a result of a negligent medical practice, you could benefit from an experienced Lancaster medical malpractice attorney who will advocate for your rights. Your Lancaster medical malpractice attorney must not only possess legal expertise, he or she must have a thorough understanding of acceptable medical practices to represent you and your interests competently.
How the Ciccarelli Law Office Will Represent Your Lancaster Medical Malpractice Claim
At the Ciccarelli Law Offices, we know how to counteract the tactics used by the defendant’s attorneys. We have an extensive background in the medical field, allowing us to understand and decipher your medical documents. Our firm also has the necessary resources to consult medical experts when required. We understand that hospitals are businesses, therefore have probably defended themselves against medical malpractice claims many different times. You want the attorney in your corner to be just as experienced and just as aggressive in presenting your case and protecting your rights. Our Lancaster medical malpractice attorneys have been handling medical malpractice lawsuits for years—this experience will benefit your medical malpractice claim.
How is Medical Malpractice Proven?
When a patient is harmed by a medical professional who has failed to perform his or her medical duties in a competent manner—in the same way another medical professional would have done, under the same circumstances—medical malpractice has occurred. Your Lancaster medical malpractice attorney must show there was a clear doctor-patient relationship between yourself and the medical professional. This means the doctor treated you, which essentially means you hired the doctor, and the doctor agreed to be hired. Next, your attorney will show that negligence occurred. (If you are simply unhappy with the outcome of your medical advice or procedure, you cannot claim medical negligence—there must have been clear deviation from the standard of medical care expected). The doctor or medical professional negligence must have directly caused your injury, and that injury must have led to specific damages (physical injury, mental pain, additional medical expenses, lost wages or lost earning capacity).
The Most Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
The majority of medical malpractice claims are the result of failure to diagnose, improper treatment, or failure to warn a patient of known risks. A failure to diagnose occurs when another doctor would have discovered the patient’s illness and a better outcome would have resulted, while a misdiagnosis occurs when another doctor would have more appropriately diagnosed the patient’s illness, again, resulting in a better outcome. Both misdiagnoses and failure to diagnose are the basis for many medical malpractice claims. If a physician, surgeon, or other medical professional proposed a treatment plan that no other competent doctor would have done or administered an appropriate treatment in an inappropriate manner, then you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. If your doctor or other medical professional failed to inform you of the risks associated with a specific treatment or a medical procedure, there was no informed consent—in other words, if you were aware of the potential risks involved with the treatment or procedure, you might have made a different medical decision.
Other Types of Medical Malpractice
In addition to the above forms of medical malpractice, there are many other types, including:
- Medical Malpractice in Emergency Rooms—ERs are typically chaotic, yet all medical professionals who work in an emergency room must exercise high standards of patient care. Failure to do so can cause devastating results. Some of the most common ER mistakes occur because:
⮚ The ER facility is simply inadequate to treat even common medical conditions
⮚ Sloppy record-keeping
⮚ An insufficient number of doctors and nurses on any given shift
⮚ Failure to treat a medical emergency quickly enough
⮚ Overworked, overtired or under-trained staff
⮚ Failure to properly evaluate presented medical conditions
⮚ Failure to take a complete patient history
⮚ Medication errors
⮚ Surgical errors
⮚ Failure to properly monitor the patient
⮚ Delayed diagnosis
⮚ Failure to diagnose
- Anesthesia Errors—Anesthesia errors may be the result of defective equipment but are more often the result of incompetence or negligence on the part of the anesthesiologist. Too much anesthesia, too little anesthesia, administration of the wrong anesthesia drug, failure to administer oxygen during the procedure, failure to properly monitor the patient, known allergies to anesthesia or a failure to account for anesthesia interactions with prescription drugs are all potential anesthesia errors.
- Hospital Malpractice—Hospitals are charged with properly evaluating the qualifications of all medical personnel. When privileges are given to a medical professional who is unqualified or incompetent, serious or tragic consequences can occur. A hospital could: refuse treatment to a patient, neglect a patient, fail to offer required diagnostic tests, use equipment which is not properly sterilized, administer an incorrect drug or incorrect dosage, fail to read or interpret test results properly, misread a patient’s chart, operate on the wrong part of the body, perform surgery without consent, or could be responsible for post-op infections caused by hospital staff. Whether you were a patient at Lancaster General Hospital, Women’s Place Heart of Lancaster, Lancaster Rehabilitation Hospital, LG Health Physicians Trauma & Acute Care Surgery, Lancaster General Hospital ER, the Center for Health at Granite Run, or any other hospital in the Lancaster County area, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help.
- Post–Op Negligence—It is crucial that patients who undergo surgical procedures receive a certain standard of care after the procedure and are properly monitored. When medical personnel fail to recognize infection symptoms, fail to give clear instructions to patients regarding post-op care, or fail to monitor vital signs, they could be responsible for adverse results.
How Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations Affect Medical Malpractice Claims
Statutes of limitations are time limits set by the individual states, creating a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Statutes range from months to as long as 6 years, depending on the type of case and the particular state. In the state of Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is two years, which begins when the patient discovers—or reasonably should have discovered—that the injury occurred.
Damages You Could Reasonably Expect from a Lancaster Medical Malpractice Claim
Should your medical malpractice claim be successful, you will likely receive medical expenses (current and future) and lost wages (current as well as lost earning ability in the future) as well as possibly being awarded physical and emotional pain and suffering damages, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium. If your loved one died as the result of medical malpractice, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim to recover medical expenses, loss of financial support, funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
Our Lancaster Medical Malpractice Lawyers Are There When You Need Us
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Lancaster County medical malpractice attorneys can help you if you have been injured by an instance of medical malpractice. We understand what a difficult time this is for you—you trusted your doctor or other medical professional and he or she breached that trust, leaving you injured and possibly unable to pay your medical expenses or return to your job. Following a personal injury, you may need money to help pay your medical expenses as well as your regular monthly expenses, if you are unable to work. The decision to sue a doctor or other medical professional is never an easy one; the attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices will sit down with you, review the details of your injury, and assist you in determining whether a medical malpractice lawsuit is warranted.
We aggressively defend our clients and are proud to represent all injured Lancaster County residents, including those living in Lancaster, Ephrata, Elizabethtown, Columbia, Lititz, Millersville, Willow Street, Mount Joy, Leola, New Holland, Manheim, East Petersburg, Akron, Denver, Maytown, and Reamstown. No matter where your medical malpractice injuries occurred in Lancaster County, our attorneys are ready to assist you. Contact us today at (717) 291-9400 or (877) 529-2422. Our Lancaster Office is located at 313 West Liberty Place, Lancaster PA 17603. We are ready to help you during this difficult time.