You should be able to trust your medical provider to give a certain standard of care. However, when your doctor or surgeon is negligent, the end results can be devastating to you and your family. Kalinoski Law Offices is here to stand with you against medical malpractice, including dental malpractice, birth injuries, and cancer misdiagnosis.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is negligent or improper treatment of a patient by a medical professional. In these instances, the outcome results in loss, harm, or damage because of poor care.
What are the most common forms of medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. The most common forms of medical malpractice leading to claims are:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical professional fails to recognize the clinical signs and symptoms of a condition as well as does not order proper testing that would lead to a diagnosis. Other forms of delayed or misdiagnosis include misread lab results, errors in tests, etc.
- Failure to treat: Failure to treat isn’t as simple as a doctor doing nothing for a patient. There are many examples of failure to treat: being released from a hospital too soon, giving no follow-up care, giving no subsequent tests, and not reviewing a patient’s medical history when prescribing a treatment plan.
- Prescription drug errors: Prescription errors can be when a doctor provides too large a dosage of a prescription drug or does not recognize and convey the hazards of medication. Another example is when a medication has negative interactions with other medications a patient is taking.
- Surgical/procedural errors: Many individuals think of surgical errors when they hear medical malpractice. Surgical errors include: operating on the wrong limb leaving tools inside a patient, issues with anesthesia, and not following appropriate medical procedures.
- Birth injuries: Devastating to expectant parents, birth injuries can include trauma to both mother and child during delivery, mishandling the baby after birth, and substandard prenatal care
These errors result in 250,000 deaths each year. Of those who file medical malpractice claims, 80% of cases result from severe injuries or deaths.
Comparative Negligence in Medical Malpractice Claims
Under Pennsylvania Constitutional Statutes, we utilize the negligence doctrine of modified comparative liability. There is no reward for cases of intentional fraud, intentional self-harm, or when a patient is 60% or more liable for his/her injury.
Medical Malpractice Legal Requirements
When you have suffered at the hands of a medical provider, you need strong evidence to support your claims. In Pennsylvania, you need a certificate of merit and expert testimony highlighting the wrongdoing that caused the injury, illness, or death.
Your certificate of merit must illustrate one of the following:
- There is a reasonable probability there was a breached standard of care.
- The defendant was responsible for the person who breached the standard of care.
- There is no need for expert testimony.
In cases where expert medical testimony/witness is required, the selected expert must be:
- A physician who is experienced in the field in question.
- Of the same or a similar specialty as the defendant.
The injured has up to two years after the accident to file a medical malpractice claim, but there are exceptions. For instance, if the victim doesn’t know about the injury for a time, or the victim was a minor at the time of the incident.
Medical Care Availability and Reduction Error Fund
The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund (“Mcare”) was created by the state to ensure reasonable compensation for individuals injured due to medical negligence. Specifically, the fund pays for claims against participating healthcare providers. It covers losses or damages awarded in excess of basic insurance coverage provided by primary professional liability insurance companies or self-insurers. In addition, Mcare also handles compliance issues and serves as a third party to handle claims against medical providers
Scranton Medical Malpractice: Kalinoski Law Offices P.C.
Victims of medical malpractice should call Scranton’s personal injury attorney, Craig Kalinoski. When medical malpractice has left you with medical bills, a disability, or mental or physical anguish, you shouldn’t be the one paying. Our office provides services for clients all across Pennsylvania. Contact us today for a free consultation.