Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers
You deserve to have the lawyers with the 97 percent success rate handling your Philadelphia medical malpractice claim.
You have to make a decision. It’s a big decision, the kind you don’t want to rush into, but it’s also the kind of choice that can’t wait. Which Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys will you trust with your claim?
You see, medical malpractice cases are so tough to win that you need the right attorneys fighting on your side. But your rights won’t last forever. If you wait too long to start looking for an experienced lawyer, you could end up losing your rights and leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.
Call Console & Hollawell today at (215) 225-2040 for your free, confidential consultation.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
The number-one question our Philly medical malpractice lawyers get is, “Do I have a case?” And it happens to be a good question.
Medical malpractice law is widely misunderstood. To have a malpractice case, you need three things:
Medical Malpractice Damages
What do we mean by damages? In the legal world, the term means the harm or losses you suffered.
Your physical injuries are your damages. Maybe your child developed cerebral palsy because of a doctor’s mistake during delivery. Perhaps your cancer progressed to an advanced stage due to misdiagnosis.
The financial costs of dealing with those injuries are also damages. The medical bills for treating your injuries are part of your damages. If you can’t work due to the injuries or while recovering from extensive medical treatments, your lost wages are also a part of your damages.
Then there’s what Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers call non-economic damages. When you pursue a claim for non-economic damages, you’re seeking compensation for things that are, well, priceless. Your quality of life. Your future health. The pain and suffering you have endured because of your doctor’s mistake.
Money alone can’t make up for what you’ve been through. Compensation can’t take away your pain or restore your health once it has been permanently damaged.
But getting full compensation can help you afford cutting-edge and expensive treatments that give you the best chance for rehabilitation. It can prevent your family from suffering a financial hardship while you’re out of work. And when you’re going through a serious medical ordeal, those things are pretty important.
Understanding Medical Negligence
Just because you have damages doesn’t mean you have a medical malpractice claim. That hinges on whether malpractice occurred – whether the doctor was negligent.
Medical Malpractice and the Standard of Care
Medical malpractice is complicated. Sometimes doctors practice medicine well, but the patient still has a bad outcome. This can be tragic, but it’s not malpractice.
Other times, medical professionals do something wrong – and that mistake could have caused serious consequences, but fortunately it didn’t.
Even though the doctor messed up, the patient still might not have a case against him or her. That’s because you can’t sue for what could have happened, only what did happen.
Malpractice claims require damages. But they also require something else, something that can be difficult to prove: a deviation from what we call the “standard of care.”
What Is the Standard of Care?
When you go to your doctor, you might not see him or her asking other physicians for their opinions and advice. But your doctor is part of a larger medical community made up of all doctors who are licensed to practice medicine.
This medical community agrees on certain things. They know what diagnostic tests and treatments are appropriate for a set of circumstances.
Your doctor has the independence to make decisions about how to best treat your medical conditions, but these treatments must align with what the medical community considers acceptable.
We call this adhering to the standard of care.
Individual doctors might disagree over which medication will work best for a patient. They might have different opinions on which surgical technique will be the most successful. But they must understand which treatment options are acceptable according to the standard of care.
Doctors can fail to meet the standard of care in several ways, including:
- Delaying or missing the diagnosis of severe conditions, like cancer, stroke, or heart attack.
- Incorrectly or inappropriately prescribing or administering medication.
- Making mistakes during surgical procedures.
- Mishandling medical equipment with serious consequences.
- Making mistakes during labor and childbirth that result in harm to the mother or baby.
Delayed Diagnoses and Misdiagnoses
When there’s something wrong with your health, you go to a doctor to find out what it is. In fact, you probably get some preventive screening done even when you’re not aware of any problems.
But what if something was wrong, and your doctor should have found it, but didn’t?
That’s what occurs in a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis claim. A doctor fails to correctly and promptly diagnose a medical condition, and that condition gets worse as a result.
How Misdiagnoses Happen
Sometimes misdiagnoses happen because doctors fail to order the tests they should according to the standard of care. You tell your doctor about your symptoms. But your physician doesn’t take the right steps to diagnose your condition.
Other times, a doctor misreads or misinterprets test results. Still other times, medical professionals find a problem through their tests, but neglect to tell you about it. And you can’t get treatment for a condition you don’t know you have.
Any of these situations shows medical negligence. And when the condition that goes misdiagnosed or undiagnosed is serious, it gets worse due to the lack of treatment.
The Effects of Delayed Diagnoses
If the first symptoms of a stroke or heart attack go unrecognized, the patient might not receive the best care right away. When doctors ignore a small, early-stage tumor, the delay allows the cancer to grow, spread, and advance into a far deadlier stage.
Emergency room malpractice often involves a misdiagnosis. Patients with serious conditions are sent home, their symptoms dismissed as nothing to worry about. Only later does it become clear how severe their symptoms really were.
Missed and delayed diagnoses can happen at other medical facilities, too. If you suspect that a delay indiagnosis made your condition worse, a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia can help you learn the truth.
All medications have downsides. But some have side effects that are far more serious than temporary discomfort.
Negligent Prescribing Practices
Your doctor might over-prescribe a dangerous drug that leads to addiction or even overdose. He or she might prescribe drugs that interact disastrously with other medications you are taking.
Malpractice by Drug Administration
Doctors aren’t the only ones who handle your medications. At a hospital, the doctor writes the prescription, but it could be a nurse or physician assistant who gives it to you.
If any medical provider makes a mistake, you could end up with the wrong amount of medication – or the wrong medication, period. Depending on what the drug is and what it’s for, this mistake could put your health in serious jeopardy.
When a pharmacist fills a prescription for you, accuracy is everything. Dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage can cause serious damage to your health.
Our medical malpractice lawyers in Philly have held pharmacists accountable for negligently dispensing dangerous quantities of prescription painkillers.
Some operations are certainly riskier than others, but all have the potential to cause harm – especially if things go wrong.
Understanding Surgical Mistakes
Determining if your surgeon made a mistake can be difficult. There are a number known risks to surgery that can occur even if your doctor does everything right. There’s also the potential for bad outcomes, surgeries that just aren’t successful, and the surgeon might not be to blame.
But negligence does occur during some surgeries. Doctors operate on the wrong body part, leave surgical instruments inside the body, or mistakenly nick a vein when they make an incision.
Finding Out If Your Surgeon Was Negligent
Your doctors might not tell you that your surgery didn’t work because of their mistakes. But a Philadelphia, PA, medical malpractice lawyer can search through your medical records to find out what really happened.
Mishandling Medical Equipment
Medical equipment is complex. A single mistake operating it can have deadly consequences. A home health aide, nursing home employee, or hospital worker who mishandles life-sustaining equipment like a ventilator can cause severe brain damage.
A high-risk pregnancy can put both the mother and baby in danger. Doctors are supposed to be on the lookout for warning signs of conditions that could result in harm. When they fail to diagnose or treat pre-natal conditions or delay an emergency C-section during childbirth, the consequences can be serious.
If you think a doctor’s actions caused harm to the mother or a birth injury such as cerebral palsy to the child, a Philly medical malpractice attorney can investigate.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Philadelphia
Any successful medical malpractice case will require both damages and a deviation from the standard of care. But to win your case, you must have evidence that proves both of these factors.
Medical Experts for Philly Malpractice Claims
To prove that your doctor’s actions constituted malpractice, an attorney will need to know the details of what happened to you and review your medical records.
If it seems likely that you have a case, the attorney will have a medical expert review your records. This expert is a doctor who understands what the medical community considers acceptable behavior. A medical expert can assess whether there’s enough evidence to show that your doctor deviated from the standard of care.
Certificates of Merit
When you began learning about medical malpractice claims, you might have heard of a “certificate of merit.”
These legal documents are what lawyers use to show that your claim isn’t frivolous. The certificate of merit shows that you have evidence to back up your claims that the doctor who should have been taking care of you caused you harm.
How Common Is Medical Malpractice?
If you think your doctor may have made a mistake, your suspicions aren’t all that farfetched. Medical errors are far more common than most Philadelphians believe.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
Because medical errors are so often covered up, it’s hard to say exactly how prevalent malpractice really is. Not until 1999, when the Institute of Medicine published a report that estimated 98,000 people die from hospital mistakes each year, did the extent of the problem start to become clear.
In the years that followed, medical professionals saw pressure to reduce errors, as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported. But the next studies showed that medical mistakes were even more widespread.
Preventable hospital errors lead to 200,000 to 400,000 deaths each year, a more recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety reported.
If this estimate is right, hospital negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States – killing more people than work accidents, car crashes, drug overdoses, violence, and most diseases.
And if hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their lives to medical malpractice, far more suffer severe – but non-fatal – injuries. “Serious harm seems to be 10- to 20-fold more common than lethal harm,” the Journal of Patient Safety survey reported.
Medical Malpractice Claims in Philadelphia
As common as medical errors are, only a small percentage of its victims ever stand up for themselves through a legal claim.
In 2015, for example, Philadelphia juries heard just 21 medical malpractice cases – and only 38 percent of the victims won their lawsuits, the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania reported.
Too many victims of medical errors live with severe injuries day in and day out. They often lack the financial resources that could help them afford the best treatment – so they never get better. Our medical malpractice attorneys in Philadelphia want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Medical Errors in Philly Hospitals
Philadelphia is home to more than two dozen hospitals. There are general hospitals and specialty care centers. Trauma units and rehab hospitals. Some Philly hospitals are recognized across the nation for their quality. Others are known only locally.
Philadelphia hospitals include:
- Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment
- Chestnut Hill Hospital
- Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia
- Fairmount Behavioral Health System
- Fox Chase Cancer Center
- Friends Hospital
- Girard Medical Center
- Good Shepherd Penn Partners Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse
- Hahnemann University Hospital
- The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
- Jeanes Hospital
- Kensington Hospital
- Kindred Hospital-Philadelphia
- Kindred Hospital South Philadelphia
- Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
- Nazareth Hospital
- Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
- Pennsylvania Hospital
- Roxborough Memorial Hospital
- Joseph’s Hospital
- Temple University Hospital
- Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
- Veterans Affairs Medical Center
- Wills Eye Hospital
At any one of these facilities, the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff who work there must always adhere to the standard of care. Otherwise, errors happen and patients get hurt – no matter how good the hospital’s reputation is.
Malpractice Can Happen at All Kinds of Medical Facilities
Not every act of medical malpractice takes place in a hospital. Doctors of all specialties can make errors that deviate from the standard of care. Home health aides and healthcare staff at nursing homes and inpatient rehab centers put patients’ lives at risk if they disregard safety protocols.
What you need to know is that even a doctor at a solo practice, one you have seen and trusted for years, can make deadly mistakes. When that happens, pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit is the only way you will have a chance at recovery.
Our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers have seen just how devastating mistakes at Philly hospitals and doctors’ offices can be. Innocent patients suffer life-changing injuries – or even lose their lives – because of a doctor’s negligence.
Our History of Success Handling Medical Malpractice Claims
Our Philadelphia medical malpractice verdicts and settlements have brought in millions of dollars for clients whose lives were turned upside-down by doctors’ errors.
Just a few successes we have had handling claims like yours include:
- $750,000 for the family of a man who died when doctors delayed his cancer diagnosis for years, allowing the once treatable condition to become terminal.
- $825,000 for the family of a man killed when a family medicine doctor who once ran a solo practice near Rittenhouse Square over-prescribed painkillers to him.
- $925,000 for the family of another man who died due to his doctor’s opiate prescribing practices.
- $1,140,000 for another fatal painkiller overdose, which was caused by a Philadelphia doctor and pharmacy.
- $1,500,000 for a baby who suffered severe brain damage when a home health worker mishandled a respirator, leaving the child without oxygen.
- $1,650,000 for the family of another man who lost his life due to his doctor over-prescribing painkillers.
Our medical malpractice attorneys in Philadelphia have experience handling med mal claims of all kinds. Our work on prescription painkiller overdose claims has caught the attention of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Why Put Your Med Mal Case in Our Hands
There’s no shortage of medical malpractice law firms in Philadelphia, PA. So why is it so important that you choose Console & Hollawell?
Having the right medical malpractice attorneys in Philly can make the difference between success and failure for your claim. Which Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers you choose determines whether you have support throughout your claim or get stuck handling all of the problems yourself.
At Console & Hollawell, our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys have won awards not only for our legal work, but also for the service we give all of our clients.
We’ve gone the extra mile to help our clients overcome problems that threaten to stand in the way of them getting better.
We have fought in court to get our clients every dollar they deserve, achieving a 97 percent success rate.
And we make a commitment to handling all of our clients’ medical malpractice claims on a no-win, no-fee basis.
When you can have medical malpractice lawyers with two decades of experience fighting for you at no upfront cost, why wouldn’t you?
Getting Help for Your Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Case
You don’t have to go far to get experienced help on your side. You’ll find our Philadelphia office on Market Street, within walking distance of public transportation stops and landmarks like LOVE Park and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.
You can also reach us anytime by phone or email. We’ll never charge you for calls, messages, or face-to-face meetings.
Your doctor let you down. Your attorneys won’t – not when you choose the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Console & Hollawell to handle your case. Call (215) 225-2040 now.
Warning: The deadline to pursue a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania is just two years – and every day you wait to get help puts your legal rights at risk. Don’t wait to make the right choice!