A well-known study published by Johns Hopkins Medicine named medical error as the third leading cause of death in the United states—more than 250,000 deaths per year. If you were the victim of medical negligence, a Lewisburg medical malpractice lawyer from the office of Stapp Law, LLC is available to answer questions about legal options for you and your family. We represent those injured through medical malpractice in Union County and the surrounding areas of central Pennsylvania.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is an area of personal injury law that deals with medical negligence leading to patient injury. When we define medical malpractice, we refer to a situation in which a patient is harmed by a medical professional who does not perform their duties as they should. In other words, the doctor fails to live up to a standard of care that patients have the right to expect from their physicians. Medical malpractice can be a specific action or an omission that leads to harm.
Medical malpractice law does not apply only to doctors. This area of the law covers all aspects of medical and dental care. Any medical professional who administers care to a patient has a duty to uphold certain standards as defined by the law. These healthcare professionals include:
- Medical technicians
- Hospital staff
- Any other healthcare professional responsible for patient care
If you are an injured victim of medical error, there are certain criteria that must be met in order for you to be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It must be established that a doctor-patient relationship between you and the healthcare provider existed, that the doctor (or other medical professional) owed you a duty of care and breached that duty, that the breach of duty lead to an injury, and that the injury resulted in damages.
Simply being unhappy with the care your doctor provided does not mean medical malpractice occurred. It’s important for there to be clear evidence that a duty of care was breached and that you suffered specific damages as a direct result. Medical malpractice can be an extremely complicated area of personal injury law, but it can also serve to right some of the greatest injustices. If you are not sure whether your injury was the result of medical negligence, a Lewisburg medical malpractice attorney from Stapp Law, LLC can offer experienced legal advice during a free initial consultation about your case.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Laws about medical malpractice in Pennsylvania recognize that substandard treatment leading to injury can happen in many different healthcare settings. Medical negligence or error can occur in a physician’s office, hospital, operation room (OR), emergency room (ER), inpatient care center, dentist’s office, or other medical facility. Examples of medical negligence could include surgery performed on the wrong limb, cancer that should have been diagnosed but wasn’t, surgical instruments left inside a patient, a poorly-run medical procedure, or wrongly-prescribed medication.
The following list provides examples of some of the most common types of medical malpractice claims:
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose
- Failure to treat
- Improper or inadequate treatment
- Birth injuries
- Medication errors (incorrect medicine, incorrect dosage, or administered incorrectly)
- Errors during a medical procedure
- Unsterilized equipment leading to infection
- Failure to protect from infection
- ER mistakes
- Failure to warn of known risks
We have a number of excellent healthcare facilities serving the neighborhoods in and around Lewisburg, PA. We depend on these healthcare providers to protect the health and wellbeing of our family, friends, children, and aging loved ones. We know that most medical professionals act out of compassion and perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. If someone chooses not to uphold this standard, their actions can cause substantial harm to others. Our firm at Stapp Law, LLC practices medical malpractice law because we believe our community deserves to be protected against the wrongdoing of negligent parties.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in PA?
In personal injury cases, a statute of limitations is the amount of time the injured party has to take legal action. For example, if a patient is injured by a physician’s actions, there is a limited amount of time during which that patient is eligible to file a medical malpractice claim against the physician. After the deadline has passed, the patient no longer has the option to take legal action, and the claim will be dismissed by the court if filed.
Because medical malpractice is somewhat different from other personal injury law, Pennsylvania is one of several states that has statute of limitations laws specific to medical malpractice cases. Under PA state law, an injured patient has two years to file a medical malpractice claim. The time typically starts from the date on which the patient discovers they are injured. A patient may learn of the injury immediately—this happens in some cases when there is a preventable injury during childbirth, or when a patient wakes up during surgery. Other times, a patient may not discover the injury until it is revealed years later. This may be the case if a surgeon makes a mistake that leads to a later health complication.
Injured patients filing medical malpractice claims in Union County need to have a Lewisburg medical malpractice lawyer with comprehensive knowledge of all applicable laws. There may be exceptions to the statute of limitations law, often in situations involving minors under the age of 18. And Pennsylvania also has a statute of repose law requiring that a medical malpractice claim be filed within seven years of the injury, no matter when the patient discovered it. Our medical malpractice team at Stapp Law, LLC will thoroughly assess your situation to determine which deadlines apply to your case.
Stapp Law, LLC Represents Those Wrongfully Injured by Medical Negligence
When you work with a Lewisburg medical malpractice attorney from Stapp Law, LLC, you know you have a legal advocate who cares personally about your case. Our firm believes that our job is to make the lives of our clients better. Our clients trust us with some of the most personal and important aspects of their lives, and we never take this trust lightly.
Medical negligence is a serious issue that kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. Taking legal action against medical malpractice helps to ensure that patient health is the number one priority in the eyes of hospital administrators and the healthcare industry as a whole. We at Stapp Law, LLC advocate for injured clients in Lewisburg, PA, Union County, and the neighboring areas of Central Pennsylvania. Contact our office for a free consultation about how we may be able to help you and your family.