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Medical Malpractice

Every day, people all over Pennsylvania literally place their lives in the hands of doctors and other healthcare professionals. Physicians take the Hippocratic Oath to practice medicine ethically, but there are occasions in which these extremely well-educated human beings still remain susceptible to error.

These types of mistakes can have significant and often tragic consequences. It is important for victims of these errors and the families who have lost loved ones because of medical mistakes to know that they have a limited amount of time to take legal action, and the level of investigation involved in these cases makes it imperative to seek help as soon as possible.

West Chester Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Were you the victim or did your loved die because of medical negligence? You should immediately contact an experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney.

Ciccarelli Law Offices represents clients all over Chester County as well as Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County, and Delaware County. These are extremely complex legal claims, but our firm will keep you fully informed about the status of your case and fight to get you every last dollar of financial compensation.

We will put your needs first and make sure that any settlement offer accounts for every one of your future needs. Call (610) 719-3190 right now to schedule a free, no obligation consultation that will let our firm review your case and see how we may be able to help.

Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Overview

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Elements of Chester County Medical Malpractice Claims

Lawsuits involving medical errors need to have all four of the following elements:

  • Duty Was Owed — The doctor-patient relationship created a legal duty for the doctor to provide care for the patient.
  • Breach of Duty — Either the doctor or medical staff was negligent and deviated from the standard of care. A person cannot file a lawsuit simply because he or she is dissatisfied with the results of a procedure that was properly completed.
  • Breach Caused Injury — The party filing the lawsuit needs to prove that the medical negligence directly caused the patient’s injury.
  • Damages — The patient must suffer some kind of harm as a result of the medical negligence in order to sue for malpractice.

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Types of Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania

Several errors can be the subject of these types of lawsuits. :

  • Failure to Diagnose — Improper diagnoses may lead to a delay in treatment that could possibly result in death
  • Misdiagnosis — Delayed diagnoses can cause delays in treatment or send patients down the improper treatment paths
  • Failure to Obtain Informed Consent — This may involve a doctor performing a procedure without the patient’s consent or a patient claiming he or she would not have agreed to the procedure had he or she been fully informed of the risks involved
  • Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect — Elder abuse claims stemming from negligence by nursing home staff
  • Prescription Errors — Mistakes made in writing, prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications can have serious consequences
  • Birth Injuries — Unlike birth defects that can be the result of other external factors, these injuries are usually caused by some sort of medical negligence
  • Anesthesia Mistakes — Errors during anesthesia can have significant, long-term consequences
  • Hospital Liability — In certain cases, the hospitals can be liable for the negligence of certain employees
  • Surgical Mistakes — These are preventable errors that are made during surgery

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Statute of Limitations in West Chester Child Injuries Medical Malpractice Cases

Pennsylvania law places certain limits on the amount of time that individuals are allowed to file these types of claims. The statute of limitations for any type of medical malpractice claim is two years from when the victims knows or should have known about the injury.

There is also a "statute of repose" on medical malpractice claims that do not involve a foreign object that limits claims to seven years after the date of the action that constituted malpractice. A statute of repose is an absolute limit, whether or not the victim has any reason to know about the injury. For instance, if a person has an injury from a medical error but it does not become apparent for eight years, he or she would not be able to recover. This is why it is important to act quickly.

If the victim was a minor, then he or she has either seven years from the date of the alleged breach of duty or after he or she reaches 20 years of age, whichever is later.

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Chester County Medical Malpractice Damages

The compensation that victims seek in these types of cases is referred to as damages. There are different categories of compensatory damages, some of which are easier to quantify than others:

  • Economic Damages — These damages are usually based on actual out-of-pocket financial losses, such as lost wages, medical bills, prescription drug costs, future economic losses, or nursing assistance. There are no limits on economic damages.
  • Noneconomic Damages — These types of damages are much harder to quantify because the monetary value is subjective. Noneconomic damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or inconvenience, and there is no cap on these damages.
  • Punitive Damages — These types of damages are amounts that are intended to punish particularly egregious or reckless conduct in order to discourage future wrongdoing. State law caps punitive damages at 200 percent of the compensatory damages (economic and noneconomic damages).

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Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Resources

The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Statistics — This website for the unified state court system of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has research and statistics concerning the number of medical malpractice case filings, jury verdicts, and non-jury verdicts.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) — This is the nation’s largest philanthropy organization devoted entirely to health and health care. The website contains a newsroom and blog as well as information about grants, financials, and annual reports.

National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) — This independent not-for-profit organization partners with patients and families, the health care community, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm. You can find news, event listings, and educational links on this website.

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Find the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyer in West Chester

If you sustained an injury or your loved one was killed because of a doctor or other medical professional’s negligence, you should seek the help of Ciccarelli Law Offices. Our knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys work as a team and handle malpractice cases on a contingency basis, which means that we do not charge anything unless our clients obtain a financial award.

Our firm serves all of Chester County, including such communities as West Chester, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Kennett Square, Radnor, Plymouth Square, Malvern, and Philadelphia. We will provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (610) 719-3190 to take advantage of a free consultation.