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Medical malpractice: it’s something you might never have thought about until it finally happened to you. You’ve been to see doctors all your life, and the great majority of them have been great.

But then you go to see one whose treatment actually ends up hurting instead of helping you. Just to find out whether everything was on the up and up, you go to see a medical malpractice lawyer in Scranton, PA. To your surprise, you learn you just may have a medical malpractice case on your hands and be eligible for compensation.

If you’ve been hurt by a doctor or another healthcare provider you were supposed to trust, you may be feeling alone, afraid, and not sure what to do next.

At the Moran Law Group, we want you to contact one of our personal injury attorneys in Scranton. We have more than 50 years of combined personal injury law experience and exist solely to take on your case and make it our own. During these trying times, we’ll stand by you to secure you the compensation you need to get your life back on track.

What Do Medical Malpractice Lawyers Do?

If you’ve never had a reason to deal with medical malpractice lawyers in Scranton, PA–or any kind of personal injury lawyer, for that matter–you may have no idea what professionals like us can do for clients. You might even be wondering what lawyers would know about doctors and medicine.

Essentially, medical malpractice lawyers work similarly to civil litigators. That means we collect evidence and other information about legal cases that don’t involve criminal charges.

When you come to us with the suspicion of medical malpractice, we spend time poring over your situation, interviewing you personally, and collaborating with our network of medical experts to determine whether your injury resulted from negligence on the part of the healthcare provider.

If we can prove that the provider acted irresponsibly, we will fight for your right to the compensation you need to pay your medical bills and return your life to normal.

What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice?

We have seen all kinds of medical malpractice at our Scranton law firm over the years. To give you a better idea of what kinds of actions or inactions constitute medical malpractice, we have compiled the following list for you.

Examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Misdiagnosing a condition
  • Failing to diagnose a condition
  • Prescribing wrong medications or doses
  • Operating on the wrong area of the body
  • Leaving surgical tools inside the body
  • Failing to examine medical charts or lab results
  • Ordering an unnecessary medical test
  • Displaying post-operative negligence that leads to infections and other complications

This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you an idea of the types of incidents for which medical malpractice firms such as the Moran Law Group have sued liable parties for our clients.

Frequently Asked Legal Questions About Medical Malpractice

1. What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the standard of care, causing harm to a patient. This standard of care refers to the level and type of care an ordinarily prudent healthcare professional, with similar training and experience, would provide under similar circumstances. Medical malpractice can arise from a variety of situations, such as surgical errors, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medication mistakes, or improper treatment. To prove medical malpractice, four elements must be established: a duty of care owed by the healthcare professional, a breach of that duty, causation linking the breach to the injury, and damages resulting from the injury. Medical malpractice claims aim to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable and provide compensation to patients who have suffered harm due to substandard medical care. Each case is unique, and consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can help determine if you have a viable medical malpractice claim.

2. How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?

Determining whether you have a medical malpractice case involves evaluating several key factors. Firstly, you need to establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed, meaning you hired the doctor, and the doctor agreed to be hired. Secondly, you must show that the healthcare professional was negligent and did not provide treatment that meets the accepted standard of care. This often requires expert testimony from medical professionals. Thirdly, it must be proven that the negligence directly caused your injury. This is often challenging because many patients are already ill or injured at the time of treatment. Lastly, you must demonstrate that the injury led to specific damages such as physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, or lost work and earning capacity. Due to the complexity of medical malpractice cases, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who can help assess the strength of your claim and guide you through the legal process.

3. What should I do if I suspect medical malpractice?

If you suspect that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it is essential to take immediate and appropriate steps to protect your health and legal rights. First, seek a second medical opinion to address any ongoing health issues and to confirm if malpractice has occurred. Collect and preserve all relevant medical records, including notes, test results, prescriptions, and communication with healthcare providers. Document your symptoms, treatments, and any interactions with medical staff. Next, consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate your case, guide you through the legal process, and help determine if you have a viable claim. It is also important to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in your state, as waiting too long could bar you from seeking compensation. Acting promptly can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.

4. How long do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

The timeframe within which you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit is governed by the statute of limitations, which varies by state. Generally, this period ranges from one to three years from the date of the injury or from when the injury was discovered or should have been discovered. Some states also have a statute of repose, which sets an absolute deadline, regardless of when the injury was discovered. There are exceptions to these rules, such as cases involving minors or instances of fraud or concealment by the healthcare provider, which might extend the filing deadline. It is crucial to consult with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as you suspect malpractice to ensure you do not miss any critical deadlines. Filing within the statute of limitations is vital for preserving your right to pursue legal action and seeking compensation for your injuries.

5. What types of damages can I recover in a medical malpractice case?

In a medical malpractice case, you may be entitled to various types of damages, which are generally categorized as economic, non-economic, and, in some instances, punitive. Economic damages cover tangible financial losses such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity. Non-economic damages compensate for intangible losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. In rare cases where the healthcare provider’s conduct was particularly egregious or reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. Each state has its own laws regarding caps on non-economic and punitive damages, which can limit the amount of compensation you can receive. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help evaluate your case, estimate potential damages, and guide you through the legal process to maximize your recovery.

6. How do I prove medical malpractice?

Proving medical malpractice involves demonstrating four key elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Firstly, you must establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed, meaning the healthcare provider owed you a duty of care. Secondly, you need to show that the provider breached this duty by failing to meet the accepted standard of care. This typically requires expert testimony from medical professionals who can explain what the standard of care is and how the provider deviated from it. Thirdly, you must prove causation, which means showing that the provider’s negligence directly caused your injury. This can be challenging, especially if you were already ill or injured. Finally, you need to demonstrate that the injury resulted in specific damages, such as physical pain, additional medical expenses, lost wages, or diminished quality of life. Collecting and presenting strong evidence, including medical records, expert opinions, and detailed documentation of your injuries and losses, is crucial to building a successful case.

7. Can I sue for medical malpractice if I signed a consent form?

Signing a consent form does not automatically prevent you from suing for medical malpractice. Consent forms typically outline the known risks associated with a procedure or treatment, and by signing, you acknowledge understanding those risks. However, informed consent does not cover negligence or substandard care. If the healthcare provider deviated from the accepted standard of care, failed to disclose significant risks, or did not obtain informed consent properly, you may still have grounds for a malpractice claim. For example, if a surgeon makes an error during surgery that falls below the standard of care or if a doctor performs a procedure without adequately explaining the risks, you could pursue a malpractice lawsuit. It is important to consult with a medical malpractice attorney who can review the specifics of your case, including any consent forms, and determine if you have a valid claim despite having signed a consent form.

8. What is the role of expert witnesses in a medical malpractice case?

Expert witnesses play a crucial role in medical malpractice cases by providing specialized knowledge and opinions that help establish whether the standard of care was breached. These experts are typically healthcare professionals with extensive experience and expertise in the relevant medical field. They can explain complex medical issues, clarify what constitutes the standard of care, and demonstrate how the defendant’s actions deviated from that standard. Expert witnesses also help establish causation by linking the healthcare provider’s negligence to the patient’s injury. Their testimony is often pivotal in helping juries and judges understand the medical aspects of the case. Selecting credible and well-qualified expert witnesses is essential, as their opinions can significantly impact the outcome of the case. A skilled medical malpractice attorney will work with expert witnesses to build a strong case, ensuring that their testimony is compelling and clearly demonstrates the healthcare provider’s liability.

9. How much does it cost to hire a medical malpractice attorney?

The cost of hiring a medical malpractice attorney can vary, but many work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney’s fees are contingent upon winning the case. If you do not win, you typically do not owe any attorney fees. If you do win, the attorney will take a percentage of the settlement or court award, usually ranging from 25% to 40%. This arrangement allows victims of medical malpractice to pursue justice without upfront legal costs. In addition to the contingency fee, there may be other expenses related to the case, such as filing fees, costs for obtaining medical records, and fees for expert witnesses. These costs are usually advanced by the attorney and reimbursed from the settlement or award. It is important to discuss fee arrangements and potential costs with your attorney during the initial consultation to ensure you understand the financial aspects of pursuing a medical malpractice claim.

10. What should I expect during a medical malpractice lawsuit?

A medical malpractice lawsuit can be a lengthy and complex process, often taking months or even years to resolve. The process typically begins with a thorough investigation of your case by your attorney, who will review medical records, consult with experts, and gather evidence. This is followed by filing a complaint in court. The discovery phase then begins, where both sides exchange information, conduct depositions, and build their cases. This phase can involve extensive document review and expert witness testimony. Mediation or settlement negotiations often take place during this time, as both parties may prefer to avoid the uncertainty and expense of a trial. If a settlement is not reached, the case will proceed to trial, where each side presents their evidence and arguments. The judge or jury will then render a verdict. Throughout this process, your attorney will guide you, advocate on your behalf, and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Hire a Reliable Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Scranton, PA

At the Moran Law Group, we take on your personal injury cases and make them ours.

If a doctor or other healthcare professional has hurt you through direct action or negligence, a Moran medical malpractice lawyer in Scranton, PA, wants to hear from you. If you have a case, we will represent you to the liable parties and work every day to secure the compensation you need to get back to living a happy, healthy life.

Call the Moran Law Group today at 570.955.4516 to set up a free consultation.