Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in York, PA

Help for those harmed and injured by medical negligence in South Central Pennsylvania

When we or our loved ones are sick, we place our full trust in our medical professionals. Doctors and nurses are often portrayed, rightly, as heroic individuals who save lives every day. Most of the time, our trust and confidence are rewarded with excellent medical care, as the medical profession is filled with compassionate, caring individuals whose primary goal is to improve the health and well-being of their patients.

However, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals are not infallible. They make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes can result in severe injury and harm. When these errors rise to the level of negligence, the York medical malpractice attorneys at KBG Injury Law are here to hold them accountable. We help you and your family secure damages for your injuries and losses, helping to make things right again after a devastating medical injury. Talk to us today.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice happens when any medical professional — doctor, nurse, hospital employee, pharmacist, or other healthcare worker — causes an injury to a patient by a negligent act that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care. This negligent act could result from diagnostic errors, mistakes in treatment, inappropriate aftercare, or patient health management. Anytime a medical professional fails to competently perform their duties with a patient, there may be question of medical malpractice.

Currently no nationwide system exists to record how frequently patients suffer harm in healthcare settings. Modern Healthcare reports that estimates of patients who die from preventable medical mistakes vary from 44,000 to 400,000 per year. This shockingly wide range comes from the disparity of how hospitals and healthcare staff report adverse events.

A valid medical malpractice claim has the following requirements:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed. You must have an established relationship wherein you hired the doctor, and the doctor agreed to treat you. For example, you cannot sue a doctor that you simply overheard talking about how to treat ulcers.
  • The doctor violated the acceptable standard of care.You must show the doctor’s actions, or lack of action, directly resulted in harm. Every state requires a standard of care for their doctors, and you have a right to expect that standard will be met in your treatment. In many malpractice cases, an expert in the appropriate medical field can help establish the professional standard of care.
  • The doctor’s actions directly caused you harm.To show medical malpractice, you must prove that the doctor not only violated the standard of care, but also that this violation resulted in an injury that otherwise would not have occurred. This is important because sometimes the outcome of a medical procedure is not positive. This does not mean, however, that the doctor has been negligent. Malpractice occurs when the doctor’s actions are directly responsible for your injury and cause harm in a way that a competent medical professional’s actions would not.
  • The injury led to significant damages.You also must show that the doctor’s negligence caused you significant damages and losses. For example, this medical negligence resulted in a disability, extreme pain, prolonged suffering and hardship, economic losses, and expensive medical bills.

Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be difficult. Depending on your particular situation, you may need to make a claim against your healthcare provider, a member of the medical staff, or even sue a hospital for negligence. The attorneys at KBG Injury Law can help determine the correct party or entity against which you should take action.

What does “standard of care” mean in medical malpractice?

For a legitimate medical malpractice case, the treatment that a patient receives must fall below what is known as the appropriate standard of care. This is the level of medical care that a trained, skilled, and competent healthcare professional, with a background similar to your doctor and worked in the same field, would have provided to you under similar circumstances.

Think about it in these terms. If you had seen a different doctor in the same field, would they have provided you with similar medical care in the same circumstance? If you think you would have received better care from another medical professional and believe you have suffered harm from treatment that did not meet the standard of care, consider a consultation with one of the York injury attorneys at KBG Injury Law.

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What are some examples of medical malpractice?

Some types of medical errors happen more than others. Following are some common types of medical malpractice and negligence.

Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis

These two errors account for many medical malpractice claims. If a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, or does not diagnose a serious disease or injury in a timely fashion, the patient may miss out on life-saving treatment. Misdiagnosis can also lead to patients undergoing treatment for a condition from which they do not suffer, causing injury and mental distress.

Medication errors

Medication mistakes can occur in a number of ways, from prescribing the wrong drug to administration errors. We often see medication errors in hospitals and pharmacies, when drug names or patient names get mixed up. Prescribing the proper dosage is another problem, where a patient receives too little or too much of a drug. This can occur when a doctor prescribes an incorrect dosage, when a prescription is correct, but the person administering the drug gives the patient the wrong amount, or when equipment malfunctions and delivers the incorrect dosage.

Anesthesia errors

These errors can be among the most serious committed in a medical and surgical setting. If an anesthesiologist administers the wrong amount of anesthesia, the result can be permanent injury, brain damage, or, in the worst cases, death. Anesthesia errors can occur either pre-surgery or during surgery. Errors that can occur during surgery include the wrong amount of anesthesia, failing to monitor vital signs, or failure to properly intubate a patient.

Surgical errors

Surgical mistakes often lead to devastating injuries and complications. Surgeons may make negligent errors like operating on the wrong body part, leaving a surgical instrument in the patient’s body, or puncturing an internal organ. Negligent post-operative and follow-up surgical care can lead to severe complications, like dangerous infections and prolonged hospitalization.

Birth injuries

Some fetal or maternal injuries can be caused by negligent care during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Negligent care can occur when a physician or an obstetrician fails to account for possible birth complications, does not respond to signs of fetal distress, fails to order a timely cesarean section, or employs improper use of forceps or a vacuum extractor.

The York attorneys at KBG Injury Law can talk to you about your case to determine exactly what happened and who should be held responsible.

What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania?

It is important to note a patient injured by a doctor’s medical malpractice does not have an unlimited amount of time in which to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Pennsylvania, like most states, has a statute of limitations which defines how long a patient has to initiate an action against a doctor, hospital, or any healthcare professional.

The statute of limitations in a medical malpractice claim refers to the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit if you have been harmed by a medical professional. Think of it like a clock or timer that begins at the time of your injury, or the discovery of your injury, and runs out after a certain amount of time. This is why it is essential to file your claim well before the statute of limitations expires. Otherwise, your suit could be thrown out of court.

In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years from the date the alleged malpractice occurred.

An exception to Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations is the way that it affects minors. If a child suffers an injury caused by medical malpractice, the regular statute of limitations does not start to run until the child turns eighteen. Therefore, if a minor suffers harm from medical malpractice, they have until they are 20 years of age to file a medical malpractice suit.

This “minors tolling statute,” is intended to account for the fact that minors are at a legal disadvantage. They are in a better position to advocate for themselves once they become adults. Regardless of when they were wrongfully injured, this gives them the opportunity to seek compensation.

What damages am I entitled to in my York, PA medical malpractice case?

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you may be eligible for economic or non-economic compensatory damages. Economic damages cover financial costs incurred, while non-economic damages cover the emotional stress and pain related to your injuries. Here in Pennsylvania, there are three categories of damages available in a medical malpractice claim:

  • Economic. These damages cover specific medical expenses, wages lost due to missing work, and future medical expenses from your injuries. Economic damages are more easily calculable than non-economic damages, although our attorneys understand how to determine these as well.
  • Non-economic. These damages cover many non-economic issues, including mental and physical pain and suffering, loss of future earning potential, and loss of enjoyment of life and others. Because these concepts are slightly abstract, evidence of your damages claimed is crucial to determine a dollar amount. Pennsylvania does not cap awards on compensatory, or non-economic, damages.
  • Punitive. If a doctor’s negligence is found to be particularly malicious or willful, he or she may be assessed punitive damages. The idea behind punitive damages is to punish the medical professional’s reckless behavior. Punitive damages are typically more difficult to recover and require evidence that the medical professional knew they were harming you. Our attorneys work to demonstrate this proof.

Is there a York, PA medical malpractice attorney near me?

The KBG Injury Law offices are located at 110 North George Street, near Interstate 83 and Routes 30, 74 and 462. We are in the heart of downtown York, with plenty of local parking available.

Compassionate medical malpractice lawyers in York, PA serving South Central Pennsylvania

At KBG Injury Law, our York experienced medical malpractice attorneys will perform a thorough review of your case. We never treat any malpractice claim as frivolous. Our legal team will sit down with you and talk about what happened, and together, we will come up with a plan about the best way to proceed. We care deeply about our clients, and recognize that each case is different and requires special care. To schedule an appointment, call 717-848-3838 or toll free at 800.509.1011 or fill out our contact form. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg, and serve clients throughout South Central Pennsylvania.