How To Start a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If you were harmed by the negligent, reckless, or wrongful actions of a health care provider in Philadelphia or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you may be owed compensation. Medical malpractice lawsuits create a legal avenue for you to recover that compensation.
The process of starting a medical malpractice lawsuit can be complicated, though. Some strict requirements and deadlines must be met, which can be difficult for victims of medical malpractice who are already dealing with the aftermath of a serious medical error.
At Shrager & Sachs, we pride ourselves on the unrivaled support and guidance we provide to medical malpractice victims. As your legal representatives, we will help you start a medical malpractice lawsuit, submit all required documentation within the deadlines, and accurately value the worth of your claim. Our attorneys will also make sure that you always understand what is going on so that you never feel left out.
The Steps To Starting a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
Failure to adhere to the requirements for starting a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state of Pennsylvania could result in you losing out on the opportunity to recover compensation for your damages, including lost wages and medical bills.
Secure a Certificate of Merit
Pennsylvania law requires that you obtain a certificate of merit before filing a medical malpractice claim. Below is the process for obtaining a certificate of merit:
- Meet with an appropriately licensed professional who will review your claim. This is generally a doctor or specialist working in the same field as the doctor who caused you harm.
- Have the appropriate licensed professional write and sign a certificate of merit that states there is a reasonable probability that your doctor violated the accepted standard of care for your condition.
- Ensure that the certificate of merit states that violating the standard of care resulted in your harm.
You may either file your certificate of merit when filing your initial medical malpractice complaint or within 60 days of filing your lawsuit.
Contact a Lawyer
While you are not required to have a lawyer to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, having one by your side will make the process much easier. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be familiar with Pennsylvania state law requirements for filing and deadlines for submitting documentation and will know how to deal with the insurance company. Our law firm has also established relationships with appropriate licensed professionals who work with our clients to secure certificates of merit.
Here is how a medical malpractice attorney from Shrager & Sachs can support your lawsuit:
- Connect you with an appropriately licensed professional to secure your certificate of merit.
- Take depositions from those relevant to the case, including medical experts.
- Analyze your medical records and research your injuries.
- Work alongside relevant medical experts to determine case theories.
- Determine all possible defendants, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, and more.
- Secure the testimony of expert medical witnesses.
- Establish that your doctor’s breach of the duty of care caused your injuries and resulting damages.
- Negotiate a full and fair settlement with the insurance company.
- Prepare for the possibility of court if negotiations are not successful.
The work that an attorney puts into your medical malpractice lawsuit gives you the opportunity to focus on the most important issue at hand—your health. A medical error may leave you with additional health concerns on top of your previous medical issues, and for many victims, recovery can be equivalent to a full-time job.
It is important to work with an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. While medical malpractice falls under the umbrella of personal injury law, medical malpractice lawsuits are notoriously difficult and require the legal expertise of an attorney who has dedicated their professional career to helping victims of medical errors.
Document Your Expenses
The cost of medical care in Philadelphia, PA can be steep. Unfortunately, victims of medical malpractice are often unfairly burdened with additional expenses related to addressing the harm they suffered at the hands of their doctor.
While the idea of taking on more medical debt can be prohibitive to seeking care, Shrager & Sachs urges medical malpractice victims to never let these expenses get in the way of receiving necessary treatment. These types of expenses are typically compensable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical expenses you may incur that you can seek compensation for include:
- Medical bills, including co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses
- The cost of prescription medications
- The cost of mobility devices, including crutches, wheelchairs, and rollators
- Transportation costs to and from medical appointments
Your attorney will also help you calculate the total worth of your medical malpractice claim, including economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are losses that have a quantifiable worth, while non-economic damages seek to compensate you for damages that do not necessarily have a price tag, but that may still profoundly affect you.
Pennsylvania state law does not place a cap on compensation in medical malpractice lawsuits, so you should be sure to work closely with your attorney to ensure they have all the necessary information to determine the worth of your claim. In addition to the above medical expenses, we will look at all other potential damages in your case, including:
- Lost wages and loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- In-home services, including rehabilitative therapists and cleaning services
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of companionship or consortium
We understand that a medical error can affect every facet of your life, from your ability to maintain gainful employment to your capacity to walk or move around. You deserve to be fairly compensated for all costs associated with your injury.
Experienced Trial Lawyers Representing Medical Malpractice Victims in Pennsylvania
At Shrager & Sachs, our experienced trial lawyers provide unparalleled representation to victims of medical malpractice. We strive to settle outside of court but prepare for the possibility of your case going to trial. In doing so, we can be prepared no matter what happens in your medical malpractice case.
If you have any additional questions about how to start a medical malpractice lawsuit or are ready to take legal action, contact our law offices today to schedule your complimentary case evaluation.
Are Lawsuit Settlements Taxable?
How To Identify Seizures in Babies