Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical safety researchers confirmed in May 2016 that medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for over 250,000 deaths every year. Some estimates put the figure higher, at 400,000 deaths every year.
Yet, each year, only about 15,000 claims for medical negligence result in a payment. And the insurance companies for doctors and hospital remain quite profitable, bringing in over $1 billion a year in net income.
In our careers we’ve handled everything from birth hypoxia cases, to misdiagnosis of cancer, to gallbladder surgery malpractice, to spine and spinal cord mistakes, to medication errors — and we’ve obtained settlements or jury verdicts in all of those fields. We’re proud of the work we do to bring fair compensation to the victims of medical malpractice. We’re glad that, as a result of our cases, doctors and hospitals change their policies to make future negligence less likely.
So why aren’t there more medical malpractice lawsuits? Medical malpractice cases are difficult, expensive, and risky. They are difficult because of the complexities of medicine, and the ease with which doctors and hospitals can find expert witnesses willing to explain away even the most egregious malpractice. They’re expensive because injured patients have to prove every part of their case with their own expert witness physicians. They’re risky because jurors are often hesitant to hold doctors and hospitals responsible, because medical industry groups and insurance companies have been telling jurors for years that, if doctors are held accountable, then they might stop practicing medicine.
Thus, most personal injury lawyers shy away from malpractice cases. Or, they try to hedge their bets, taking a case but keeping their costs low, so that, if it doesn’t work out, they can keep their losses low, often by choosing a cheaper expert witness, or by limiting the work the expert does.
We think that’s a bad way to do it. Even judges say medical malpractice cases “turn upon the credibility of the expert witnesses,” and that they are a “battle of the experts.” Yacoub v. Lehigh Valley Medical, 805 A. 2d 579 (2002). The quality of the experts and their preparation for the case is critical.
When a medical malpractice lawyer accepts responsibility for a case, they accept responsibility for giving it their best. The moment we start investigating a case, we start with three components:
- a thorough review and summary of the medical records.
- a thorough discussion with the patient, with a careful look where their recollection is different from the records.
- a complete review of the medical literature, including everything from guidelines published by medical associations to clinical trials to meta-studies.
We bring in expert physicians to review claims before we ever file. Importantly, we don’t just find experts who will tell us “yes,” regardless of the case, but rather experts who know their field so well that they know, from the beginning, how clear the malpractice was, what effect it had on the patient’s outcome, and where the medical science and literature might pose problems. There is nothing worse than dragging a client through years of difficult litigation just to have no result at the end, and we make sure that everyone understands up front what the strengths of their case are and where the challenges will be.
As the case progresses, we remain vigilant of any problems that could develop, and look at what we can do to stop potential defenses in their tracks and to bolster our client’s claim.
We are based in Philadelphia. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, with a focus on malpractice lawsuits in Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Bucks County. Call today for a free consultation with our medical malpractice lawyers.