Gone are the days when hospitals were non-profit organizations run by solely religious entities. Hospitals today are often run by large corporate entities which exist solely to turn a profit. This often means that patient care is second to profit.
Medical negligence in hospitals is a serious problem in this country, and Philadelphia area hospitals are no exception. Recent studies indicate that roughly 440,000 patients die each year in the United States due to preventable medical mistakes, and that’s just in hospitals.
Tens of thousands of patients die from medical mistakes which occur outside of hospital settings. These numbers only reflect patients who die. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 700,000 patients get sick from hospital infections. In addition, it’s estimated that medical negligence costs nearly $1 trillion each year.
The reality is that patients suffer grave harm from medical mistakes. The loss of life is monumental[,] and for those that survive, the resulting financial harm is serious. Many patients lose their jobs and homes paying for medical bills incurred as a result of a medical professional’s mistake.
Due to intensive lobbying efforts of medical insurance groups, Pennsylvania law makes it difficult for injured residents of PA to bring medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors, hospitals, etc. This is due in large part to a special requirement known as a “certificate of merit.” This certificate must be filed in any professional negligence case.
In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff’s attorney must certify that a medical professional has reviewed the case and found that the doctor/hospital at issue was negligent. The problem is that obtaining these medical expert reviews are costly; sometimes, more than one review is needed. For instance, in a surgical infection case, two expert reviews may be needed. Costs can easily exceed $10,000 or $20,000, and that’s just to determine whether there is a valid claim.
As a result of the certificate of merit requirement, there has been a gradual decrease in the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania.
Medical malpractice is an incredibly complex area of law. Most lawyers don’t handle these types of cases. The ones that do must be well-versed in the medicine and must know the right questions to ask. In addition, finding the right expert can literally make or break a case.
Patients and in the event of death, a patient’s surviving family members, may be able to obtain financial compensation for a hospital’s negligence. Common claims for recovery include:
Because construction sites are busy places, multiple parties may be held liable for a construction accident injury. Injured workers have the legal right to seek compensation for negligence committed by general contractors, subcontractors, owners, architects, etc.
“Helpful” Brian made me feel at ease.