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Medical Malpractice

When you go to a healthcare provider for surgery, to diagnose a problem you've been experiencing or just to check to make sure you're healthy, you put your life in the hands of those doctors and nurses. You have a right to have a very high expectation of how diligent and careful medical professionals will be.

When a doctor, nurse, surgeon or other practitioner fails to act according to the high standards of his or her profession, the results can be devastating and life-altering. The law allows for people in this circumstance to seek justice through civil courts.

Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have been harmed due to mistakes made while under medical treatment, you will almost certainly have to the tangle with malpractice insurance companies that have big legal budgets to get compensated. A tough Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney can take them on for you.

An experienced trial lawyer from Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC will be relentless in getting the best possible result for you. We can handle the negotiations for a sufficient settlement, and will take them to court if the insurance company doesn't offer something satisfactory to you. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to schedule a consultation.

We represent the victims of medical malpractice in the Philadelphia area, including in Bucks, Delaware, Chester and Montgomery Counties, and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Information Center


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Duty of Care for Pennsylvania Doctors and Medical Professionals

Medical malpractice cases are ones of negligence. In negligence cases, the plaintiff, or person filing the lawsuit, must prove with a preponderance of evidence that the defendant, or person being sued, had a duty to act a certain way, breached that duty, that the breach was the actual and legal cause of the plaintiff's damages, and that the plaintiff suffered damages.

For most people, the duty was to act as a "reasonable person." Professionals have a higher duty of care: To act according to the standards of their profession. For doctors, nurses, surgeons and other medical professional, that duty is especially important. People literally put their lives in the lives of these professionals.

Every decision made will be weighed as to whether it meets the standards of the profession. There is no "people make mistakes" excuse for doctors. A doctor, anesthesiologist, surgeon, dentist, nurse or other person in the medical field is to be extremely careful, and allow no room for human error.

Not every medical course of action will be successful. However, when you are making medical decisions, a doctor has a duty to inform you of all plausible consequences that could take place. Once you make a decision, he or she is to execute it without error.


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Common Medical Malpractice Issues in Philadelphia

Retained Object in Surgery:

During surgery, the body is cut open. Many instruments are used, including scalpels, forceps, sponges, retractors and clamps. These are not supposed to remain in the body, as they are foreign objects that can cause infection, which may be painful, and even fatal.

That is why surgical teams are supposed to keep careful track of everything that goes into the body, and make sure that when the body is closed again, everything is accounted for. When they fail to do that, they must account for their mistakes to the people who suffered because of them.

Failure to Diagnose:

For many conditions, the longer it exists untreated, the worse the effects and the harder it can be to treat. The failure of a doctor to property diagnose a medical problem can lead to longstanding health issues.

The standard in a failure to diagnose cause of action is not whether the doctor made a diagnosis that was wrong. It is about the thoroughness by which he or she investigates all complaints. For instance, if a patient comes in with severe chest pains, the doctor should not simply say it is heartburn and recommend an over-the-counter medication. The doctor should likely recommended taking a further look, such as an electrocardiogram, to make sure the pain is not an oncoming stroke or heart attack.

Failure to Treat Infection:

Surgery involves necessarily wounds, and the body is exposed to bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause infection. After a procedure, doctors should be on the lookout for any potential sign of infection.

Infection is a condition that, as it is left to fester, will grow worse and spread. Infection can become sepsis, which is when the infection spreads into the blood, a condition that may be fatal. A doctor who misses infection may have committed malpractice.

Birth Injuries:

Births may be extremely common, but they are always a delicate procedure. If something goes wrong, it can cause a health condition that affects the child for the rest of his or her life.

If your OB/GYN, midwife or other profession made a mistake that caused a birth injury, your child may deserve significant compensation.

Nursing Home Abuse / Neglect:

Putting a loved one in the care of others is a harrowing and difficult decision. You are putting your trust in those people to take care of them. So when they betray that trust, it can be heartbreaking and infuriating.

Nursing homes and extended care facilities that mistreat residents must be held accountable. A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can help you get justice.


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Damages in a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Case

If you've been hurt due to medical malpractice, the responsible duties should be required to pay for your recovery. That means paying for the significant medical bills and physical therapy it may take to get you back into the condition you were before. You may have also had to miss significant amount of work and lost wages. Negligent doctors may also be required to pay for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life and disfigurement.

You may have heard of caps on medical malpractice damages. Pennsylvania does not have caps, although punitive damages, which are damages meant to punish wrongdoers that are rarely available, are capped at twice the amount of economic damages.

Medical professional carry malpractice insurance, and you will most likely be dealing with the insurance company. Insurance companies will try to get you to settle for an amount that doesn't really cover your damages. A malpractice attorney from Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC can handle negotiations and seek the true amount of your damages, and can take them to court if they don't offer something sufficient.


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Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC | Philadelphia Medical Negligence Attorney

If you've been hurt due to an accident by a doctor, surgeon, nurse or other medical professional, you deserve compensation. A Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer from Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC can help you get what's owed to you. We are skilled trial attorneys who have no fear of taking responsible parties to court. Call us today at (215) 665-1695 to set up a consultation.