If you have suffered injuries as the result of medical malpractice, you need to learn more about your legal rights and interests. The reality is that medical malpractice represents one of the most complicated areas of the law in Pennsylvania and across the United States. By understanding your legal sights, you are in the best position to fully protect your interests when you have been injured because of medical negligence.
Statute of Limitations
As you contemplate what you will do to assert your legal rights, you need to understand the mechanics of the Pennsylvania statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that sets a specific timeframe within which you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
According to the statute, you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania within two years of the incident that gave rise to your injuries. If you miss the deadline, you likely will forever be precluded from pursuing a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.
Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Case
The only real way in which you can garner any sense of justice in a medical malpractice case is by obtaining fair and appropriate compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages. The facts and circumstances surrounding the matter that gave rise to medical malpractice, together with your actual injuries, dictate the nature and extend of compensation you can seek in your case.
With that noted, you may be able to seek compensation for injuries, losses, and damages that include medical bills and expenses as well as pain and suffering. You may also be entitled to compensation for emotional distress and mental anguish. You may seek compensation for lost wages and any permanent disability you sustained.
In addition to compensation for your existing or accrued losses, you may be entitled to financial recovery of losses you reasonably can expect to face in the future. For example, you may not be able to return to work any time soon. You may require ongoing medical care. You may endure pain indefinitely. These all represent the types of losses you reasonably can be expected to encounter in the future. In such a situation, you can pursue a claim for compensation for these future losses.
Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, you may be entitled to what are known as punitive damages in a lawsuit. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, can be awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit when the conduct of the party causing the injuries is deemed to be particularly reckless or egregious.
The Right to Legal Counsel
When you have been injured because of medical malpractice, you have the right to seek legal representation. Because of the complexity of a medical malpractice case, you likely are best served hiring a lawyer.
The first step to engage an attorney is arranging an initial consultation. Through an initial consultation, you will obtain an evaluation of your case. In addition, you will be able to get answers to your important questions. As a matter of general practice, you do not pay a fee for an initial consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer.