What if something goes wrong?
It is probably safe to say that at least once in your lifetime, you have paid a visit to a doctor’s office, been examined in the ER, or been admitted to the hospital. Sometimes we are not happy with the medical care we receive. Sometimes surgeries are not successful. Sometimes medications that we take fail to heal us or make us feel better. Sometimes, despite our belief that science and medical advancements have the ability to cure all ailments, we are overcome with grief and despair when a loved one succumbs to disease. A medical outcome that does not turn out as expected is not necessarily the result of medical negligence or medical malpractice. On the other hand, medical errors made by doctors, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals can and do occur, and when such a situation arises, it is your right as a patient to seek to have those wrongs addressed through the filing of a lawsuit.
If you have questions about medical care that you or a loved one received, you should contact a qualified attorney to discuss your legal options. It is important to note that the area of medical malpractice law is a highly specialized field. There are many attorneys in Allegheny County who specialize in handling only medical malpractice lawsuits. It is important for you to remember that just because someone went to law school and graduated with a law degree, this does not automatically qualify them to handle your potential lawsuit. Most lawyers concentrate their entire careers upon specializing in only a few areas of the law. Therefore, it is up to you to do some research on any potential lawyer you may hire. During your initial consultation with a lawyer, do not be afraid to ask him/her what his/her qualifications are for handling your case, if he/she has handled cases likes yours in the past, and what his/her success rate was. Hiring a lawyer is just like hiring a plumber or electrician, for example. You should be comfortable with their qualifications, price for services, experience, and personality prior to retaining them.
If you do not know an attorney, a lawyer referral service can put you in touch with one. You and your attorney can evaluate the unique facts of your situation, and decide if filing a lawsuit is the right step for you.
For more information on how to get in contact with a lawyer, please consult:
Allegheny County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
For information on whether an attorney has been disciplined by the state disciplinary board of Pennsylvania, or to report an attorney for unethical or egregious conduct, please consult http://www.padisciplinaryboard.org/consumers.php.