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Pennsylvania Hospital Malpractice Lawyer


Our Hospital Injury Lawyer Can Help Win Compensation

You needed help from a doctor. Instead, you suffered harm because of bad medical care. This is the story that far too many hospital patients in Pennsylvania have experienced. The consequences of hospital errors can be severe, including worsening of the original condition, new and serious symptoms, and even death.

If you or a loved one was harmed or someone has died due to the negligent or incompetent care on the part of a hospital or its medical professionals, you may have grounds for a hospital medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain compensation for your losses. However, medical malpractice laws are complicated, cases can be complex and require much research and planning, and evidence evaporates quickly. Also, not everything that goes wrong in a hospital is necessarily grounds for medical malpractice. For a claim to be successful, the burden of proof is on the patient, by a preponderance of the evidence, so you should have a skilled medical malpractice lawyer on your side to fight for your rights.

When negligent medical care at a hospital has upended your life, you deserve justice.  At Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters, we make sure that our clients get the compensation they need to get their lives back when our clients are victims of negligence and there is a relationship between that negligence and the harm they have suffered.

The experienced and compassionate Williamsport hospital medical malpractice lawyer Clifford A. Rieders has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have been harmed by medical negligence. Our attorneys at Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation.

We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your hospital medical malpractice case and show you how we can help, and there are no fees to you until and unless we win your case. Call us today at (570) 323-8711.

How to Sue a Hospital for Malpractice

Hospitals Must Meet a Standard of Care

Hospital malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider in a hospital fails to meet the medical standard of care and a patient suffers costly, harmful complications because of their negligence. If this happens, hospitals can be held liable for the damages that result through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

However, a hospital is not responsible for every medical complication, injury or death suffered by its patients. Whether a hospital will be liable depends upon whether the hospital acted reasonably and with competence with respect to the medical services provided. A hospital will also be liable when it employs a doctor or other healthcare professional who is negligent or when there is apparent employment.  When a patient suffers harm from neglect, incompetence or lack of reasonable care, the hospital may be responsible if the negligence was a factual cause in bringing about the harm.

Examples of hospital malpractice include:

  • Surgical errors such as leaving a sponge in a surgical site or amputating the wrong limb.
  • Failure to properly diagnose a patient. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis for serious and life-threatening conditions such as cancer, heart disease, strokes, and infections, can result in fatalities.
  • Failure to recognize signs of a serious complication.
  • Giving the wrong medication or dose to a patient.
  • Ignoring or misinterpreting test or laboratory results.
  • Infections.  Negligence as a result of infections is very difficult to prove, since many times a person gets infected as a result of environmental factors.  However, some infections are preventable and the failure to address the infection or take proper measures may be negligence.
  • Birth injuries and mistakes during childbirth.
  • Sending a patient home too soon.

Other examples of hospital negligence have to do with inadequate services and include inadequate triage systems, inadequate supervision of individuals involved with medical care, inadequate policies for obtaining medical clearance and inadequate systems for recordkeeping. Perhaps the greatest cause of hospital negligence is failure of communication and what is called systemic negligence. Sometimes doctors never read nurses’ notes or do not even know what the nurses have seen in the way of patient care. In other situations, hospitals will have on their staff doctors and professionals who they have every reason to know or should know are incompetent or not doing their jobs.

In these types of situations, where there is evidence of hospital negligence, our hospital medical practice attorneys can bring a lawsuit for the damages you received.

Damage Awards Hospital Negligence Attorneys May Win

Medical Malpractice Awards Cover Economic and Noneconomic Damages

Hospital malpractice can have a serious impact on the life of a patient. Effects may include the following:

  • The worsening of an existing condition
  • A new condition unrelated to the initial reason a patient sought treatment
  • Costly medical treatment to treat injuries or illness from malpractice
  • Inability to work because of the condition
  • Physical and emotional suffering
  • Disfigurement, loss of life’s pleasures
  • Expenses for medical hospitalization, rehabilitation, alterations to one’s home or living conditions.

When you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you are saying that you have been harmed by a healthcare provider’s substandard care and that you want compensation for the harm – or damages – you have suffered. In a successful medical malpractice claim, you may receive compensation for:

Economic damages, which are damages that can be objectively calculated, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • Past, present and future medical expenses such as costs for rehabilitation, therapy, and corrective surgeries
  • Time spent away from work, lost wages and earnings and reduced or lost potential future earnings
  • Alterations to one’s home
  • Funeral costs, in case of death

Non-economic damages. These are intangible and quality-of-life losses, such as physical or mental trauma, pain, and suffering; emotional distress and trauma; disfigurement; and loss of consortium, companionship and life’s pleasures.

Punitive damages. In some unusual cases, where a medical professional acted in ways that are deemed intentional or with a reckless disregard of the consequences, punitive damages may be awarded to discourage similar situations from happening again. Pennsylvania has caps on medical malpractice awards for punitive damages at two times the amount of actual damages in the case.

Amounts of Damage Awards

There are a wide range of damage awards possible in a successful hospital medical malpractice lawsuit, from the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. How much your particular case is worth depends on the circumstances and factors involved, such as the severity and permanence of the injuries, whether they will require long-term expensive continuing care, and whether a death was involved. The skill and negotiating ability of your attorney is also a factor.

While finding out how much your case is worth can be complicated, an experienced hospital malpractice attorney at Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters can help you determine how much should be owed and who is responsible for your condition. Call us today to get started at (570) 323-8711.

Our Hospital Injury Lawyer Must Prove Negligence

Hospitals are Held to Standards

Hospitals, through the appropriate administrators, must act reasonably and uphold proper standards of care for their patients, or they can be found negligent and liable for damages.

  • First, a hospital must use reasonable care in the maintenance of safe and adequate facilities and equipment.
  • Second, a hospital must select and retain only competent physicians.
  • Third, a hospital must oversee all persons who practice medicine within its walls as to patient care;
  • Finally, a hospital must formulate, adopt and enforce adequate rules and policies to ensure quality care for its patients.

The above points are called the Thompson v. Nason rules for corporate responsibility of a hospital. However, there is also vicarious liability, when a hospital agent, servant or employee acts in a negligent fashion. Not everyone working in a hospital is actually an employee – many are independent contractors with privileges to work there. The MCARE Act, which Cliff Rieders helped write, specifically addresses when a hospital is negligent because an individual appears to the patient to be a hospital employee even if that person is not. Under certain circumstances, such as when a patient has a right to believe that a doctor is employed by the hospital, a hospital can be responsible even for non-employees of the hospital.

To win your case and prove a hospital was negligent, our attorneys would have to show that the hospital:

  • Had a duty of care to adhere to a standard of care and not cause you harm
  • Breached that duty by acting negligently and violating the standard of care
  • This failure of duty caused your injuries or a death
  • You suffered damages as a result.

Our Rieders Travis attorneys know the laws and what to look for and do to prove medical negligence. When you have us on your side, we will:

  • Determine whether your malpractice case is valid and estimate what it may be worth
  • Ensure you get the right medical care and that your injuries are documented
  • File all paperwork correctly and in a timely manner
  • Gather evidence to prove your case by obtaining medical records, photographs and videos, and eyewitness statements
  • Work with expert witnesses to determine where there was malpractice and experts to testify on your behalf
  • Negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement
  • Build your case and take it to court if necessary.

When you work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney like Cliff Rieders, you can be sure that the cases he agrees to handle will be thoroughly investigated. We have the resources to work with experts and establish the proof of hospital negligence necessary to win your case.

Meet Cliff Rieders – The Attorney That Wrote the Book on Medical Malpractice

Cliff Rieders was one of the original appointees to the Patient Safety Authority in Pennsylvania. With approximately 330,000 incidents and serious events reported each year to the Patient Safety Authority, and only 1,400 lawsuits filed in the same year, it is readily apparent that many preventable patient harms go uncompensated.

Rieders has handled cases against many of the major institutions in the area where there has been serious medical malpractice, including but not limited to Susquehanna Health System, Geisinger Medical Center, Memorial Hospital, Robert Packer Hospital, Guthrie Clinic, and others. Rieders secured a $16.8 million verdict against Guthrie, Packer and individual doctors as a result of a medical malpractice case.

Medical malpractice is a very specialized field of law. Rieders is not only a Board-Certified trial lawyer, but in fact wrote the book on medical malpractice that every lawyer and many judges in the Commonwealth utilize. Rieders teaches the courses for both the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute that lawyers from all over the state attend. Rieders has written some of the major briefs and argued significant cases before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In addition, Rieders serves as a member of Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court Standard Jury Instruction Committee and participates actively in the writing of jury instructions. Not a lot of people know the field of medical malpractice and hospital malpractice cases better than Cliff Rieders.

Underlying Causes of Hospital Malpractice

There are many factors that make serious medical errors likely. One single incident of medical malpractice can have many contributing factors. In some cases, a complication can be caused by an individual’s carelessness. In others, a patient might suffer harm because of a medical facility’s institutional failings. However, it is often the case that a hospital’s practices and an individual’s mistakes are to blame.

Examples of factors that contribute to hospital medical malpractice include:

  • Overworked or fatigued workers
  • Insufficient staffing of workers
  • Undertrained workers
  • Dirty surfaces or equipment
  • Hazardous property conditions
  • Poorly maintained medical equipment
  • Miscommunication between providers or departments in a hospital.

If you have suffered harm during your hospital stay, you should know that you do not need to know the underlying reasons behind any errors that caused your injury or illness. Let us handle every part of your claim, so you can focus on recovery.

Call Our Lawyers to Sue a Hospital for Malpractice

Trust Our Firm for Honest Answers

If you or a loved one has suffered because of medical complications at a hospital, you need legal representation. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys of Rieders, Travis, Dohrmann, Mowrey, Humphrey & Waters have spent decades honing their skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our deep sense of loyalty to each client drives us to pursue each claim vigorously.

Medical malpractice law is highly regulated by a complex body of rules. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, attorney Cliff Rieders is familiar with the law and thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our experienced staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

Do not delay. Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations, a deadline for filing medical malpractice lawsuits.  According to the law (Pa. Consolidated Statutes Title 42 § 5524), you generally have two years from the time the patient discovers or, in the exercise of due diligence, should have discovered that the injury occurred, to file. If you fail to do so, the courts are likely to refuse to hear your case.

Call today for your free consultation today at (570) 323-8711.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]