Has your insurance claim been denied due to bad faith? YES.

Did the insurance agent tell you that you would have “full coverage?” YES.

Did an insurance adjustor tell you that the company was withholding payment of your undisputed claims while it investigated the disputed claims? YES.

Did the insurance adjustor tell you that you made a fraudulent claim? YES.

Were you injured in an accident? YES.

At the scene of the accident:

If you are hurt, stay seated with your seatbelt on.
Check if anyone in your car or the other car is hurt.
Call 9-1-1 and follow the directions they give you.
If you are told to move the cars to the side of the road, pay attention to the traffic around you.
Write down the name, number and address of the other driver, the other passengers, and any witnesses.
Cooperate with the police officers and get their names.
Write down the time and place of the accident.
Write down a description of what happened and make a drawing of the accident scene.
If you have a camera, take pictures of the scene.

After the accident:

Make a doctor’s appointment if you have pain.
Call a lawyer at Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C. before speaking to any insurance company: (412) 391-2515

Items to keep in your car:

Notepad
Pens
First-aid kit
Road flares
Your emergency contact information
A list of your pertinent medical conditions and allergies
An accident checklist from Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C.- (412) 391-2515

Dental Malpractice: An Introduction

Have you suffered because of a dentist’s malpractice? Have you lost your sense of taste or feeling in your mouth or tongue? Did a dentist fail to properly diagnose oral cancer? Have you suffered injuries to your face during an oral operation? Have you suffered from the use of Sargenti Paste, used in root canals? Did a dentist remove teeth without your permission?

Dental malpractice is a subset of medical malpractice. According to the American Dental Association, 62% of malpractice claims arise from crown and bridge work, root canals, simple extractions, and dentures. However, there are many other procedures that can result in injury to a patient if the highest possible professional standard of care is not met.

Dentists are medical doctors and are held to a very high standard of care when dealing with their patients. Simply put, if a dentist makes an unreasonable mistake in diagnosis or in surgery, he or she did not meet the standard of care. Mistakes in dentistry can often be fatal, whether anesthesia was improperly utilized or an infection results from an operation.

If you have been the victim of a dentist’s negligent care, you have options to recover the medical bills that you have accumulated while having your dentist’s mistake fixed, your lost wages, and for your pain and suffering. A skilled attorney will be able to help you identify if you have a claim and then bring your case for you. A dental malpractice claim can be time consuming and expensive, and you only have one chance to recover for the damage you have suffered, so make the right choice when you are looking for an attorney. The legal team at Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C. has the skill and experience necessary to help you bring your claim and recover what is owed to you – call us today at (412) 877-4529.

Medical Malpractice: An Introduction

Have you or a loved one suffered needlessly because of the carelessness of a doctor? Aren’t doctors supposed to help you, not hurt you?

Doctors are humans, and like the rest of us, they make mistakes. However, when acting in a professional capacity, doctors aren’t supposed to make mistakes; they are supposed to save lives. We don’t hold doctors liable for every mistake. The practice of medicine involves a lot of guess work, and many times, no doctor in the United States would know exactly what to do. There are some situations, however, in which a doctor is so plainly wrong that no other good doctor in the nation would have done the same thing. For instance, no good doctor would leave surgical implements in a patient and no good doctor would fail to take an x-ray before treating a broken bone. On occasion, however, a doctor will do something that is completely unreasonable, and the patient is the one who suffers. If you are that patient, you have the option to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the doctor who hurt you.

According to the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania, juries decided 163 medical malpractice cases in 2010. Of those cases, defendants won 133 of those cases, for a winning percentage of 81.6%. To put that in context, Chuck Noll, the legendary football coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, won 57.1% of the games that he coached. Moreover, of the 30 winning cases, 8 were against the same defendant, a registered nurse who pled guilty to murdering patients. However, at one point, the Institute of Medicine found that medical malpractice is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States, killing more people than auto accidents each year.
It looks like the odds of winning a medical malpractice case are pretty steep- tougher than beating the great Steelers dynasty in a football game. There is hope, however. One solution is to hire the best attorneys you can: the law firm of Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C. It is important to remember that many medical malpractice cases settle out of court, and for this, you need attorneys who have decades of experience negotiating against insurance companies. The legal team of Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C. has that experience.

Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical Malpractice is a broad term that covers several different types of mistakes commonly made by doctors. Some common type of cases are:

  • Failure to diagnose
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Incorrect prescription/dosage
  • Surgical error
  • Improper administration of anesthesia

The recent case history in Pennsylvania indicates that there are not very many medical malpractice cases. Doctors are bound by their ethics code to uphold the highest standard of care possible, and they take it seriously. Most doctors seek second opinions and do their very best to come up with the proper diagnosis and proper treatment plan. A bad outcome is not malpractice. Malpractice is doing something, or not doing something, that no other doctor in the country would do. Malpractice is the extreme; the type of conduct that needs to be punished and prevented.

Malpractice cases generally involve “never events.” Never events are occurrences that should, regardless of circumstance, never happen. For instance, allowing major bed sores to develop, under-treating patient falls, providing the wrong dosage of a drug (or prescribing the wrong drug), performing surgery on the wrong patient or wrong body part, operating without consent, and sending a sending a baby home with the wrong parents, among other things. It is the occurrence of a never event that the medical malpractice system seeks to punish. After all, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services operates the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which tracks the occurrence of never events.

Proving Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical Malpractice is a particular type of negligence tort that requires a special level of proof from the plaintiffs. In some cases, a plaintiff must prove that the doctor acted in a way that was not in keeping with the skill and knowledge of a reasonably competent doctor in his field under the same or similar circumstances. In other cases, a plaintiff must prove that a doctor did not have the reasonable caliber of skill and knowledge as other doctors possess in the same locality. The skill and knowledge that a doctor must have is referred to as the standard of care.

In order to prove this, it is almost certain that the plaintiff will have to utilize expert testimony. Expert testimony involves finding a doctor willing to testify the treating physician did not meet the standard of care. This can be a difficult and expensive process. Fortunately, the attorneys at Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C. have the ability to find an expert willing to testify for you.

Conclusion

A bad medical result does not mean that your doctor was negligent. Sometimes, doctors can exercise virtually perfect care and a bad result may still occur. Other times, a doctor may be negligent, but the person may recover. Medical Malpractice claims are complex and confusing. It can be very difficult to win a case, and it is of the utmost importance that you have a team of experienced and skillful attorneys on your side. The legal team at Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C. can assist you in determining whether or not you have a case, as well as ultimately bringing your case to court, if necessary- call us today at (412) 391-2515.