Medical Malpractice Lawyers
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While a majority of health care providers aim to exercise the highest standard of care for their patients, there may be times when a doctor’s treatment of a patient may go wrong.
WHAT IS A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM?
Medical malpractice claims arise when a health care provider acts negligently in providing health care and causes an injury to the patient. Such health care providers include doctors, nurses, technicians, dentists, hospitals, or hospital workers. The claim typically alleges that a health care provider’s treatment of a patient fell below the standard of care met by those with similar training and experience and resulted in some form of harm to the patient.
COMMON TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES
Health care professionals and other medical professionals may make serious errors due to their negligence while treating a patient. Some of the most common medical malpractice cases include:
Misdiagnosis occurs when the doctor examines the patient but fails to diagnose the correct illness. A doctor may fail to diagnose an ailment by stating that there is no discernible illness, or by diagnosing a patient with an illness or condition that they do not have. Misdiagnosis may be a form of medical malpractice because it prevents the patient from receiving the treatment they need. On the other hand, healthy patients who have been wrongfully diagnosed may actually receive treatment or surgery they don’t need. Remember that a case is only malpractice if the doctor failed to do what other doctors would do in similar circumstances and the patient was harmed as a result.
The following are common examples of surgical errors:
- Performing unnecessary surgery
- Performing the wrong procedure
- Using non-sterile surgical instruments
- Leaving medical equipment inside the patient
- Damaging organs, tissues, or nerves during surgery
- Administering the wrong amount of anesthesia
Remember that even if you agree to surgery that your doctor warns could cause injury or death, this does not mean that you do not have a claim. Just because your doctor tells you that you could die while getting your wisdom teeth out does not mean the doctor is allowed to give you the wrong dose of anesthesia, causing injury or death.
Birth injuries are tragic in that they may lead to a child’s severe disability or even death. This type of medical malpractice may be caused by inadequate prenatal care, even though the mother sought treatment for her unborn baby’s health. Medical malpractice may also occur during childbirth, causing injuries to the mother, the baby, or both. If any of these injuries are preventable, then medical practice may have been the cause.
Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals may be liable for prescribing or providing the incorrect medication to a patient. The doctor may be liable during the prescription process and the nurse may be liable for a mistake in administering the drug. Prescription mistakes may be attributed to a misdiagnosis or a doctor may prescribe the wrong dosage.
Learn More: Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN THE VICTIM OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Even if you don’t plan on filing a lawsuit, there are ways you should try and protect yourself from being harmed further by medical malpractice:
Document dates, times, names of doctors or nurses, and dosages of medications you’ve been prescribed. Document what is said and prescribed to you at doctor’s appointments. Try and document things as they are happening, if possible.
Do not be afraid to ask your doctor or nurse questions pertaining to your health care. You may want to ask:
- Why am I being prescribed this?
- Why did this happen?
- How is this going to be fixed?
You have a right to know what’s going on with your body, so be persistent until you receive an answer.
Obtain Medical Records
You are entitled to your own medical records, so don’t be afraid to ask for them. You do not need to explain why you need a copy of them. If you are planning on filing a lawsuit, do not tell anyone you are requesting the records because you are filing a lawsuit. After you get the records, review them to ensure you have the complete file.
FILING A CLAIM FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Dealing with injuries after being victim to medical malpractice is hard enough as it is, and figuring out how to file a personal injury claim on top of that only makes your recovery more difficult. If you’ve been injured by medical malpractice, you may want to consider contacting an attorney, who may:
Assist You in Determining Liability
An experienced lawyer may assist you in determining how much you may be entitled to for your injuries based upon each party’s percentage of fault. A lawyer may also help you determine who or what may be responsible for your injuries.
Assist You in Collecting and Organizing Evidence
An attorney may help you collect as much evidence as possible, which could include: names of witnesses and other parties involved in the wrongful treatment, medical records and costs of treatment, and any photos of your injuries.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement with the Insurance Adjustor
A lawyer may understand how much your case is worth and may assist you in conducting negotiations with the insurance company in order to help you seek a fair settlement amount.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
WHO MAY BE LIABLE
While typical medical malpractice claims are asserted against the doctors themselves, hospitals and other medical care facilities may also be held liable. Hospitals may be held liable for the negligent or careless acts of employees. Vicarious liability means that a party is held liable for the actions of their employee who is acting on behalf of the employer. Hospitals may also be held liable for negligently hiring or supervising employees who do not adhere to safe practices while working in the hospital.
COMPENSATION FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Typically, damages for personal injury claims fall under two categories: economic or non-economic damages. There may also be damages available in special circumstances, such as wrongful death or birth injury.
The two main types of economic damages are medical expenses and lost wages. Medical expenses may include:
- Ambulance transportation
- Hospital fees
- Costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Costs for possible future medical treatment
Lost wages represent the time you are off from work due to your injuries from the accident. Lost wages may include:
- Vacation time
- Loss of earning capacity
Non-economic damages are losses or injuries that are suffered by an accident victim but are not defined in monetary terms. Non-economic damages may cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment
- Physical disfigurement
- A lowered quality of life
- Mental anguish
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Damages in a wrongful death case are meant to compensate the family members of the victim for funeral expenses and future financial losses, based on the contributions of the victim to their family. Some states allow for families to receive damages based on loss of companionship or guidance. Only certain family members are entitled to receive damages in a wrongful death action, usually members within the decedent’s immediate family, but this varies state by state.
Damages Resulting from Birth Injury
Because every case is different, there is no set amount for how much compensation a family may receive for a child’s birth injury. Generally, you may be compensated for:
- Home accommodations
- Pain and suffering
- Medications and doctor and hospital visits
- Counseling and special education costs
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The statute of limitations restricts the time period in which an individual may file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations may vary from a year or two to as long as ten years, depending on the state you’re in. Some states also have the discovery rule, which gives victims of medical malpractice the opportunity to file a claim for medical malpractice even after the statute of limitations has expired. The key to the discovery rule is that the patient did not know that they had a potential medical malpractice case. Specifically, the rule generally asserts that a patient has a certain time period to file a claim from the date they discover they have a medical malpractice claim. Because these laws vary state by state, it’s important to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who may help you file a lawsuit within the time period.
GET HELP FROM ZINDA LAW GROUP’S MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS
At Zinda Law Group, our medical malpractice lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you seek maximum compensation after suffering an injury due to medical malpractice.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries from medical malpractice, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation with our medical malpractice attorneys. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee guarantee.
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