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Category Archives: Medical Malpractice

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Surgical Error or Malpractice: How to Tell the Difference

Every surgery is associated with some degree of risk, no matter how large or small.

The thought of any mistake happening during a medical procedure is frightening. Unfortunately, surgical errors are more common than you think.

You have to be ready to act when you’ve been injured. There’s an entire legal field devoted to addressing these errors. It’s called medical malpractice law.

However, just because there’s a problem, doesn’t necessarily mean that a doctor committed medical malpractice.

How could this be?

Let’s take a closer look at the difference between a surgical error and actual medical malpractice.

What Is a Surgical Error?

A surgical error is a mistake that occurs during surgery.

According to Justin Kimball from www.preszlerlaw-ns.com, surgeons can make surgical errors when they do not adequately prepare for surgery by ensuring that the operating room is sterile and their surgical tools have been disinfected properly.

The most common errors include:

  • Cutting the wrong incision
  • Performing surgery on the wrong site or organ
  • Performing surgery while under the influence
  • Operating on a patient while tired
  • Leaving medical equipment inside a patient
  • Post-surgery infections
  • Operation as a result of misdiagnosis
  • Tissue and nerve damage
  • Errors during birth

These types of errors can lead to more medical bills. They may also qualify for compensation under medical malpractice law. However, not all negative experiences qualify for settlements.

How could a bad experience not result in a personal injury case? This is one of the most common – and most understandable – questions about surgical errors.

When It’s Not Malpractice

It’s essential to understand what a surgical error is and what it’s not. You can have a negative experience, but not every bad experience is an error. The error must be a result of negligence during surgery.

Many medical malpractice claims fizzle because of patient consent. Before undergoing surgery, patients sign consent forms that acknowledge the possible risks associated with their operation.

One risk may be pain after surgery. It would be hard to pursue a medical malpractice case for pain if a patient acknowledged the risk before surgery. Therefore, post-surgery pain is not a surgical error.

However, if post-surgery pain is a result of a doctor’s negligence, then you would have a much stronger medical malpractice case.

If your condition worsens after surgery, that’s not grounds for a medical malpractice case, as devastating as it is. You also can’t sue for an untreatable condition. However, if those experiences are a result of a misdiagnosis, you may have a case.

When to Call a Lawyer

If your negative experience is a result of negligence, call a lawyer right away. You can still talk to a lawyer if you’re unsure if a surgical error even occurred. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Look for a law firm in your area that specializes in negligence cases. Remember, malpractice laws and protocol vary from state to state. Each state in the U.S. has different compensation caps and filing deadlines.

Malpractice protocol varies from country-to-country too. Finding the right malpractice lawyer in your country is essential.

Take Action

Don’t let a surgical error give you more pain down the road. Whether you have a case or not, you must take action. You can proceed with a malpractice suit or get a free consultation.

Every patient should know their rights and their limitations under the law. Discover more legal facts on our blog to help you make the right decisions moving forward.

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Don’t Go at It Alone: The Benefits of Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Medical mistakes lead to a quarter of a million Americans dying each year. That makes this the next most common cause of death after cancer and heart disease.

If you’re looking for justice over an injury you believe was caused by a medical error then you may want to begin a malpractice lawsuit. Here’s why you should enlist the help of a medical malpractice lawyer.

An Objective View

When a medical procedure doesn’t end with the best result it’s very normal to want to point the finger of blame. Emotions run high at these times so it’s important to be sure that there is a case to answer.

A medical malpractice lawyer will be able to look at things objectively. They’ll be able to advise you on what the chances are of a successful outcome or even whether you have a case at all.

Some of the Basics

Medical malpractice cases can be complex. There are several compulsory elements that you’ll need in place before you even start. You’ll have to prove you had a physician-patient relationship with the person you’re planning to sue.

Medical care is not required to be the best. It does though have to be reasonably skillful and careful. For a successful outcome, a lawyer will help show that your physician was negligent in relation to your diagnosis or treatment.

Pain and Suffering

Some cases involve patients who were sick or injured already. This can create a question mark over whether any alleged negligence caused harm. Your medical negligence lawyer will help demonstrate a balance of probability.

That means showing there was incompetence on the part of a member of the medical team which directly caused the problem. You’ll also need to show that you suffered harm as a result.

This could mean physical injury and pain. It might include mental health issues or additional medical bills. It could also have resulted in a loss of work or earning capacity.

A Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Offset Costs

Your case will likely involve hiring expert witnesses, many hours of legal work and paying for documents. This can make things very expensive. Cases can run into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The right lawyer might take on your case without you having to pay anything upfront. They’d only get paid if you received compensation. This can make embarking on legal action much less stressful.

Conducting an Investigation

When an investigation is necessary, it’s best to have the power of an established law firm behind you. It’s unlikely you’d have the resources or experience to conduct the investigation successfully.

The difference between winning or losing can often come down to the quality of the investigation. A medical malpractice lawyer will have the skill to compile your case and present it in a compelling way to a judge or jury.

Getting the Best Result

Hiring the services of a reputable medical malpractice lawyer is going to help you get the right result. That could mean the difference between walking away with nothing or a significant settlement.

Continue reading our blog for more useful articles.

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Getting Hurt In Caring Hands: What Constitutes A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Every year, hospitals and healthcare facilities spend more than $3 billion in medical malpractice payouts. That works out to them delivering a payout approximately once every 43 minutes.

Clearly, a lot of people file medical malpractice lawsuits each year. It’s not always easy to tell if you have a malpractice case on your hands, though.

If you’re not sure if your situation warrants a malpractice lawsuit, keep reading. Explained below is some important information you ought to know about this type of lawsuit.

What is Medical Malpractice?

In the event that a hospital, doctor, or another health care worker causes an injury to a patient because of negligence or an act of omission, medical malpractice has occurred.

There are lots of different ways in which a physician or other professional could injury a patient.

They might cause a physical injury or illness, for example, or they could make an incorrect diagnosis or administer ineffective or dangerous treatment because they overlooked an important aspect of their patient’s case.

When to File a Malpractice Lawsuit

It’s not always clear when it makes sense to file a malpractice lawsuit. In order for a case to be considered malpractice, it has to meet some specific criteria, including the following:

Violates the Standard of Care

A medical professional must meet certain standards when providing care to a patient.

If you believe that your physician (or another medical professional) did not meet these basic standards, then you may have a case of negligence and malpractice on your hands.

An Injury Occurred Because of Negligence

You’ll also need to be able to prove that an injury occurred because of the medical professional’s negligence.

It’s not enough for a negative outcome to have taken place. You also have to prove that the negligence caused the negative outcome.

The Injury Caused Significant Damage

For you to have a viable case, you to show that the damaged caused by the injury and the medical professional’s negligence are significant.

If the cost of pursuing the case is greater than the cost of treating the injuries, it likely won’t be in your best interest to pursue a lawsuit.

Additional Requirements

In addition to meeting these basic criteria, there are some other requirements your case may need to meet depending on your state. Some common requirements include the following:

Statute of Limitations

Potential medical malpractice cases need to be brought up as soon as possible. The longer you wait before taking action, the less likely you are to have your case taken seriously.

Most states also have limits on how long you can wait before you make a claim. Usually, you have to make your claim with six months to two years of the injury.

Review Panels

In many states, you have to submit your claim to a medical malpractice review panel first. They will hear arguments, review evidence, and decide whether malpractice actually occurred.

Special Notice

Often, as a patient, you have to give the medical professional against whom you’re filing the lawsuit notice. You’ll have to do this before you file your claim.

Expert Testimony

In most cases, a testimony from a medical expert is required. They’ll help verify your claims and prove that malpractice did occur.

Limits on Damage

There are often limits on the money that a healthcare facility can award to you. Each state has a different cap that they place on damage payments.

What to Do if You’re a Victim of Malpractice

If you believe that your case meets these requirements and constitutes medical malpractice, it’s important for you to take action right away. The following are some specific steps you ought to take if you’re a victim of medical malpractice:

Seek Treatment from Another Doctor

If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, your health ought to be your first priority. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and getting the help you need. Reach out to another doctor or health care professional and seek treatment for your injury or illness before doing anything else.

Request Medical Records

Once your health is stable, be sure to request all medical records related to your injury or illness. This includes records from your current doctor and the doctor who caused the original issue.

Keep Your Own Records

It’s a good idea to keep your own records, too. Take pictures of your injuries and keep a journal. In your journal, write down how you’re feeling, the specific symptoms you’re experiencing, and whether things are getting better or worse.

Hire a Good Malpractice Lawyer

Be sure to hire a good medical malpractice lawyer, too.

It’s important to have someone on your side who knows a lot about the law and has a history of handling cases like yours. Look for someone who has worked on (and won) a lot of malpractice cases and sit down with them to talk about your case.

During the meeting (many lawyers offer a free initial consultation so you can get to know them), talk to the lawyer about your chances of winning the case and whether they recommend you proceed with pursuing it.

If they do, get more information on their fee schedule, others who might also work on your case, and what they need you to do moving forward.

Don’t Contact Other Parties

Be sure to avoid talking to the other parties involved in the case if you decide to pursue a lawsuit.

Your lawyer should communicate on your behalf when you’re talking to representatives from insurance companies, other lawyers, and anyone else who may be involved.

Find a Malpractice Lawyer Today

Now that you know more about medical malpractice and ins and outs of a medical malpractice lawsuit, do you think it’s in your best interests to file one?

If you’re still on the fence, it might be a good idea to talk to a malpractice lawyer anyway and find out what they think.

If you need help finding a malpractice lawyer, start by keeping the tips listed above in mind as you begin your search.

Be sure to use our free search tool, too. It’ll make it easier than ever for you to find qualified malpractice lawyers who practice in your area.

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Can You Sue for a Cancer Misdiagnosis?

You want to believe that your doctor will always make a timely and accurate diagnosis, especially with something life-threatening like cancer. Unfortunately, doctors make mistakes, and you could be a victim of a cancer misdiagnosis. According to the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal, about 28 percent of cancer cases are misdiagnosed.

If you are a victim of a cancer misdiagnosis, chances are you’ll want to sue. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Cancer Misdiagnosis?

A misdiagnosis means that a qualified doctor gave either a delayed or incorrect diagnosis to a medical condition, illness or injury. Due to this mistake, a patient might get delayed or incorrect treatment or no treatment at all, which leads to the patient’s condition being worse, or even could result in an untimely death.

You should know that just a diagnostic mistake by itself usually isn’t enough for a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is because the law doesn’t hold doctors responsible for all mistakes in diagnosis.

Instead, you as the patient would have to prove three things to establish any claim. You’d need to prove there was a doctor-patient relationship, and that doctor was negligent and did not provide treatment skillfully, competently and or responsibly. You’d also have to prove that the doctor’s negligence caused injury to you.

The key to a misdiagnosis case is determining if the surgeon or physician acted with competence. Meaning the full procedure the doctor used would have to be evaluated as well as differential diagnosis methods before they reached a final conclusion.

Here are some common misdiagnosis errors, you could sue for:

Diagnostic Test Errors

Sometimes doctors fail to properly diagnose a condition properly because they are relying on inaccurate test results from a radiology clinic or a pathological laboratory.

This can occur because of faulty diagnostic equipment or simply human error. When this happens, the diagnostic clinic or laboratory might be considered to be negligent.

Misdiagnosis and Harm Caused to the Patient

You will also need to be able to prove that your doctor’s negligence either worsened your condition or caused an injury. You should also be able to prove that this wouldn’t have happened if you got a correct diagnosis in a timely manner.

Missed Diagnosis

If your physician gives you a clean bill of health when really you have an illness or disease. This is considered a missed diagnosis and a misdiagnosis error.

Delayed Diagnosis

This is when a correct diagnosis is finally made, but it’s very much delayed. This is typically the most common diagnostic mistake.

Failure to Diagnose Complications and Related Diseases

This is when your doctor diagnoses your condition properly but doesn’t identify factors that can make your condition or illness worse. He or she might also diagnose one disease, but doesn’t identify another related condition which might have a higher risk to you.

Misdiagnosis of Unrelated Disease

This happens when your physician diagnoses your primary disease properly but doesn’t diagnose an unrelated secondary disease.

Misdiagnosis In Emergencies

Misdiagnosis is the most common in emergency situations. This is because there isn’t enough time to do the proper investigations before reaching conclusions. When this happens, more often than not, the patient is harmed.

A heart attack, for example, could be misdiagnosed as a gastric problem. So are strokes, pulmonary embolism, meningitis, and appendicitis. If you think you were misdiagnosed in an emergency situation, be sure to consult with a legal team today.

Liability for Incorrectly Diagnosing a Patient with Cancer

This is another common cancer misdiagnosis when a doctor determines a patient has cancer when he or she actually does not have cancer. If this misdiagnosis was a breach of the professional standard of care, then the doctor would be liable for any damages that happened due to the unnecessary treatment or surgeries.

In these cases, the doctor could also be found liable for any anguish or fear that the patient suffers, under the false impression that he or she has a possibly fatal disease.

Claiming for Misdiagnosis of Cancer

Your cancer misdiagnosis claim would depend on if your doctor didn’t refer you to a specialist, even though you had obvious symptoms. Or it could be that your doctor didn’t perform or advise for you to get a biopsy. It could also mean that your doctor didn’t properly look at your symptoms and or didn’t advise for you to get the necessary CT or MRI scans.

Claiming for a Late Diagnosis of Cancer

You also could have late or delayed cancer treatment, and this would be because of your doctor’s failure to diagnose your condition on time. Meaning you were left with delays in treating your condition, or the doctor could have diagnosed your condition but didn’t act quick enough.

In these cases, you could claim to be compensated for delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment if you experienced more suffering. This is because the law says that once a diagnosis is made, your doctor is legally bound to give you the appropriate treatment.

If your doctor fails to do this, then he or she would be guilty of negligent delay. Late diagnosis also means there was an insufficient action taken to promptly treat a medical condition. This could also be cases where even though the diagnosis was quick, the physician didn’t refer the patient to the proper specialist quickly enough.

This also includes situations where medication wasn’t given fast enough, or the proper tests weren’t done. With both cases, there could be serious consequences that lead to your suffering and you would have grounds to claim compensation in these situations.

If a late diagnosis has been proven, you will want to get in touch with a competent lawyer as soon as possible so you can get the cancer misdiagnosis settlement you deserve. You can find out more information about that here.

Get a Lawyer Today

Now that you know if you have grounds to sue for cancer misdiagnosis, it’s time you team up with the right lawyer. A competent and qualified lawyer can get you the settlement you deserve, so don’t wait. Find a lawyer to handle your cancer misdiagnosis case today.

Looking for more helpful content? Check out the rest of our blog today.

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Are You a Victim? 7 Awful Examples of Nursing Malpractice

The hospital is meant to be a haven for the sick. You go in with a health problem, and the doctor does all he can to get you better. However, malpractice cases are on the rise, and some studies suggest that it could be the number three reason for deaths in the United States.

There are, however, some instances when a patient will go in, but either come out in a body bag or have to deal with complications arising from negligence. While it’s common to hear the cases arising from carelessness on the part of the doctor, sometimes nurses are to blame.

If you’re in this situation, or someone you love is going through it, you’ll want to read on for more information on nursing malpractice.

Understanding Nursing Malpractice

The nursing job is a difficult one but very integral in the healthcare system. Nurses assist the doctors with day-to-day functions, but sometimes they do not pay due attention to what they do. The result is negligence, which could lead to fatality or lifelong problems for the patient.

In such an instance, it is crucial that you find a lawyer who can file a malpractice suit for you. Your attorney will advise you on whether the nurse is solely responsible, or if the hospital and doctor are also to blame. Read our article below for examples of situations which could result in nursing malpractice.

Examples of Nursing Malpractice

There’re situations when a nurse is solely to blame for negligence that could result in the death of a patient, or lifelong complications. These include:-

1. When a Nurse Does Not Monitor the Progress of the Patient

Nurses and doctors work together to ensure the patient receives proper treatment. The former however has the role of monitoring and tracking the patient’s progress daily.

If they fail to do their job well, it could have dreadful repercussions. The nurse will, therefore, be accountable for the poor condition of the patient.

2. Mistakes When Giving Medication

The duties of a nurse are many, including giving the patient medication. Negligence in nursing could arise from a situation where they do not pay due attention to what they provide the patients with. A mistake could have severe repercussions on the health of the patient.

The injury could result from improper dosage resulting in over or under medication. In some situations, the nurse can even confuse what medicine to give the patient. Other times they will not provide a specific drug. The nurse should also confirm that the patient does not have any allergies when administering the dosage.

If an injury results out of this, you can file a malpractice suit against the nurse.

3. Not Paying Attention to Routine Procedures

A nurse has a full day due to the number of activities they engage in every day. However, not paying attention to what they are doing can result in fatality. They need to carefully monitor the IVs, check the catheters, and make sure their patients are comfortable.

There’s a certain level of routine in their daily activities, and it can result in nursing negligence if they don’t take due care.

4. Not Doing Proper Documentation

The doctor depends on what the nurse reports daily. He gets all this information from the records. The nurse must be very particular concerning recording even the minutest details.

Any changes in the patient’s progress must go into the sheet, which will give necessary information to the doctor. Disregarding to do this properly can have serious repercussions. The result is malpractice in nursing, and a good lawyer should be able to advise you on the steps to take if such a scenario arises.

5. Not Divulging Important Information

There’re certain legalities in nursing which many people do not understand. Since they are the direct link to the patients, they have first-hand knowledge of everything concerning the patient. There’re situations when they may need to divulge important information but will withhold it.

The failure to disclose could be due to fear of losing their jobs or implicating the doctor. In other situations, not taking appropriate steps, for example, during medical emergencies can result in a malpractice case. It can especially be dangerous if they fail to advise their doctor appropriately so that he can take the right steps.

6. Injuries Due to Poor Handling of Equipment

Nurses use a wide variety of equipment when working with patients. Such include catheters, syringes, various tubes, among others. With careless handling of equipment, the nurse harms the patient, it could be grounds for a malpractice suit. Other scenarios could include burning the patient with a hot object or even leaving some equipment in the patient during surgery.

In other situations, the nurse could use the wrong tool, or even one they are not familiar with. Not adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines could also lead to problems. If the nurse feels uncomfortable using specific tools, they must advise their superiors on the same. Not doing that will leave them open to malpractice lawsuits, if any harm comes to the patient.

7. Not Following the Laid out Standards of Care

Every hospital has a standard that the nurse should follow when taking care of patients. The procedure comes as a protocol and has its basis in policies, studies, and expert opinions. If a nurse does not follow the rules of operation, it could harm the patient.

Such rules will govern things like the time and procedure for giving medication. The nurse also has to use proper clothing and cover up to avoid the spread of infections. Overstepping one’s boundaries and not acknowledging one’s limitations when accepting assignments could also lead to malpractice lawsuits.

You Have a Right to Safe Medical Care

It can be excruciating to lose a loved one due to nursing malpractice. It can also be very stressful having to deal with lifelong complications due to carelessness on the part of your Healthcare Provider.

If you’re in such a situation, bookmark our website for more timely information on how to go about filing a malpractice suit against the nurse or doctor.

You have a right to safe medical care, and those in charge must do all they can to ensure that you get it.

Don’t forget to bookmark our site to never miss our latest posts!

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Medical Malpractice 101: The Top Signs You Need to Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Every year, hospitals and medical centers throughout the U.S. spend billions of dollars in medical malpractice payouts. In fact, in 2012, the healthcare industry spent money on a payout once every 43 minutes!

Have you recently been injured while under a physician’s care? If so, you deserve compensation for your injuries.

Things aren’t always so black and white, though. If you’re unsure of whether or not you ought to file a lawsuit, keep reading.

Listed below are ten signs that it might be a good idea for you to hire a medical malpractice lawyer to help you with your case.

1. Insurance Issues

If you’re getting stonewalled by an insurance company or you’re having difficulty filing a claim for any reason, that’s a major sign that you ought to call a medical malpractice lawyer.

A malpractice lawyer will speak with the insurance company on your behalf and work hard to ensure you get the kind of payout from them that you deserve.

Often, if the insurance company simply knows that you have a lawyer on your side, they’ll be more inclined to work with you than if you were acting alone.

2. Paperwork Woes

When it comes to filing a medical malpractice claim, there’s almost always a lot of paperwork involved.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the paperwork and don’t understand exactly what these forms that you’re filling out are, that’s another sign that you ought to hire a malpractice lawyer.

He or she will be able to guide you through the process and ensure everything is getting filled out in the correct way.

3. Disabling or Permanent Injuries

Anyone who experiences disabling or permanent injuries at the hands of a healthcare professional deserves compensation for those injuries.

If you’re in this situation right now, it’s important to hire a malpractice lawyer as soon as you can.

The longer you wait to hire someone, the harder it will be to prove your case. You need to act right away so they can get to work getting you the compensation you deserve.

4. You Know Negligence Occurred

If you know that your doctor or another healthcare professional was negligent, you should definitely have a malpractice lawyer working on your case.

If you have overheard the staff at the hospital or doctor’s office talking or they’ve acknowledged to you that someone made a mistake, reach out to a lawyer as soon as you can.

5. Don’t Know the Value of Your Claim

Maybe you know that you have a case on your hands. You might not know the value of it, though.

If you’ve received an offer for a payout from an insurance company but you’re not sure if it’s high enough, that’s a sign that you could benefit from working with a malpractice lawyer.

They can evaluate your payout based on your situation and determine whether it’s fair. If it’s not, they’ll work with the insurance company to get you what you deserve.

6. You Need Negotiation Assistance

Taking on an insurance company is a tricky business. This is especially true when you’re dealing with a case worth several thousands (maybe even millions) of dollars.

If you’re not confident in your negotiation skills, don’t try to tackle this on your own. Instead, take it as a sign that you need to reach out to a malpractice lawyer and ask for their assistance.

They handle these negotiations every day, and they’re much better equipped to help you with them.

7. You’re Worried About Making Mistakes

Have you found yourself feeling overwhelmed and so afraid of making a mistake when filling out paperwork or dealing with an insurance agency that you’re not doing anything at all?

If you’re paralyzed by fear and anxiety, you need to hire a malpractice lawyer to help you. They’ll be able to take away some of your stress and make sure everything gets done in the proper way.

8. You Lack Resources

If you suspect you have a case but aren’t entirely sure, that’s a sign that you ought to have a malpractice lawyer on your side.

You might not have the resources yourself to understand the scope of your case, but a qualified malpractice lawyer will. For example, they can connect with medical experts who understand your condition and the treatment you received.

With all these resources at their disposal, they’ll have an easier time determining whether you have a case and whether it’s worth pursuing.

9. High Stress Levels

If you’re so stressed out about your claim that it’s impeding your ability to heal and recover, you need to bring in a lawyer to help you out.

It’s bad enough that you experienced an injury or worsened symptoms at the hands of someone who was supposed to take care of you. Now, you need to focus on recovery.

Hire a lawyer to focus on the other aspects of your case so you can do what you need to do to heal.

10. New Laws

If you live in a state where new medical malpractice laws have recently been introduced — such as these new laws — having a medical malpractice lawyer on your side will help you ensure you’re acting in accordance with them (and that your healthcare providers are, too).

Your lawyer will have extensive knowledge of the law and the changes made to it, and they’ll make sure you’re treated fairly under them.

Even if your state doesn’t have new laws in place, a lawyer will also help you ensure you understand the existing ones.

Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

Everyone wants to know that they’re in good hands when they’re working with a healthcare professional, especially if they’re going in for surgery.

We’d like to trust that our physicians never make mistakes. That’s not always the case, though.

If you’ve noticed any of these issues since your injury occurred, you can likely benefit from hiring a medical malpractice lawyer.

Do you need help finding the right lawyer to help with your case? If so, check out our free online law directory today.

We make it easier than ever for you to find lawyers in your area.

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Have You Suffered Medical Malpractice Or Medical Negligence?

The medical profession is a critical occupation. Doctors are responsible for not just the well-being of people but their lives. Kids, adults, elders, they can be held responsible for the good health, as well as the adversities, of anyone they treat.

However much one tries, mistakes are bound to happen one time or another. The only difference is that some mistakes are irreparable and can cost people not only their livelihood but their lives.

In the United States alone, approximately 225,000 people die every year because of some form of medical malpractice or negligence. Being let down by the people we put out faith in can be extremely disheartening and it is important to consider a lawsuit to compensate for the loss.

However, there is a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence and the legal procedure for both can be different.

Here’s everything you need to know about both to be aware.

Medical Malpractice

Whenever a medical professional intentionally fails to comply with the necessary standard of any medical procedure due to while the patient may suffer any degree of injury or death is categorized as medical malpractice. The key word here is “intent”.

Medical Negligence

According to Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., a ferocious lawyer and doctor, negligence occurs when medical care professional or medical treatment fails to deliver the expected result that any other similar provider could have successfully achieved under similar circumstances.

Difference between Medical malpractice and negligence

Predominantly, the key difference between the two is the “intent”. While in the case of malpractice, it is essentially the outcome of intentional misconduct, in case of negligence, intent may or may not be there.

Knowing the difference between the two is also important because in some states the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act governs only the cases related to medical malpractice and not negligence.

Common types of medical malpractices

There are many different kinds of illnesses and injuries and just as many different treatment plans. Anything from a doctor leaving scissors in a patient’s abdomen during surgery to failing to mention the side-effects of a prescribed drug can be categorized as malpractice and can be claimed under the same.

According to most medical malpractice lawyers, most of the claims fall under any of the following groups:

  • Diagnostic failure: If a certified doctor or medical professional would have diagnosed a patient’s illness in a different way and it would have shown better results, then this classifies as malpractice and the patient may have a likely claim for medical malpractice.  
  • Failure to disclose the associated risk of a treatment: While administering a drug or prescribing a treatment, a doctor/medical professional is morally and professionally liable to warn the patient about all the risks and side effects that might be attached to the treatment. This practice is essential for the patient to make a fully informed decision, that is, whether to start the treatment or decline it. If a doctor fails to do so and the treatment causes an additional condition or injury to the patient, then the patient has a viable claim.  
  • Failure in providing proper treatment: If a medical professional treats a patient in an unconventional or wrong way (that no other competent doctor would have chosen), then the patient has a strong claim. Similarly, in cases when the chosen treatment is correct but its execution is not according to acceptable medical standards, it gives the patient a claim for medical malpractice.

If the condition that you might be experiencing falls under any of the above categories, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer for making a claim.

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Understanding the Basics of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional or a doctor harms a patient. Here, the professional fails to perform medical duties. When it comes to filing a claim for medical malpractice, one should immediately inform one’s doctor in advance when filing a lawsuit in the above. Note that the laws of medical malpractice differ from state to state. However, there are some general principles of law as well as board categories of regulations that apply to cases of medical malpractice. The following is an insight into some of the rules that pertain to medical malpractice in the USA.

What are the basic rules for filing a claim?

In order to prove the occurrence of medical malpractice, the following should exist-

  1. Relationship between doctor and patient- One should show a relationship between the doctor that is being sued and the patient. This means that one hired a doctor and the doctor agreed to the treatment. For instance, a doctor that you hear advising another patient in the wrong way cannot be sued. The doctor can only be sued if he or she is treating a person and the relationship between the doctor and the patient existed. The question of whether the doctors had treated you or not arise when the consulting doctor did not directly treat you.
  2. The doctor is negligent- Esteemed lawyers in the field of medical malpractice Boston’s Steven H. Schafer and Associates states that if one is not happy with the treatment of the doctor or his or her advice, this does not mean that the medical professional is liable for medical malpractice. To prove medical malpractice, the doctor has to be negligent when it comes to treatment and diagnosis and treatment. In order to sue for medical malpractice, one should prove to the court that the doctor has caused harm in some way that any other competent doctor in the same circumstances would not have caused. The care of the doctor should be skillful. All of the states in the USA have the mandatory provision that a medical practitioner to discuss the correct standard of medical care and the defendant in question has deviated from the above standards.
  3. The negligence of the doctor caused the injury to the patient- Several cases of medical malpractice involve patients that have a history of illness or injury. This gives rise to the question as to whether the doctor was negligent or not when it comes to the treatment of the patient. For instance, if the patient died after lung cancer, courts will need to determine whether there was a question of medical malpractice in the above case if the patient dies of the lung cancer treatment and it was caused by the negligence of the doctor. The right lawyer has to be consulted for guiding the plaintiff in the above.

Last but not least the injury caused has caused emotional and physical damages to the patient. It is crucial for the plaintiff to prove the existence of the above in a competent court of law to claim compensation and damages for the injury caused.

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7 Mistakes You Need to Avoid After Experiencing Medical Malpractice

Filing a medical malpractice case can be a very confusing process. As a result, there are a number of people who end up making a lot of mistakes after experiencing medical malpractice. Since it is difficult for them to grasp what needs to be done, those who experience medical malpractice ends up not having a proper investigation despite their request.

Get Your Facts Straight!

It’s actually a fact that a lot of people do not know what to do when they or someone they know experience medical negligence. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) deemed medical malpractice as the top three leading causes of death in the United States of America alone.

Last 2012, an estimated amount of $3 billion were allotted for medical negligence payouts only. This averages to about a single payout for every 43 minutes. It’s very alarming which is why it is essential to educate people on certain mistakes to avoid experiencing any medical negligence.

Before we proceed to identify the 7 mistakes to avoid after medical malpractice, let us first understand the context of “medical malpractice.” In an article by Forbes, Jason Konvicka, one of the “Super Lawyers” in a Virginia-based law firm, explains the true meaning of the words “medical malpractice.”

Konvicka explained that medical negligence happens when a medical provider diverges from the acknowledged “standard of care” in the handling of a patient. The “standard of care” is described as what a rationally cautious health-care provider would or would not have done under the same conditions. The important thing is whether or not the medical provider was careless and inattentive in caring for their patients. Keep in mind that an adverse outcome cannot always serve as evidence for a case of medical negligence.

Now that you are much equipped with what medical malpractice is, here are some of the mistakes you need to avoid:

1. Staying with the Same Medical Provider

There is a high chance that if your doctor knows about your medical malpractice claim, they would try to inject certain matters into your medical records for the purpose of minimizing your chance at a proper investigation of your medical malpractice claim. The best way to go about this is to find a new doctor or medical provider by asking for referrals. This is a good tip because you can have a better chance at a successful outcome in your claim.

2. Not Obtaining a Copy of Your Medical Records

As soon as you file for a medical malpractice claim, you need to be able to get your hands on all of your medical records so that they do not get tampered with. Ask for a copy so that it can serve as your proof. With this, you minimize the risk of having someone alter any data on your medical records that may hurt your claim.

3. Neglecting the Need to Seek for Medical Attention

Victims who have experienced medical negligence will often neglect the need to get further medical help. Keep in mind that your health is far more important than any claim or lawsuit. With that being said, it is important to seek for medical attention from a different medical provider. Keep up with your treatment and take care of yourself. By doing this, you and your attorney can further understand the extent of the medical malpractice and your medical harm, which is actually a huge factor in any personal injury case.

4. Not Taking Notes as to the Incident and Your Injuries

We all know that the human brain is not perfect. Nonetheless, memories fade and retrieving them does not guarantee accuracy. Because of this, you need to keep a journal and take note of all of the details of the incident and your injuries. This can greatly help with your medical malpractice claim.

A medical negligence claim can take years to resolve. If you have a journal of all the important details concerning your case, it can guarantee you a fast and easy way of claiming your medical malpractice payout.

5. Neglecting Some of the Most Important Details

Now that we know that it is crucial to keep a journal, there are victims that actually end up forgetting to note down the details necessary for the case. Here’s a quick guide as to the basic requirements when going through a medical malpractice lawsuit:

  • Proof that a doctor-patient relationship existed
  • Proof that the doctor was indeed negligent
  • Proof that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury
  • Proof that the injury led to specific damages

6. Going Alone

When it comes to these kinds of cases, it is always important to bring a family member or a friend. This can serve as a witness too! Nonetheless, going alone and having an extended stay at the hospital puts you at risk of being under the influence of anesthetic or any form of heavy medication. If this happens, you’d be happy to know that you brought someone with you.

7. Not Contacting an Attorney as Soon as the Medical Malpractice Incident

Keep in mind that every state has different rules on the statute of limitations for medical practices. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as you experienced the medical malpractice incident. There are a lot of Murphy’s Law medical mistake lawyers that can help you with the proper procedures for filing this kind of lawsuit. Yes, filing a medical negligence claim can be confusing; however, these are what medical mistake lawyers are for!

In addition to what has been said, you need to equip yourself with the basic step-by-step procedures of filing a medical negligence lawsuit.

  1. Gathering of facts
  2. Preserving of evidence
  3. Looking for experts who can examine your medical chart
  4. Gathering witness testimonies
  5. Gathering information on potential defendants

In addition, having knowledge as to the types of medical malpractice can also go a long way. This type of lawsuit includes failure to diagnose, failure to warn the patient of any known risks, and improper treatment. Anyone who has been a victim of these should definitely seek the aid of medical malpractice lawyers! Hopefully, this guide was able to educate you as to what needs to be done and what needs to be avoided during medical malpractice claims.

We also suggest reading through sites like LivelyMe, who offer guidance, support and helpful tips for optimizing your healthcare spending and management. Investing in your health should be a priority.

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3 Things to Keep in Mind Regarding the New Rule That Forbids Forced Arbitration in Nursing Homes

Like many rules, it started with good intentions, but the rule that took effect under the Obama administration that forbids forced arbitration in nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ALF) comes with confusion. The Department of Health and Human Services initiated a ban against these facilities from forcing patients and their families to give up their right to sue, ensuring that they do not have to sign a clause before being permitted to stay in the nursing home or ALF.

The facts show that nursing home abuse and neglect is predominant across the country. When a family member or patient is forced to give up their right to sue, they are giving up part of their right to protection. That changed with the new rule against forced arbitration.

Here are 3 things you should keep in mind about this rule if you or a loved one is in one of these facilities.

3 Key Points About the New Rule Against Forced Arbitration in Nursing Homes

1. The rule has still not been fully implemented.

Nursing homes and healthcare industries are fighting this rule through lawsuits. Because of this, there is an injunction in place that has prevented the ban from becoming implemented.

During this time, a negligent nursing home may still be protected under their forced arbitration clause. If your loved one was a victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home and you signed one of these clauses, you should contact an attorney who has experience with nursing home neglect cases.

2. Just because you can’t sue doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed rights.

CMS Medicare is in the process of revising the rule against forced arbitration. Instead of forbidding it, CMS has declared that the clause must be written in easily understandable language so that patients understand what they are signing.

However, even if you have to sign it to get your loved one into a nursing home or ALF, it doesn’t mean you can’t sue at all. It means that the facility gets to avoid a lengthy court battle by going directly into arbitration instead.

3. Not all mandatory arbitration clauses are legal.

Although the rules implemented during the Obama administration have not taken effect, and the Trump administration supports the policy of forced arbitration as a way to help long-term care facilities save on costs, that doesn’t mean the clause you signed was legal. Some of these clauses have been disputed and found to not hold up in a court of law. Talking to your nursing home abuse lawyer can help you determine if the clause you signed is legal.

Even with Forced Arbitration, You Still Have Rights

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious situation. If you have reason to suspect that your family member or loved one is the victim of this crime, you should contact a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. They will let you know your rights and the rights of your victim and walk you through your next steps.

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