Category Archives: Medical Malpractice


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.


What are the benefits of using a family mediation service?

Family mediation is a positive, forward-thinking and confidential process that resolves personal and professional disputes using a non-biased third party to help facilitate a mutually and satisfactory outcome.

Most people will have minimal contact with the legal system. But, in the situation where they do there may be many questions asked. It’s a very stressful situation when a couple are going through a separation or divorce. Their lives that they have lived together has dramatically changed and there will be many concerns about property, money and children.

Family mediation is now becoming the fastest growing method of resolving family disputes. Often agreeing things without the help of a third-party mediator isn’t an easy process as you try to make arrangements for the future. THB Legal can help you resolve differences in many respects including child arrangements, separation, divorce and relationship difficulties.

Family mediation give the participants involved the opportunity to discuss all possible options in a neutral and safe practicing environment before coming to a mutually agreed arrangement. During the process, either party remain in total control and no arrangement or decision will be forcibly imposed. Family mediators are highly skilled in helping separating partners explore all possible options thoroughly by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal made towards either party. A mediator nor the parties involved would be able to determine whether a suggestion was fair or not unless all of the cards were laid on the table.

Mediation that deals with property and finance is facilitated on the basis that there is full financial disclosure from each party. Only then can the mediation process begin. The sole reason for this is that the financial disclosures set the context of the process itself and the prospective proposals made by either party. Family mediation is a far more time efficient service and less expensive than litigation especially when there are financial issues involved.

The THB Legal Family Mediation Process

The first step in the process is to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (often called a MAIM) with a specially qualified family mediator. The three aims of a MAIM are –

  1. Explain the alternatives including mediation compared to the court processes that are available for separating couples.
  2. To give you the opportunity to decide on what route you think will be best for your relationship breakdown and what is involved in the breakdown. For example, children, financial and property issues.
  3. To explore and determine whether using a family mediation service would be a safe and effective way to resolve your dispute in your circumstances.

During the MAIM you will be able to ask the mediator any questions that you might have regarding the service. If you do decide that family mediation is the right process for you then the mediator will contact your ex-partner and invite them to attend their own MAIM to discuss the process with them. During this session, mediators are also able to offer legal aid mediation.

What Happens after a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting?

Upon seeing both parties, the mediator will then arrange a joint session. The number of sessions typically depend on the number of issues that need to be resolves but normally between 2 – 6 sessions and lastly for 1 – 2 hours.

During these sessions, you and your ex-partner will express your views and concerns to each other and to the mediator. The mediator who is not biased to either party will then help you focus on what needs to be done to forward and more importantly how it can be done. Once an agreement how been made between both of the parties then this will be recorded by the mediator just so you are both clear on what the agreement includes and prevent any confusion once the mediation process concludes. Its important to highlight that once an agreement has been made, you may need to have the agreement in question put into writing so that it would be a legal binding agreement but this typically depends on the complexity of the dispute.

It is vital that if you do have any concerns about any agreement made during the mediation process then you are free to seek legal advice so you know what can be enforced by law.

Child Arrangements

When the relationship between two parent’s breakdown it is normally their utmost priority to make arrangements for the children involved.  Above all else that’s involved in a separation, you and your ex-partner are no longer together but you are still and always will be parents to the same children. We believe that the best people to decide a child’s future is the parents and we are here to help you make future arrangements that are in their best interests.

Research has also shown that children can be more adversely affected by the uncertainty of their parent’s separation rather than the separation itself. Mediation helps to improve a productive level of communication between parents will enable them to move forward with an organised and working relationship for the future. These plans that are formulated by mutual consent can help restore trust between parents and help them move on emotionally but also practically with children in mind.


What is Medical Malpractice? 5 Vital Things You Should Know

By the time a doctor trades in the stethoscope for a pair of sandals and a one-way ticket to Clearwater, Florida, there’s at least a 75% chance that they’ve been sued for medical malpractice before. Yikes.

A medical malpractice lawsuit doesn’t inherently damn a doctor’s capabilities. In fact, 78% of claims end unsuccessfully, but if you or a loved one has experienced injury as a result of medical negligence, don’t be afraid to speak up.

We do trust these people with our lives, after all.

Keep reading for 5 vital things you should know about medical malpractice.

1. What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical treatment implies an agreement between patient and doctor: the doctor will treat symptoms and causes to the best of current medicine’s ability, and the patient will not intentionally jeopardize their own health (although that second one’s not technically part of the deal).

Medical malpractice occurs when a provider, (doctor, surgeon, optometrist, dentist, etc.) makes a bad call, misdiagnosis, or otherwise shockingly bad mistake that results in the patient’s injury or death.

Naturally, some patients die under a doctor’s care, but medical malpractice specifically occurs when a doctor’s harmful decision (or lack of action) is outside the rational norm of their peers.

2. How Do I Know if I’ve Experienced Medical Malpractice?

Patients file malpractice lawsuits when they experience injury due to negligent medical treatment. When care providers have a bad day at the office, an early morning brain fart means the wrong patient gets their gallbladder removed.

Most cases of medical negligence aren’t recognized until another practitioner reviews a patient’s treatment history. A doctor that knows what they’re doing spots an undiagnosed illness or incorrect treatment plan and informs the patient that they’ve experienced malpractice.

3. How is Medical Malpractice Handled by Law?

You’ll need enough proof of four elements to have a winnable case. Essentially, you need to prove your doctor’s professional duty to you and their breach of that duty which resulted in lasting damages.

This compensation takes into account economic loss, pain and suffering (both mental and physical) resulting from the medical negligence.

The statute of limitation, or time in which a claim must be filed to be considered, varies from state to state, so look into your local regulations if the medical treatment resulting in injury occurred some time ago.

4. How Can I Avoid Falling Victim to Medical Negligence?

Not all medical negligence leads to injury or death for the patient. However, you should always maintain active involvement in your medical health.

Ask questions. You have every right to request another provider if you feel you’re not getting clear answers or help.

Most doctors don’t get much medical malpractice information while in school. It’s usually one 30-minute seminar or a one-off lecture in class one day. It may be up to you to recognize when you’ve experienced medical negligence.

5. What Should I Do if I Experience Injury Due to Medical Negligence?

Even if you aren’t sure, it’s best to contact an attorney. They will discuss the claim with you and determine if your case should go to court, or would be best resolved in settlement.

Have you experienced hardship in the Oklahoma region due to medical malpractice? The experienced personal injury attorneys at Abel Law Firm can help you receive the justice you deserve. They even offer free confidential evaluations.

For more information, Click Here.


How Does Medicare Cover Surgical Procedures? – Get the Most Out of Your Coverage

Many people are still unsure of exactly what Medicare covers, since there are different types of Medicare and how they cover different things. So, how does Medicare cover surgical procedures? The simple answer is yes, Medicare does cover surgical operations. However, different plans offer different coverage options. This article will go further in depth about what Medicare covers and how it could apply to you.

Different Types of Medicare Coverage

Original Medicare Part A

Part A covers all of your medical expenses, including daily room services. All expenses pertaining to your stay in the hospital such as physicians and nurses are catered for.

Medicare Part B

Medicare part B only covers treatments associated with the surgery.

Medicare Part D

Medicare part D covers all of the prescriptions associated with your surgery.

Terms of Coverage

For Medicare Part A and B, the coverage is only provided under given circumstances. For you to qualify for the coverage, the care must meet two conditions:

It is a must that the condition necessitates surgery as the only means of treatment. In this case, you must get the authorization from a Medicare authorized healthcare provider. The care must also be provided by an authorized Medicare healthcare institution.

Elective Surgery

Medicare does not cover elective surgery. This may include procedures such as plastic surgery and minor surgeries that are not necessary. Further, any prescriptions or care that is not associated with mandatory surgery will not be covered.

Although Medicare does not cover elective surgery, cataract surgery is covered. During cataract surgery, you may also enjoy other benefits such as receiving a pair of glasses. Otherwise, glasses are not covered by Medicare.

Does Medicare Supplement Cover Surgery?

To know if you qualify for a Medicare supplement, you only need to find out if your surgery is covered by Medicare. If your Medicare plan covers the surgery, then Medicare supplement covers the rest of the cost. After you settle your deductible and pay the copayments, the cover will cater for 80% of your bills. You will be responsible for the remaining 20%, Medicare ParA and B deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance — unless you have a supplement plan.

Medicare supplements can cover the rest of the expenses. The amount provided depends on the type of plan you have. For instance, with Medicare Plan F, you would walk away from any approved Medicare institution without spending a single cent from your pocket.

The Cost Of Surgery

It is almost impossible to estimate the cost of surgery since doctors cannot tell the type of services you may need. There are a few things you can do to try and find an estimate of your surgery cost. First, ask the doctors how much you will be required to pay for the surgery and aftercare. The value will vary depending on whether you are an inpatient or outpatient. If you will be staying within the facility, confirm whether the cost includes the room service and nursing. Check with the insurance plan such as Medicare supplement to see how much you will be required to pay.


So, how does Medicare cover surgical procedures? Different plans of Medicare can help you pay for your surgery bills. However, it is important to be prepared for any extra costs if your surgery is not covered. Only compulsory surgeries will be catered for by Medicare Plan A and B. You should also have Medicare supplement plans to cater for other costs that may not be provided by your plan.


How to Find the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers: 7 Surefire Tips

As many as 200,000 deaths take place every year as a result of medical accidents. That number, for many, represents a horrifying reality.

When we approach doctors, nurses, and surgeons our hope is to leverage their knowledge to help us improve our well-being. Unfortunately, that’s not always what ends up happening.

If you or somebody you know has suffered due to the negligence of sub-par care provided by a medical institution, you may be seeking out a medical malpractice attorney to help find you compensation for your losses.

Since the process of finding the best medical malpractice lawyers can be cumbersome, our team has put together a brief list below that should aid in your ability to find the perfect attorney.

1. Leverage Online Lawyer Finding Tools

When it comes to finding qualified attorneys, leveraging the internet is your best friend. The only issue is that there are a virtually unlimited amount of platforms out there that claim to be useful when hunting down quality legal services.

Our recommendation is to use our tools at which specializes solely in matching clients to legal professionals that are especially qualified to take on their cases.

There are thousands of attorneys listed in our directory right now, so search with confidence to dig up some potential leads!

2. Get an Estimate of How Long Your Case Might Take

Depending on the complexity of your case and the existing caseload of the best malpractice lawyer you’re thinking of taking on, the amount of time it will take before you get your settlement can vary.

While it can be difficult to put a specific timetable to how long you can expect before your case is settled, getting an estimate from your attorney can be helpful in deciding whether or not to do business with them.

Attorneys should be able to give you a ballpark estimate on how long it will take for your case to be resolved based on dealing with similar cases. Any lawyer who is unwilling to give you an estimate may not be worth hiring.

3. Ask If You’ll Be Required to Accept a Settlement

It many cases, attorneys are interested in settling your case out of court as quickly as possible. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Settling quickly means you and them getting paid as soon as possible. It also means that you can avoid the uncertainty that surrounds a trial.

Still, you may be presented with a settlement offer that you’re not willing to accept. If that occurs, will your attorney yield to your wishes?

Understanding whether or not your attorney is willing to go to court if you find settlements to be sub-standard is important before bringing them on.

4. Assess Experience with Medical Malpractice Cases

By this point, you should have a shortlist of medical malpractice attorneys you’re open to working with. The next step in your process of hiring the right one will be to interview them.

You can either go straight to booking an appointment to meet your prospective attorney in-person or conduct a pre-interview over the phone.

No matter how you talk to your attorney, be sure to have them describe their experience dealing with cases like yours. Malpractice attorneys should be well versed in the medical field and should have extensive experience winning cases similar to the one you’re attempting to win.

If your attorney seems unconfident in their ability to win your case, keep searching.

Patients should understand their rights. Well, how is a patient to know if the person handling their medical data is authorized to do so under HIPAA? The fact that 7 out of 10 patients having knowledge of their rights under HIPAA may appear like a good record but only if all exercised their right. The most important fact is that there is the HITECH Act signed into law in 2009 to encourage the use of technology with health information and records and to allow penalties to be given for non-compliance with the HIPAA.

5. Ask If They Would Be Able to Produce Expert Medical Testimony

Many medical malpractice suits end up going to trial. When that happens, it’s imperative that attorneys are able to produce expert witnesses who can break down in laymen terms to judges and juries medical standards and where your physician failed you.

This expert testimony typically comes from a physician or a medical professor.

Get an understanding of who your attorney might call in to support your case in the way of expert testimony so you can feel certain that they’re well prepared to defend your case.

6. Consider Fee Structures

At the end of the day, no matter how good your attorney is, if you can’t afford them you can’t hire them. The good news is that many of the best medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency basis.

What that means is that they take a percentage of whatever earnings they win you during your court case.

Contingency fees can vary widely but typically sit somewhere between 20% and 50%.

7. Make Sure Your Lawyer Seems Vested

As we mentioned previously, most medical malpractice cases will go to court. This starkly contrasts personal injury cases which have a tendency to settle before anyone needs to step foot in front of a judge (if you’ve suffered a personal injury, learn more about your options on this blog).

Given that the road to getting a favorable verdict in your case may be a long one, you’ll want to make sure that you feel comfortable working with your lawyer and that they seem vested in leading your case until the very end.

Remember, if a lawyer seems wishy-washy when you first meet, that disposition will only get worse as the weeks and months go by.

Wrapping Up How to Find the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Finding the best medical malpractice lawyers can be an exercise in patience. First, you have to search both online and offline to create your list of prospects. Then, you have to be tedious in your assessment of the value they can bring to your case.

The more time you take upfront to find a quality lawyer though, the more likely you’ll be to walk out with a favorable settlement!

Navigating the legal niche can be tricky. Because of that our team at Halt Lawyer Directory aims to make things easier by providing you with professional-grade legal content and a directory that hosts the best lawyers from all over the country.

Read more from our blog or start your search for a qualified malpractice attorney with our tools today!


Can You Sue for Bad Plastic Surgery Results? Here’s What You Need to Know

Plastic surgery patients are getting younger every year. With everybody and their Teen Mom getting lifted and tucked on social media, the average age of female patients has dwindled to a new low of 39 years old. There’s even a trend of parents funding procedures for their children as an incentive for graduating from college.

Meanwhile, the money spent is growing for bad plastic surgery. The plastic surgery industry rakes in over $16 billion a year, and it’s not all from celebrities. As it becomes more convenient and less painful, more normal people are getting work done.

Bad Plastic Surgery Results

And more people are regretting it.

A study in the UK shows that 65% of women regret getting plastic surgery and most aren’t happy with the results. Even supermodel Gisele confessed her misgivings over altering her appearance.

If you find yourself among those regretting bad plastic surgery, you may be able to take legal action.

Differences Between Elective and Restorative Plastic Surgery

There are two types of plastic surgery: elective plastic surgery and restorative. The distinction can impact your ability to win or even file a lawsuit.

Elective Cosmetic Surgery

Elective cosmetic surgery is exactly that. It’s a voluntary procedure to improve the patient’s appearance. While the patient might think plastic surgery is vital to mental health, the law doesn’t agree.

The most common elective surgery is breast augmentation. Liposuction, tummy tucks, nose jobs, and face and neck lifts are also popular. They range in price, from several thousand dollars to over $12,000, and they also range in level of assumed risk.

The Brazilian butt lift is among the most dangerous procedures. Popularized by the pursuit of the cartoonish proportions of the Kardashian set, it uses fat transfers to reshape the buttocks.

The Florida Health Department charged a Miami doctor with malpractice after the death of one of his patients. When performing a butt lift, he accidentally injected fat into a deep gluteal vein. She went into a coma and died shortly after bad plastic surgery.

Restorative Plastic Surgery

Restorative or reconstructive, bad plastic surgery corrects disfigurement due to injury or illness. Breast reconstruction, scar treatments, burn care, cleft palate repair, even hand transplants fall under the umbrella of restorative plastic surgery.

Because it’s deemed necessary, restorative bad plastic surgery is often covered by health insurance. As such, it has stricter requirements and carries fewer risks of unqualified care.

What Constitutes Malpractice?

When you talk about a cosmetic surgery lawsuit, what you’re actually referring to is a medical malpractice lawsuit. There are entire law firms dedicated to medical malpractice, like Silberstein, Awad & Miklos.

The three main characteristics of malpractice include an established doctor-patient relationship, a breach of the standard of care, and ensuing harm is done to the patient. Most malpractice cases against plastic surgeons hinge on a breach of medical standards.

Due to the Nature of Plastic Surgery Fads

Many unqualified practices pop up trying to capitalize on the current craze. If the practice fails to provide informed consent in their haste to make easy money, that negligence can be grounds for malpractice.

Informed consent involves explaining all risks and possible side effects before surgery begins. Taking a patient’s medical history, including drug interactions or previous surgeries, into consideration is critical.

Unsanitary operating spaces and practices also affect the standard of care. A surgeon might perform the procedure on the wrong body part or on the wrong patient. He might leave objects inside the patient by accident.

Improper administration of anesthesia is another practitioner error worth suing for.

Obstructions to Winning

Even with an argument for malpractice, the specialized nature of cosmetic surgery lawsuits can make them difficult to win. The injury is sometimes more esoteric than physical. Issues like body dysmorphia make it even more complicated.

Then there’s the added caveat of securing an expert witness. Someone experienced in the field and familiar with the procedure gone wrong will have to testify to establish the standard of care. In some states, your attorney will have to file a sworn affidavit for bad plastic surgery.

There’s also a statute of limitations on plastic surgery lawsuit cases. It can be as short as two years, depending on where you live.

Burden of Proof

The burden is on the patient to demonstrate that damage has been done as a result of the operation. Proving that the plastic surgery results are injurious and not just ugly is hard. Things like MRSA infections or complications from anesthesia or even nerve damage are concrete examples of harm.

Plastic surgery is so expensive that it’s easy for patients to feel wronged by mixed results. They believe, as customers, that they should get their money’s worth, like going back after a bad haircut and demanding a fix.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and a lawsuit may not be the venue for validating those frustrations.

Hung Up Jury

Because plastic surgery is not life or death, it’s easy for a jury to get hung up on the fact that the patient volunteered to have surgery. The choice to have your body cut open and then suffer through recovery is a polarizing concept.

Nobody needs a breast augmentation, so why punish the surgeon?

Why feel sorry for someone who can afford to be so narcissistic?

Something innate causes jurors to bristle at and punish plastic surgery patients. They assume they’re shallow or too lazy to lose weight, even if those things are not true. Some jurors would never even consider bad plastic surgery, which further colors their opinion.

In cases where that bias is overcome, patients sometimes still don’t win what they could have. The awarded damages end up being lower than other comparable medical malpractice compensation. The jury thinks the patient is partly liable for assuming the risk of surgery.

Can You Make a Case for Bad Plastic Surgery?

Are you a victim of bad plastic surgery? Are you one of the many regretting your choice? If your surgery didn’t go as planned because of malpractice, you might have a valid lawsuit.

Finding a malpractice lawyer to take your case is the first step for bad plastic surgery.

We can help you get started! Contact us with questions or search our online attorney directory.


All You Need To Know About Dealing with Medical Malpractice

When doctors commit medical mistakes, they will subject their patients to various problems.  This will include increased feelings of frustration, pain, suffering, injuries, time away from their work, additional expenses, physical disfigurement, and in the worst case – death.  Sadly, medical mistakes or medical malpractice occurs each day. In fact, according to statistics, three-quarters of all physicians in low-risk specializations will have experienced lawsuits by the time they reach the age of 65.

Given the emotional distress associated with medical malpractice lawsuits, the majority of health personnel end up suffering from a condition known as Medical Malpractice Stress Syndrome or MMSS.  This article provides information on the causes of MMSS while offering recommendations on ways of managing it.

What Are The Causes Of Medical Malpractice Stress Syndrome?

At its most simplistic level, the primary cause of any medical malpractice stress syndrome is being sued.  Nonetheless, this type of malpractice lawsuit has various elements causing it to be one of the major stressors and depressants in any physician’s life.  Ideally, the lawsuits affect the most vital aspects of a doctor’s identify, which is their careers.

A doctor facing lawsuits regarding medical malpractice will question the physician’s self-worth and competency.  The lawsuit brings about a great deal of self-doubt and shame. In fact, the majority of the affected physician’s prefer to isolate themselves; thereby, avoiding judgement by colleagues or even their family members.  Some of the behavior physicians experiencing these emotions will turn to includes arriving late to meetings, avoiding interaction, and using the elevator instead of the stairs.

If you notice any change in your doctor’s behavior in this way, it does not mean he is dealing with a small amount of stress.  The chances are likely that these are outward manifestations of the medical malpractice stress syndrome affecting him.

The Different Ways To Manage Medical Malpractice Stress Syndrome

1.  Finding A Support System

Even a doctor will have one friend that they are able to go to with their problems.  During these times, it is recommended that you approach your personal doctor and ask for medical help.  This is especially important if the case interferes with your personal relationships or work. On the other hand, you can search for support groups that share your problems.  Using support groups, you will have additional emotional support when undergoing the legal procedure.

2.  Speaking To Your Lawyer

According to medical malpractice lawyers, Thomas Law Offices, you should consult the best medical malpractice attorneys to obtain legal advice and assistance before you do anything else.  It is vital that you engage in the legal procedure as this can assist you in feeling more in control of the lawsuit. Adhering to the instructions provided by a medical malpractice will ensure that you can build a stronger case by gathering all necessary documents to support your argument.

3.  Reflecting On All Achievements

You should not allow one medical mistake to define your professional life.  Unless restricted by the court, you should continue to practice, but perform procedures with greater caution.  Whenever you are feeling upset, you should take a few minutes and consider all your medical achievements. Remind yourself how far you have come and this should keep all negative thoughts away.


Stevens-Johnson Syndrome: Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

What is Stevens-Johnson syndrome?

Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and the related condition toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are serious and potentially life-threatening disorders that can affect your skin and the moist inner lining of certain organs.

SJS/TEN are rare skin reactions, but when they occur, they are considered medical emergencies and usually require hospitalization. These two conditions exist on a spectrum. While SJS is indeed a serious medical emergency, TEN is even more severe and life-threatening.

Flu-like symptoms – fatigue, fever, sore mouth and throat, cough, and burning eyes – are usually the first signs of SJS/TEN. Skin-related symptoms occur later. A painful reddish-purple rash spreads and turns into blisters. These blisters can appear on the lining of the mouth, nose, eyes, and genitals.

After blistering, the outer layer of skin dies, peels, and eventually heals. The extent of skin involvement distinguishes SJS from TEN:

  • SJS is a skin peeling on 10% or less of the body.
  • SJS & TEN overlap and are defined as skin peeling on 10-30% of the body.
  • TEN is defined as skin peeling on more than 30% of the body.

SJS/TEN can occur at any age, but most frequently affects children and young adults (ages 20-40 years old). People with history of bone marrow transplants, systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), or chronic joint diseases are at increased risk of developing the condition.

What are the expected outcomes for someone with SJS/TEN?

In the short term, SJS/TEN can be debilitating and painful. Sores on the linings of the mouth, throat, genitals, and eyes can make normal bodily functions difficult. For example, it can be difficult for affected individuals to eat or close their mouths. Their eyes can become swollen shut. Sores in the lining of the digestive and respiratory tracts can cause diarrhea, pneumonia, and make it difficult to breathe.

Because skin loss is a primary characteristic of SJS and TEN, subsequent fluid loss, organ failure, and infection are significant concerns.

SJS and TEN are short-term conditions, but they can cause lasting, chronic effects. After recovery, a person may have to cope with difficult and expensive health outcomes for the rest of their lives:

  • Infections like cellulitis (skin infection) and sepsis (potentially fatal bloodstream infection)
  • Damage to the cornea, possibly resulting in loss of vision
  • Respiratory disorders like acute respiratory failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Permanent skin damage (bumps, pigmentation, abnormal nail growth, itching, sweating, and dryness)

Unfortunately, some people who develop SJS/TEN do not survive the condition and related complications. The death rate associated with SJS is 5%. The death rate associated with TEN is up to 25% in adults and less than 10% in children.

What causes SJS/TEN?

Seventy-five percent of SJS/TEN cases are caused by medications, while 25% are caused by certain conditions, infections, or have an unknown cause (idiopathic SJS/TEN). Despite these statistics, the likelihood of developing SJS/TEN is typically due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors. Certain groups of people are more likely to develop SJS/TEN:

  • HIV-positive
  • Weakened immune system
  • Personal history or family history of SJS/TEN
  • Belonging to an ethnic group that carries the HLA-B 1502 gene (e.g., Chinese, Southeast Asian, Indian)

Infections that have been known to precipitate SJS/TEN include:

  • Herpes simplex (genital herpes or cold sores) or herpes zoster (shingles)
  • Pneumonia
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis A

Other conditions that could cause SJS/TEN include graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and some vaccinations.

Antibiotics like penicillin are the most common medication triggers of SJS/TEN, but there are several other medications that can cause the disease:

  • Anti-gout medications like allopurinol
  • Anticonvulsants like phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproic acid (Depakote) and phenobarbital
  • Antipsychotics
  • Cough and cold medications
  • Nevirapine, an HIV drug
  • NSAIDs, especially those that end with -oxicam

What does treatment of SJS/TEN involve?

SJS/TEN treatment is intense and expensive. Almost always, a person who develops either condition will be hospitalized.

First, the doctor will discontinue all non-essential medications to try to determine the cause. The core of treatment will consist of wound care to prevent infections, eye care, and fluid replacement. Pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antibiotics may also be required.

Expensive medications and procedures may also be necessary:

  • A medication called cyclosporine may help shorten the duration of blistering.
  • Immune globulins can help block antibodies to prevent additional damage.
  • A plasma exchange may help remove substances from the blood that may have caused SJS/TEN.

Beyond the burdensome length of hospitalization, the type of care the affected person requires also adds to the expense. Because of the nature of SJS/TEN, the patient will need a specialist doctor and placement in an intensive care unit (ICU) and/or burn unit. Skin regrowth can take 2-3 weeks, but full recovery may not be complete for months.

Do I have a medical malpractice case?

Families who have been impacted by Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis unfortunately understand how dire circumstances can become. Without prompt, emergent treatment, people who develop SJS or TEN may not have the opportunity to recover completely or at all.

Furthermore, the short-term and long-term expenses of caring for someone who has experienced SJS or TEN can be prohibitive.

If you’re wondering whether you have a medical malpractice case, the medical malpractice lawyers at Hampton & King can help.  Contact them today at (713) 489-0993 for a free consultation.


Word From the Experts: How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works

Losing a loved one in a serious accident is one of the most traumatic experiences you can suffer.

Nothing can erase the pain, but there’s a legal solution to getting monetary compensation if someone else caused the accident.

When someone’s death occurs at the fault of another party (such as a car maker), their family members can sue for wrongful death. Such a case seeks damages for the loss incurred by the deceased’s dependants, like lost companionship, lost earnings, and funeral expenses.

Here’s an overview on how a wrongful death lawsuit works. You’ll find out what it is, the common causes, who can bring a wrongful death suit, and how to bring a wrongful death suit.

What’s a Wrongful Death Suit?

Representatives of the victim file a wrongful death suit when someone dies due to the wrongful or negligent act of another individual. In the case of a negligent or intentional homicide, the prosecutor can bring charges and start a criminal case against the party responsible.

However, the deceased’s family also has a civil option in bringing a wrongful death case against the party at fault for the death.

The deceased’s family can recover various damages. Some of these damages include the deceased’s pain and suffering before death, medical bills, and lost wages. A jury may also award compensation for the loss of financial assistance and companionship from the deceased.

What Makes up a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In any wrongful death case, the family of the deceased can bring a case that the death was due to the defendant’s actions. To have a successful wrongful death case, the deceased’s family must show:

  • That the defendant caused the victim’s death
  • The defendant was negligent, reckless, or intentionally caused the death of the victim, or that the accused was strictly liable in causing the victim’s death
  • There are surviving dependents and beneficiaries
  • The surviving dependents and beneficiaries have suffered financial loss after the victim’s death

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Lawyers that focus on wrongful death lawsuits and claims are usually involved in various cases with familiar causes, such as:

  • Birth injuries
  • Medical malpractice
  • Product defects
  • Motorcycle, automobile, or truck accidents
  • Premises accidents
  • Occupational hazards and exposure
  • Assisted living and nursing home abuse and neglect
  • Criminal actions like stabbings, shootings, and blatant violence
  • Supervised activities like field trips, day care, and adult care

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit

A representative of the deceased’s family must bring forth a wrongful death case. In most cases, it’s the executor of the deceased’s estate who files the claim.

The deceased’s beneficiaries and dependants vary with states, so read more here.

Immediate Family Members

Immediate family members such as spouses, kids, and parents of singletons can file wrongful death suits in all states.

Distant Family Members

In some states, distant relatives like siblings and grandparents can file wrongful death claims.

For instance, a grandparent who’s looking after a child can sue for wrongful death.

Parents of a Dead Fetus

Some states allow parents to file a wrongful death suit if their fetus dies. Several other states don’t allow this. In those states, parents can only sue for wrongful death if the child was born alive and died shortly thereafter.

Life Partners, Putative Spouses, and Financial Dependents

In some states, a life or domestic partner, a putative spouse (someone who strongly believed they were in a marriage with the deceased), or a financial dependant can file a claim.

All People Who Suffer Financially

In some states, everyone who suffers financially due to the death can file a wrongful death case for lost support or care. This applies even if they aren’t related to the victim by blood or marriage.

What’s Statute of Limitations

Learning the statute of limitations in your state is an important step when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Each state has its own time limits within which someone can bring a wrongful death suit.

For example:

  • The statute of limitations in Florida is two years from when the death occurred.
  • The statute of limitations is also two years in California.
  • The statute of limitations in Montana is three years.

In some cases, the wrongful death statute of limitations takes effect from the date of the death while in others it’ll take effect on “discovery of harm”.

For instance, if a doctor fails to diagnose cancer and the error isn’t discovered for years, the statute of limitations might not begin until the patient discovers cancer.

If your state’s statute of limitations has run out, then, unfortunately, you won’t be able to file a wrongful death suit.

How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

At first, your lawyer might try to settle your case by demanding compensation from the defendant. If your case isn’t settled here, your next move is to file a certain document known as a complaint to get the wrongful death case started.

The plaintiff is the individual filing the lawsuit while the defendant is the person hit with the lawsuit. The complaint gives the reasons why the defendant is being sued by the plaintiff. It also states the law supporting the plaintiff’s case and what damages are being demanded by the plaintiff.

A third party serves the complaint to the defendant.

The defendant has a specific time to respond to the complaint, like 20-30 days. This response is normally known as an answer. The reply states the defendant’s defense against the plaintiff’s claim and aims to get the plaintiff’s claim dismissed.

Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If your loved one died due to another company’s or person’s negligence or wrongful actions, you should hire a local wrongful death attorney.

With more than 300 law firms across the country, Halt Lawyer Directory is the best resource for finding the right attorney for your needs.

For more legal information and advice about a wrongful death lawsuit or other cases, be sure to browse through our blog.


Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice? Here’s What to Do

A recent John Hopkins study has found that a shocking 250,000 people in the US die every year due to medical malpractice. It is the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

If you or a loved one has fallen victim to malpractice, here are few things that you need to do, to seek legal assistance.

1. Document Everything

It’s possible for records to get lost so it’s important that you record everything that happens to you.

Document important conversations that you had with your healthcare providers, and anything else you think that an attorney may need to know like date, times, and names of doctors and nurses.

This will help your case move forward a lot faster.

2. Request Your Medical Records

Medical records from your health care provider will be key evidence in for your case. You have the rights to get these records, and you shouldn’t have to give a reason for why you want them.

If anyone makes it difficult to retrieve your records, contact an experienced lawyer, such as those that work at the Decker Law Firm.

Review the records to make sure they are complete. They can be retrieved by giving the patient’s name of the records department of where they received their care.

3. Ask Questions

You have the right to know what’s going on with your health and body. Don’t be afraid to ask the nurses and doctors questions regarding your care.

Be direct and ask questions like “What’s going on?” or “Why is this happening?” They legally have to answer you.

4. Ask for an Investigation

In some cases, if the situation is serious enough, you can request an investigation of the healthcare facility.

The hospital most likely won’t share or publicize their findings so it might not benefit you in a way that you would like but, it can raise awareness about your case and you could get an explanation from the risk manager.

It might not help settle your malpractice case, but it will give you some peace of mind.

5. Hire A Lawyer Who Specializes in Medical Malpractice

Once you’ve done these necessary steps, it’s time to call a malpractice lawyer. If you don’t know a malpractice lawyer, call an attorney you trust for a referral.

A malpractice lawyer can tell you if you have a case, and also if it’s worth pursuing. It’s a long and complicated process, so in some cases, it might not be.

Often these lawyers will offer a free consultation to talk about your claim and offer you advice.

What To Do in the Case of Medical Malpractice

Thousands of Americans fall victim to medical malpractice every year. It’s important to take the initial steps before consulting an attorney so you can gather the necessary documents for the case. The attorney can tell you from there if it’s worth pursuing. The best thing is to take a deep breath and keep a clear mind.

Check out our blog for more information to help you get the money you’re entitled to!


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