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Medical Malpractice And Negligence Attorneys

Of course, our society trusts hospitals and medical professionals to take care of us when we get sick. Indeed, most people put a special kind of trust in the doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals who treat us. However, medical professionals are human. They sometimes make mistakes. When they make mistakes that injure their patients, the patients need experienced medical malpractice and negligence attorneys.

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional breaches the duty of professional care. This breach takes the form of an act or omission that directly injures a patient.

Medical Malpractice Happens-More Than You Know

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is common in the United States. In fact, a Johns Hopkins study found that medical errors kill more than 250,000 Americans every year. Indeed, this makes medical malpractice the third-leading cause of death. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans.

A medical malpractice case arises when a healthcare professional provides a treatment that deviates from accepted standards of care within the medical community. This deviation causes an injury to a patient.

If a medical professional or hospital was medically negligent, the injured patient can sue them for medical malpractice.

Medical negligence refers to a negligent act or failure to act which injures a patient. If the injured patient shows the negligent act caused their injury, a jury can award them various damages. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional suffering.

There are several types of medical malpractice that happen:

Anesthesia Errors

Generally, there are three types of anesthesia with distinct purposes. General, regional and local. In fact, each type of anesthesia carries the risk of complications.

One of the most common and serious complications is anesthesia awareness. This is also called intraoperative awareness. Anesthesia awareness occurs when a patient regains consciousness during surgery. If anesthesia is used incorrectly and injures a patient, the patient can sue the responsible medical professional.

Some examples of negligence by an anesthesiologist include administering the wrong type of dose of anesthesia. Another example is giving the anesthesia dose too late – Failing to put a patient under anesthesia.

Birth Injury

The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen all the time. Indeed, sometimes doctors fail to provide a safe childbirth process. The end result may be a debilitating birth injury such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, or brachial plexus palsy.

Birth injuries can occur for a variety of reasons, but they tend to have one thing in common: They could have been prevented with reasonable medical care.

Common causes of birth injuries include using excessive force on the newborn’s neck or limb with forceps.

Failure to perform a C-section in a timely manner can injure or kill the newborn.

Depriving the child of oxygen can seriously injure the child. For example, if the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck, it can lead to a cognitive delay or brain damage.

Lastly, if the doctor doesn’t properly monitor the mother and baby’s condition during the delivery, placenta previa or a ruptured uterus can occur.

Emergency Room Errors

Emergency rooms are often very hectic. However, that is to be expected. Consequently, medical professionals are trained to manage difficult situations. In short, they must uphold a high standard of care no matter what happens in the ER.

Examples of emergency room negligence include misreading charts or x-rays or failing to diagnose a condition. Other ER errors can be making an incorrect or delayed diagnosis or giving the wrong dose of medication.

Hospital Malpractice

Notably, the hospital itself may be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Hospitals must adequately evaluate prospective employees. Assume a hospital hires an incompetent or underqualified staff member. If that staffer injures a patient, the injured patient can sue the hospital.

Hospitals are also responsible for appropriately staffing the hospital so that patients receive proper care. Moreover, the hospital cannot ask employees to do more than can be reasonably expected.

Hospitals must also keep track of patient records.

Therefore, failure to meet these and other standards may be grounds for an injured patient to sue the hospital for medical malpractice.

Additionally, hospitals can be held vicariously liable if a staff member negligently injures a patient. Vicarious liability will attach to the hospital if the employee was acting within the scope of their employment.

However, vicarious liability does not cover the actions of independent contractors. Indeed, many doctors are not hospital employees. Rather, they are employed on a freelance basis while they run their own private practices.

Other medical malpractice claims can be based on the medical professional’s failure to diagnose or recognize key symptoms.

Doctors must also examine a patient’s medical history.

Likewise, they must order and correctly interpret the proper tests.

There are many other recognized medical malpractice claims.

How Do Medical Malpractice and Negligence Attorneys Prove Their Case?

To prove a medical malpractice claim, the injured patient’s medical malpractice lawyers must show the healthcare professional acted negligently. Moreover, the medical malpractice attorneys must show the negligence caused by the patient’s injury.

Generally, the attorneys must prove several elements to succeed:

  • The medical professional must have owed a duty of care to the patient. In other words, they were responsible for treating the patient within the accepted standards of care.
  • Prove the medical professional violated their duty to the patient.
  • The patient must prove the breach of duty was directly responsible for their injury.
  • Lastly, the injury caused economic or non-economic damages. For example, the patient incurred pain and suffering and will have future medical bills.

What Are the Damages in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

An injured patient may be awarded damages for the harm caused by negligent medical mistakes of a professional, hospital, or another party. Likewise, in a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit, survivors of the deceased can collect damages.

These damages may include:

Medical expenses

Medical expenses may cover hospital stays, doctor visits, medical care, prescription drugs, etc.

Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity

If the injured patient missed time from work to recover, she may be eligible to collect compensation for lost wages. If you can’t earn the same amount of money as you did prior to your injury, you may be awarded compensation for diminished earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages are designed to compensate the victim for physical pain caused by their injury, as well as anxiety, fear, depression, etc.

Loss of Consortium

Surviving family members may be awarded compensation for the loss of aid, companionship, and other benefits of a family relationship. That is known as the loss of consortium. It is widely recognized in personal injury law.

Beware of the Statute of Limitations

Every state has a statute of limitation for personal injury cases, which includes medical malpractice. In Indiana and Illinois, the statute of limitations is two years.

That means you must file your lawsuit within two years of your accident. If you don’t, the statute of limitations bars you from filing the suit.

However, it takes time to build a strong medical malpractice claim. Medical records have to be collected and reviewed. Additionally, one or more medical experts will have to be hired.

Therefore, if you think medical errors have injured you, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney NOW so he can start to build your medical malpractice claim.

If Surgical Errors or Medical Errors Injured You, Contact Experienced Medical Malpractice and Negligence Attorneys Now

Experienced medical malpractice attorneys can act as your advocate and help you understand the best way to proceed with your case.

We get all your medical records to support your claim. Then we’ll hire the right medical expert witness to support your case.

Lastly, if the evidence is there, we’ll negotiate a settlement with the malpractice insurance company for the defendants.

And if the insurance company is not reasonable, we’ll sue and prepare your case for trial. Either through a negotiated settlement or a trial, we’ll get you the compensation to which you are entitled.

Contact our law firm at our Hammond office at 219-200-2000 or online at alexmendozalaw.com for a free consultation.

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