When it comes to filing a legal claim, you may believe that having a lawyer on your side will make winning your claim a breeze. However, it is important to remember that there are differing degrees of difficulty when it comes to legal claims, and filing a medical malpractice claim is one of the toughest to win, even with the help of a great attorney. Not only can it be difficult to prove that a healthcare professional is responsible for your injuries after they cared for you, but hospitals often have much deeper pockets than the individual person and may be able to buy more help for their side of the claim.
Determining the Standard of Care
When you want to prove that a medical professional’s negligence caused you to become injured, you will need to first determine the standard of care. This may seem simple. If a doctor or other medical professional made a mistake, that would be obvious, right? Not necessarily. While it is true that doctors and medical professionals are held to a very high standard, it is important to also understand that they are given a great deal of leeway. This is because medical professionals typically work in fairly high-stress environments.
Are all mistakes negligence?
Not necessarily. As a lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer from a law firm like Waterman Law Centers, PLLC understands, medical professionals can make mistakes. They may misdiagnose a patient or provide them with incorrect information. However, if others medical professionals in the same circumstances would have done the same thing, then this may not be medical malpractice. Working with a lawyer is paramount when you are hoping to file a medical malpractice claim because they can tell you honestly whether you have a case and what you should do moving forward. A lawyer can help by:
- Establishing a patient-doctor relationship
- Gather your medical records and determine whether there were errors
- Get help from medical experts
- Determine what kinds of damages you may be able to win
- Negotiate on your behalf with insurance agents
Winning a medical malpractice claim will not be easy. However, with the right legal help, you may be able to get compensation for your injuries through various damages. If you are struggling after you have been injured by a medical professional, now is the time to step forward. Reach out to a local attorney to see whether you have a case and how you can move forward.
Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death lawyers who handle medical malpractice lawsuits often encounter cases arising out of delayed diagnosis of sepsis. Sepsis is a serious medical condition that occurs when infection-fighting chemicals released in the bloodstream by the body cause inflammation. This inflammation can lead to organ damage, organ failure, or even death. Blood clotting may also develop which reduces blood flow throughout the body and strips the organs of nutrients and oxygen. Common symptoms of sepsis include trouble breathing, low blood pressure, an accelerated heart rate, fever, and confusion. In severe cases, this infection can lead to septic shock which is life-threatening and requires emergency medical care immediately; septic shock can lead to kidney, lung, and liver failure quickly and can even cause death.
Sepsis occurs for many reasons, including poor sterilization of the surgical site or medical equipment such as ventilators and catheters and other inadequate infection control measures in the hospital setting. A septic infection has 3 stages of severity with septic shock being the most severe. In the first stage, sepsis is usually treatable if diagnosed quickly. For a sepsis diagnosis doctors look at the patient’s body temperature to determine if it’s above 101F or below 96.8F, their heart rate to see if it’s higher than 90 BPM, and their respiratory rate to ascertain if it’s higher than 20 breaths/minute. Lastly, they confirm whether an infection is plausible for the patient in question. Doctors can misdiagnose sepsis when the investigation is insufficient, i.e., medical negligence, and include a thorough physical assessment, review of systems, risk factors and past medical history.
Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or lack of treatment are common causes of medical negligence that can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. A recent wrongful death case involved a new mother who passed away after receiving no treatment for her diagnosed sepsis. She was released from the hospital after giving birth but quickly came back with a fever and nausea. The young woman underwent blood tests which showed she had a septic infection. The nurse practitioner working with her did not prescribe any antibiotics or medications and sent the woman home without administering any treatment. She returned 12 hours later, but by that time it was too late and the young mother died a few days later. Her husband was allocated $20 million in his wrongful death lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has suffered because of a health care provider’s negligence in dealing with a blood infection, contact a medical malpractice lawyer, like a medical negligence lawyer in Cleveland, OH from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co, L.P.A., immediately. Seeking compensation in a wrongful death case can be both stressful and complicated. Your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation and determine if you have cause for filing a lawsuit.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer
In 2002, the patient visited the Breast Care Center after she found a lump in her breast. She received a mammogram, which is an X-ray of the breasts used to look for early traces of breast cancer. The patient’s doctor told her there was “no evidence of malignancy” and sent her home with no additional testing. The lump continued to grow, so about 16 months later the patient went to a different doctor for a second opinion. She was then diagnosed with breast cancer.
The patient felt she had lost invaluable time in fighting her cancer. She underwent numerous operations and therapies including a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. Once she was in remission, the patient decided to hire a medical malpractice attorney and sue the doctor for misdiagnosing her condition. She asked, “why didn’t they find it the first time? Why didn’t they go the extra step and order a sonogram?” The patient’s condition has continued to worsen; after her relapse, her doctors found the cancer had spread to her bones. She must now endure chemotherapy treatments on a weekly basis for the rest of her life.
The trial lasted for 2 weeks and ended with the jury awarding the patient $15 million in damages. The doctor was found negligent because his misdiagnosis prevented the patient from accessing treatment in the early stage of her cancer, which probably would have altered her whole outcome. After the verdict was announced, the medical malpractice attorney stated, “they found him negligent because he was. There was something there, something she felt, and it needed to be evaluated and if it had been, we would not be here now.” However, the doctor remains as part of the medical staff at the Breast Care Center. The patient spoke out in hopes of helping other women by warning, “if you have any suspicions, any doubts, speak to the doctor and ask for another test.”
As reported by The New England Journal of Medicine, “experts state that nearly 31% of all breast cancer cases are misdiagnosed.” If you believe you or a loved one has had a misdiagnosis or has encountered any other form of medical negligence, seek legal counsel, like from a medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland, OH from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., LPA, immediately. Timing is crucial when presenting a case to the court so do not wait. The attorney can conduct a thorough investigation and determine if you have cause for filing a lawsuit. You may be eligible for compensation after seeking legal recourse for your medical malpractice lawsuit.