When a Healthcare Professional Lets You Down, Contact The Law Offices of Tom Pyles
We trust doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals with our health. Despite years of training and carefully developed protocols, mistakes can still unfortunately happen. While some of these mistakes may be unavoidable, some are the result of negligence. If you have suffered harm as a result of negligence, a Laurel medical malpractice lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
Our Laurel Medical Malpractice Lawyer Explains the Standard of Care
Medical malpractice cases are some of the most complex personal injury claims that lawyers handle. In most personal injury cases, the main challenge is proving simple negligence – that the at-fault party’s carelessness led to your injury. Medical malpractice cases are based on negligence but are judged according to the standard of care. Determining whether or not a doctor or other healthcare professional deviated from the standard of care is a much more complicated analysis than whether they were simply negligent. An experienced attorney will understand how the standard of care applies to your case and be able to determine whether you are a victim of medical malpractice. The standard of care will vary in every case depending on a number of factors including:
- The nature and complexity of your illness or injury; or your child in the case of birth injuries
- The doctor’s training, education, and experience in diagnosing and treating your illness or injury
- The location or nature of the facility where you received treatment
Emergency Room Negligence
Emergency rooms are one of the most common sources of medical malpractice cases. Because they are chaotic and stressful environments where time is of the essence, it’s easy for mistakes to occur. While medical professionals may be given more leeway in emergency situations than other instances, that doesn’t mean that they cannot be held liable when they commit medical malpractice.
In the context of an ER medical malpractice claim, it is important to emphasize that mistakes do not necessarily qualify as medical malpractice. As with any medical malpractice claim, the standard of care will determine whether or not you are the victim of malpractice. Emergency room cases are evaluated according to a specific standard of care that will account for the fact that the doctor or nurse may not have all the information necessary to take the proper steps or that your condition requires immediate attention. If you have suffered harm as a result of treatment you received in the ER, a Laurel medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your case and determine whether you have a claim.
Many malpractice claims arise from doctors misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a patient’s illness or injury, resulting in subsequent harm. Misdiagnoses can occur in a variety of ways including the following:
- Failure to take a complete medical history
- Failure to review a patient’s medical file
- Failure to order the appropriate tests
- Incorrectly reading or interpreting test results
When a physician fails to correctly diagnose your illness or injury, valuable time is lost that could have been devoted to getting you the treatment you need. This could result in unnecessary pain and suffering, or cause your illness or injury to become worse, thus requiring additional treatment that could have otherwise been avoided. In some cases, the misdiagnosis and subsequent delay in treatment could result in a permanent disability or an illness that is beyond treatment. An experienced Laurel medical malpractice lawyer will be able to identify whether you are the victim of medical malpractice as the result of a misdiagnosis.
Surgery is a major medical event and hospitals go to great lengths to ensure that the procedure goes smoothly. Unfortunately, accidents can still occur that result in severe harm to the patient. Surgical errors can include the following:
- Postoperative infections due to inadequate aftercare
- Surgical instruments left in the patient’s body
- Damage to surrounding tissues or organs
- Anesthesia errors
- Surgery performed at the wrong site
- The wrong procedure was performed on the patient
It may seem hard to believe that these errors can occur, but the unfortunate reality is that they happen more often than you might expect. Hospitals are incredibly busy facilities that have limited resources and are often understaffed. This can lead to surgical errors in the following ways:
- Doctors or nurses are over-fatigued and unable to perform their duties properly
- Medical staff failed to properly plan for the procedure
- The surgeon lacks the necessary training or experience
- Miscommunications among the medical staff
- The medical staff or surgeon fail to follow proper protocol
- Medical staff fails to provide adequate post-surgery care
Surgical errors are some of the most serious medical malpractice claims a patient can face. Unfortunately, they can be very difficult to prove, but working with a Laurel medical malpractice lawyer can help you hold the doctor or hospital accountable.
Modern medications can deliver amazing results when it comes to illnesses or injuries. However, many of these medications can carry serious side effects that can result in serious harm and even death. Before prescribing medication, doctors have an obligation to ensure that the medication is safe for you – that it won’t negatively interact with other medications you are on or trigger any allergies. They are also obligated to disclose any potential side effects.
That said, medication errors can occur outside of the doctor’s control. The pharmacy may fill the wrong medication or provide the wrong dosage. If you have been harmed as a result of a medication error, you should talk to a Laurel medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Failure to Disclose
Doctors have a duty to help their patients make an informed decision about their treatment. This means that they have to disclose any potential risks associated with the procedure such as side effects or possible complications. They may also have an obligation to discuss alternative treatments. You should contact a medical malpractice lawyer if you have suffered a side effect or complication from your treatment that you believe your doctor failed to disclose.
A Laurel Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You Prove Your Case
Successful medical malpractice claims require a tremendous amount of evidence. This evidence is often very technical and difficult for most people to understand. You need a lawyer who is conversant in medical terminology and has a general understanding of medical procedures. They need to be able to analyze the facts of your case to determine precisely how the physician was negligent, and how that negligence caused harm to you.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
I Don’t Want to Go to Court – Do I Still Need a Lawyer?
Medical malpractice cases are very complicated. Without a lawyer, it is unlikely that anyone will even consider your claim. Even if you don’t plan to go to court, working with a Laurel medical malpractice lawyer ensures that your claim will be as strong as possible and will hopefully be given fair consideration by the insurance company.
I Don’t Know Who is Responsible – The Hospital or the Doctor?
Determining who is at fault in a medical malpractice case can be challenging. One or more parties may be responsible – the doctor, a nurse, a lab that provided inaccurate test results, or a pharmacy that made a medication error. An medical malpractice law firm will be able to determine who should be held liable in your case.
My Doctor Says That My Treatment Was Unsuccessful – Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
There are rarely any guarantees of success when it comes to medical treatment. If your doctor disclosed the possibility that your treatment may not be successful, you probably do not have a medical malpractice claim. That said, a Laurel medical malpractice lawyer can still review your case and determine whether you have a claim as part of your free consultation.
Who is Liable in Your Medical Malpractice Case?
One of the reasons why medical malpractice claims are so complex is that it can be quite difficult to determine who is at fault and who should be held accountable. Failing to pursue the correct party could result in you losing your claim for compensation, so it is vital that you bring your claim against the correct person or entity. A Laurel medical malpractice lawyer will know who you need to sue so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Hospitals can be liable for medical practice in one of two ways:
- Through the negligence of their employees; or
- Through their own negligence.
In any employer-employee relationship, employers can be held liable for injuries caused by the negligence of their employees, even if the employer in no way participated in the conduct that caused the injury. As a result, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the hospital if you suffered harm from being treated by one of their physicians, nurses, or other medical providers.
You should be aware, however, that many doctors are not employees of the hospital where they work. In those situations, you may not be able to pursue a claim against the hospital if your injuries were solely the result of your doctor’s malpractice. That said, it is not uncommon to have to pursue a claim against both the doctor and the hospital. Before making any decisions about how to proceed in your case, the best thing to do is talk to a Laurel medical malpractice lawyer.
Modern healthcare often involves multiple professionals providing different treatments. In order for treatment to be successful, it requires a high level of communication and strong organization. Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities can be held liable when mistakes occur due to administrative errors. Here are some examples of administrative errors that can trigger malpractice liability:
- Inadequate employee screening, training, and supervision
- Inadequate sterilization and sanitation
- Inadequate safety protocols
- Inefficient policies and procedures
- Mismanagement of personnel or resources
These administrative errors can lead to mistakes that result in significant harm to the patient, whether its delays in treatment or post-operative infections. If you have suffered harm while receiving medical treatment, a Laurel medical malpractice lawyer will be able to determine whether you have a claim for compensation.
Many people aren’t aware that nurses can also be held liable for medical malpractice. Nurses have considerable responsibility when it comes to ensuring that patients receive the proper care, and when they fail to meet those responsibilities, they can be held accountable. Nurses can commit medical malpractice in the following ways:
- By failing to thoroughly examine or observe a patient
- By failing to communicate with doctors or other staff concerning their patients’ condition
- By failing to keep patient records accurate and up-to-date
- By administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage
- By failing to use medical equipment correctly
- By failing to follow established protocols and procedures
Because nurses are almost always an employee of the medical practice or hospital, you may need to pursue a claim against their employer. A Laurel medical malpractice lawyer can help you navigate these issues so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Get the Answers You Need from a Laurel Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Maybe the doctors and medical team did all they can to help you. Then again, maybe there was negligence. The best way to truly understand your legal options is to consult with a Laurel medical malpractice attorney. Give our firm a call for a free case evaluation.