Nobody wishes to become a victim of medical malpractice. However, it might happen one day and you need to be prepared. Have you been harmed or injured by a medical professional who was negligent? Well, you need the best Albany medical malpractice lawyer to help. Call Calvin Smith Law firm on (404) 383-7552 for any personal injury cases. We will schedule a free consultation and find the best way to help you with your case.
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What You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional doesn’t adhere to the acceptable standard of care. Do you suspect that someone close to you has been injured or died because of medical malpractice? Well, your Albany medical malpractice attorney has a few things to prove.
If you hire us for the case, we can prove that the doctors, hospital staff or the hospital were negligent when providing care. Also, we need to prove that negligence was the cause of death or injury to you or your loved one.
At Calvin Smith Law, we have the most skilled personal injury attorneys in Atlanta. They have a lot of experience in prosecuting these types of cases. Over the years, we have managed the following types of cases.
- Failure to diagnose cancer properly
- Infections resulting from contaminated surgery
- Use of experimental treatment or medication resulting in injury
- Defective medical products or devices
- Administration of the wrong medication
- Careless treatment offered by emergency officials and paramedics
- Errors in the blood tests and other lab tests
- Injury during childbirth because of negligent medical staff or improper treatment
- Transferring patients to different hospitals without their consent
- Delayed treatment or failure to diagnose a condition properly
- Negligence from an X-ray technician
- Failure to administer oxygen during a medical procedure
What Are Some Examples Of Medical Malpractice?
Medical negligence is very broad and it comes in different forms. Some of the known examples of medical negligence include:
- Incorrect diagnoses
- Unprofessional treatment
- Failure to adequately warn a family member of the patient about the dangers involved with a specific medication
- Improperly applied anesthetics
- Surgical errors
- Medical prescription errors
These types of mistakes may cause many serious issues for patients. Of course, you need to remember that not all medical treatments will turn out as expected but there might be some medical malpractice involved.
That’s why you need to discuss your situation with an experienced and qualified medical malpractice attorney. That way, you can find out if your case qualifies especially if the medical treatment was substandard based on the current standards in the industry.
What Are The Common Causes Of Medical Malpractice?
Some of the causes of the medical malpractice cases we have handled in the past include the following:
1. Prescription medication errors
It’s one of the frequent causes of medical malpractice. Here, a doctor will prescribe the wrong dose or the wrong medication to his/her patient. In some cases, the doctor’s handwriting on the prescription note is illegible such that it’s hard for the pharmacy or nursing staff to read the handwriting. Robot technology is one of the ways to mitigate this problem. It’s a good way to eliminate any errors with prescriptions, especially those related to handwriting.
2. Failure To Diagnose Or Misdiagnose
If a patient doesn’t get an accurate diagnosis, the treatment will be ineffective and harmful. In some cases, the doctor will misinterpret the symptoms giving the patient assurance that they don’t have a serious condition while in fact, they do. If a patient has a serious condition that is not diagnosed properly or if effective treatment isn’t provided in time the results could be fatal. That’s where there should be an extra set of eyes on the problem to make it easy to avoid such errors.
3. Insufficient Medical Supervision
In some cases, a patient will be admitted into a hospital but proper supervision isn’t provided. It can happen when a new medical professional replaces an experienced hospital staff member. It could also happen when patients are not properly monitored by the hospital staff. If this happens, there is a high risk of injury. Any hospital should have proper supervision in place for all the patients in accordance with the rules and regulations.
4. Unnecessary Delays In Treatment
There are cases where a patient is in dire need of treatment but it is delayed for a long time. Since the patient will not receive the proper treatment in the right time, the condition will be aggravated. It is a fairly common problem and whenever patients sue hospitals for unnecessary delays of treatment the hospitals will lose, at least 39% of the time. Hospitals are mandated to offer the right documentation and ensure that the treatment is consistent and schedule.
5. Failure To Acquire Consent From A Patient Or Their Family
Hospitals and their staff are required to inform the patients and their families of any risks involved in surgical procedures and medical treatment. Doctors need to have consent prior to taking the risk of doing certain medical procedures or treatment.
6. Insufficient Medical Skills Or Training
Today, a lot of medical information is being re-examined. Doctors are required to attend training seminars regularly to stay updated on the current information. They also need to attend refresher courses to stay at the top of their field. However, it is not mandatory to do so. As a result, most of them fall through the cracks.
7. A Patient’s Wrongful Death
Patients are likely going to face complications or have allergic reactions during surgical procedures or treatment. When this happens, doctors need to know what happened and make the necessary improvements to medical procedures or treatments. If a doctor fails to review a patient’s file completely, it’s easy to ignore the small details resulting in serious consequences.
8. Hospital Infections
Hospitals are favorable for different types of infections. At least 2 million people contract infections in hospitals every year and out of that number at least 90,000 people die from such infections. You need to be aware of this when you are in the hospital. You need to sanitize yourself to remain hygienic when in a hospital. Always insist that the doctor or nurse handling your case should wear gloves.
9. Emotional And Mental Damages
It’s very common for injuries to be accompanied by pain and suffering. The degree of seriousness varies when recovery isn’t certain. In some cases, patients will become paralyzed and permanently injured. It causes mental and emotional anguish. That’s why doctors should warn patients about the risks associated with any surgical operation or medical treatment before doing it.
10. Miscommunication Among Hospital Staff
Different medical professionals work together to guarantee the best results in hospitals. If there is any miscommunication, it will lead to catastrophic results. For instance, if there is any confusion with the treatments, doses or medications because of poor communication among the medical staff, the patient will suffer.
Have you or your loved one been injured or died because of a medical malpractice case? It could have been caused by the negligence of the hospital or a medical professional. Well, you need to contact Calvin Smith Law immediately. We have the skill and experience to investigate the details of your case. Thereafter, we will inform you of the options and what you are owed as compensation from the case.
What Are The Medical Malpractice Statistics?
Statistics reveal that medical malpractice is a very serious problem in the US. In 2016, researchers proved that it was the 3rd most common cause of death in patients. Every year since then, the death toll is continually rising. Currently, there are 251,000 deaths every year as a result of medical malpractice. These numbers are higher than what’s caused by stroke, suicide and kidney failure.
Also, there is a huge number of medical malpractice lawsuits as well as huge payout amounts. Statistics produced by Diederich Healthcare in 2016 showed that medical malpractice cases had total payouts of $3,954,339750. The payouts were different from one state to the other and some states paid as much as $300 million. Some states have lesser payouts but it still goes as high as $20 million.
Most people claim that medical malpractice is a frivolous term that’s thrown around lightly. However, that’s a huge misconception. In 2017, 30% of all medical malpractice lawsuits were primarily wrongful deaths. Also, in the same year, at least 58% of cases involved permanent injuries for the victims. Anything that can cause death, permanent damage or life-changing injury is a very serious affair.
We are ready to handle any type of medical malpractice case including the following:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Pharmacy errors
- Birth injuries
- Dental malpractice
How Can I Tell If I Have A Valid Medical Malpractice Case?
Are you worried that your medical malpractice case isn’t valid? Well, it can only be determined by the special details in your situation. You can’t assume that the medical professionals were negligent simply because the treatment didn’t work as expected. To prove a medical malpractice case, we need to prove that the doctor did something wrong or didn’t adhere to the standard practices.
For your case to be eligible to file a lawsuit, you need to prove that a few things were true. These include the following:
- You had a patient-doctor relationship with the physician. Here, you need to prove that you actually hired the doctor and signed up to receive services from them.
- The doctor was negligent. It means that the doctor didn’t act in a manner that any other reasonable medical professional would have in the same way.
- That an injury was caused by the negligence of the doctor. Here, you need a professional’s testimony. He/she should provide information on the causes of the injury and determine that the doctor’s negligence was the root cause. Basically, it’s expert testimony from a professional who can certify that the injury was primarily caused by the misconduct of the doctor.
- Also, you need to prove that damages were suffered due to avoidable injuries. Some of the common damages include the cost of medical treatment such as the bills, mental and physical anguish as well as pain and also lost wages because of spending time away from work.
What Are The Elements Of A Medical Negligence Suit In Albany?
For your case to be eligible for compensation, your doctor has to establish a few points. These include the following:
- The defendant has to be a medical professional. Here, they owed a duty to provide care so you can prove your case of medical malpractice. The doctor and the nursing staff should be held to high levels of care to guarantee that patients are not injured or harmed.
- The defendant failed to perform their duty of care properly.
- As a result of the breach, the patient suffered injuries.
- The breach was directly related to the patient’s injuries.
- As a result of the injuries sustained, the patients also incurred lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages.
How To Calculate Compensation And Damages
Have you or your loved one been injured during treatment? Does the case contain all the necessary elements for a malpractice case? Well, you can seek compensation for the damages by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Albany, Georgia. The compensation should be able to cover the lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, past medical bills and the cost of future expenses as well as any treatments related to the injuries.
The medical malpractice lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for the damages. These include hospital bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, past medical bills and out of pocket costs such as home health care and mobility equipment. If you are injured, you should also receive compensation for the cost of any future medical bills related to your injuries.
A suitable amount needs to be determined to cover the damages adequately. That’s why medical and economic experts need to give their testimonies to ensure you receive fair compensation. Keep in mind that there are intangible damages such as suffering and anguish caused by the injuries. Also, it should cover the need for treatment and care in the future. All these should be factored into the overall amount of damages.
Here are some of the damages that can be recovered in a medical malpractice suit.
- Future and present medical expenses
- Loss of wages or any other types of financial hardship
- Loss of income resulting from wrongful death
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of comfort and love or any other forms of non-financial damages
- Cost of hospitalization
- Loss of companionship
How Long Does A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Take?
Each medical malpractice case is different. Therefore, it’s long to anticipate how long a case will take without going through all the details. These cases are drawn out and long so they can take months or years before a settlement is reached or even compensation is awarded.
Do you believe that you have a valid medical malpractice case? Do you believe that you were injured because of the negligence of medical personnel? You need to call Calvin Smith Law. We have expert lawyers who will look through your case and recommend the way forward.
How Long Does It Take To File A Medical Malpractice Claim?
Just like personal injury lawsuits, medical malpractice cases have a statute of limitations. If you are filing your case in Georgia, you need to submit it within 2 years after the death or injury. If you wait too long, you will miss the deadline and fail to receive compensation for the damages caused by the malpractice.
Who Can Be Held Liable For Death From Medical Malpractice?
When medical malpractice happens, most people assume that doctors are the only defendants in such a lawsuit. Take an instance where a surgeon is careless and makes a mistake during surgery that causes an injury or complication. The surgeon will not be the only one held liable for medical malpractice.
Actually, a few medical professionals and other parties will be held liable in a medical malpractice case. These include the following:
- Freestanding medical clinic
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers
- Hospital especially if the hospital staff are responsible for the errors
When such a case happens, it’s not immediately obvious where the liability falls. However, with our team of legal specialists, you can count on the experience and skills to research the specifics of the case and consult the appropriate experts. As a result, we should be able to identify the exact parties that played a role in the whole predicament.
Contact us at Calvin Smith Law and one of the best medical malpractice lawyers in our firm will look over your case. They will check the details and find out how to proceed. Our lawyers have the experience and skill to help you get the compensation that you deserve without any hassles. We are ready to fight tooth and nail to make sure you are fairly compensated.
What Standard Of Care Is Applied To Medical Malpractice Cases?
Any medical professionals handling medical malpractice cases need to meet a certain standard of care. It is not the same type of care awarded to personal injury cases. Here, only the simplest type of care is awarded to regular personal injury cases. However, with medical malpractice cases, a higher standard of care is necessary especially when a serious case is involved.
Only an expert medical professional will give a testimony on the subject. If you are involved in a medical malpractice case, your doctor should introduce an expert who will look over the case details, especially if they believe that a particular standard of care hasn’t been met. The expert needs to be in the same medical field or a similar field for the testimony to be valid.
What Are Damage Caps And What Is The Purpose?
A damage cap refers to the limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded in a medical malpractice case. These caps might not be adjusted for inflation and may be applied to the damages or the overall compensation. They are in place so that a high penalty isn’t issued by the jury on a medical professional simply because they are overly sympathetic to the victim’s situation.
The caps are also in place to protect the medical insurance industry. They provide a balance despite the incident to make sure that the medical professional or the hospital still remains in business.
Why Should I File A Medical Malpractice Suit?
There are numerous benefits to settling your case out of court. However, some cases must end up in court. Well, yours could fall under the latter category. If you call us at Calvin Smith Law, we will discuss your case with you and the details involved. We are experienced and qualified medical malpractice lawyers who are ready to help.
After the consultation, we should have a proper idea of whether or not your case should proceed to court. You should know that you will not have to pay the associated costs if your case doesn’t go to court. Here are some of the main reasons why your medical malpractice case will end up in court.
1. The Defendant’s Party Doesn’t Make A Settlement Offer
It’s one of the main reasons why your case will not end up in court. If the other party doesn’t make an offer, you need to have a skilled and experienced attorney on your team. If you hire us, we will recommend that you file a lawsuit. That’s why you need to hire an experienced attorney who can handle taking cases to court.
2. The Settlement Offer Is Insufficient
Let’s say the other party makes an offer but it is insufficient. It could be a fraction of what your case is actually worth. Well, an experienced medical malpractice attorney will recommend litigation. If you hire us, we will discuss this with you in detail. That way, you can have an idea of whether or not the offer given to you will cover all the damages resulting from the case.
3. Gross Negligence
Is your case especially egregious? Well, we could decide that your case should go to court. For instance, if a patient dies during operation because the doctor failed to read the patient’s medical history, it will be considered as gross negligence. In such situations, your case needs to go to court.
Contact An Albany Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you or your loved one has suffered an injury because of medical malpractice, call Calvin Smith Law today. Contact us at (404) 383-7552 and we will review the details of your case at great length and recommend the best way forward.