No one wants to become a medical malpractice victim. However, if you have been injured or harmed by a medical professional who acted negligently, then you need help from a Macon medical malpractice lawyer. Call the personal injury firm of Calvin Smith Law at (404) 383-7552 today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Whenever a medical professional does not adhere to what the medical field considers to be “acceptable standard care” then medical malpractice has occurred.
In order to prove that the underlying cause of an injury or death was due to medical malpractice, your attorney will need to prove that hospital staff, doctors, or the hospital were negligent when providing care and the negligence was responsible for the injury or death. Calvin Smith Law has skilled Macon attorneys with extensive experience in prosecuting these types of cases. The following are some of the types of lawsuits that we have managed:
- Failing to correctly diagnose cancer
- Infections caused by contaminated surgery
- Experimental medication or treatment that results in an injury
- Defective medical devices and products
- Administering the incorrect medication
- Careless treatment by emergency officials and paramedics
- Laboratory and blood test errors
- An injury suffered during childbirth due to improper treatment or negligence from medical staff
- Transfer of a patient to a different hospital without their consent
- Failing to diagnose a condition properly or delayed treatment
- Administering anesthesia improperly
- Negligence from an X-ray technician
- Lack of oxygen administered during a medical procedure
What are some Medical Malpractice Examples?
Medical negligence is a very broad topic and can take on a number of different forms. Some common medical malpractice examples include incorrect diagnoses, unprofessional treatment, and failing to adequately warn a family member of patients of the dangers that are involved with a specific medication.
There are also improperly applied anesthetics, surgical errors, medical prescription errors, and mistakes such as these that may cause serious issues for patients.
Of course, it is very important to keep in mind that not all medical treatments will turn out the way we hope or expect. However, it is medical malpractice every time. This is at the center of the problem. It is critical to discuss your situation with a qualified and experienced medical malpractice physician to find out if your case qualifies and that your medical treatment was actually substandard according to current medical standards.
What are Common Causes of Medical Malpractice?
Most medical malpractice cases that our lawyers handle have been caused by the following:
Prescription Medication Errors
Unfortunately, this occurs more frequently than we might expect. A doctor may prescribe the wrong dose of a medication or the wrong medication to a patient. There can also be situations where a prescription might be so illegible that it might be hard for the nursing staff to read the information. Many consider robot technology to be a solution to the problem. Robots do not feel any tediousness and can eliminate human error problems.
Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis
If a patient is not given a precise and accurate diagnosis, their treatment may end up being harmful or ineffective. In these situations, the treatment that is provided might not be effective. Or the doctor might misinterpret their symptoms and signs and assure the patient that they do not have a serious condition when they really do. If a patient has a serious condition that is not identified properly and effective treatment is not provided in time, then it could end up being fatal. This is an additional reason why it is essential to have another set of eyes on the problem to make it easier to avoid this kind of error.
Insufficient Medical Supervision
A patient will often be admitted to a hospital but not receive the supervision that they need. That might occur when a new medical professional is called in to replace an experienced hospital staff member or when patients are not monitored carefully enough by hospital staff. There is a high risk of injury occurring when that happens. It is critical that a hospital gives the right amount of attention according to the guidelines provided by the CMS supervision rules.
Unnecessary Delays in Treatment
When a patient is in need of treatment but it is delayed for an unreasonable amount of time, failing to receive needed treatment can result in the condition being aggravated and the damages associated with it. This problem is fairly common and whenever patients use hospitals for unnecessary treatment delays, they end up losing 39% of the time. That is because hospitals are required to ensure they offer the right documentation and to make sure their treatment is on schedule and consistent.
Failing To Acquire Consent From a Patient or Their Family
It is critical that hospitals and their staff inform patients and their families of the risks that are involved with certain treatments and procedures. That way doctors will have their patient’s consent prior to the risks being taken.
Insufficient Medical Skills or Training
A great deal of medical information is being reexamined today. It is essential for doctors to attend training seminars on a regular basis to stay current on the newest information and attend refresher courses that will keep them at the top of their games. However, unfortunately, it is not always mandatory to do this.
A Patient’s Wrongful Death
Patients may face complications or develop allergic reactions while in surgical procedures and treatments. When that occurs it is essential that doctors do everything they can to understand what has occurred to try to make improvements to their medical practices. Whenever a patient’s files are not fully reviewed by a doctor, it can be easy to overlook smaller details that could be very harmful.
All types of infections can find favorable conditions in hospitals. More than 2 million individuals contract an infection inside hospitals every year and out of those patients, 90,000 die from the infection. It is critical to be aware of this when in a hospital and it is essential to remain hygienic and sanitized at all times any time you are around or in a hospital. It is very important for you to insist that your nurse or doctor wear gloves while providing medical care.
Emotional and Mental Damages
It is common for injuries to have pain and suffering accompanying them to all degrees of seriousness and that can be a lot worse whenever recovery is not certain. Many patients become paralyzed or permanently injured and that can result in the worst type of emotional and mental anguish. This is a very important reason why doctors can warn patients about the risk of their operations they are about to undergo.
Miscommunication Among Hospital Staff Members
Many different professionals work together to provide better health in hospitals and if miscommunication occurs then it can produce catastrophic results. If there is any confusion in doses, treatments, or medications due to poor communications among the medical staff, then patients can end up suffering unnecessarily.
If you were injured or lost a family member due to medical malpractice b a medical organization like a hospital or a medical professional, contact Calvin Smith Law. Our firm has the experience and skill to investigate your case’s details and inform you what options are available and what the worth of your case might be.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
According to the statistics, medical malpractice within the US is a very serious problem. Researchers proved in 2016 that it is the third most common cause of death. Every year, the death toll increases and the analysis shows that an estimated 251,000 deaths per year are the result of medical malpractice. That means there are more deaths caused by medical malpractice than from suicide, kidney failure, or stroke.
Also, there is a massive number of medical malpractice lawsuits and huge payout amounts. Diederich Healthcare statistics show that in 2016 alone medical lawsuits were $3,954,339,750. The payout amounts vary from one state to the next with some states paying as much as $300 million. Some states pay less but still can see payouts up to $20 million.
Some people claim medical malpractice is a term that is frivolous and thrown around lightly, however that is not true. In 2017, 30% of all medical malpractice lawsuits were for wrongful deaths. Also, 58% of the cases in 2017 involved permanent injuries.
Anything that can lead to death, life-changing injury, or permanent damage are all very serious affairs.
Our firm handles all kinds of medical malpractice cases, which include the following:
- Pharmacy errors
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Dental malpractice
- Birth injuries
How Can I Tell If I Have A Valid Medical Malpractice Case?
Whether or not you have a valid case will be determined by the special details involved in your situation. Just because your treatment did not work the way you had hope does not necessarily mean that the medical professionals acted in a negligent way. It is necessary to determine whether or not your doctor did something wrong based on standard practices.
In order for your case to be eligible to file a lawsuit, it is critical for you to show a couple of things were true.
You will need to prove the following:
- You had a doctor-patient relationship with the physician in question. You hired the doctored and have signed onto to receiving services from them.
- The doctor acted in a negligent way. That means they did not act in a manner that a reasonable medical professional would have acted in the same situation.
- The negligence of the doctor resulted directly in injury. That will frequently require a suitable professional’s testimony who will be able to provide information on what caused the injury and establish that the root cause was the doctor’s negligence.
This often requires expert testimony from an expert who can provide information on the chances that the injury was caused by the doctor’s misconduct.
Damages were suffered due to avoidable injuries. Among the damages that you might have experienced can include the cost of medical treatments and bills, physical and mental anguish and pain that may be suffered, and lost wages due to time spent away from work.
Elements of a Medical Negligence Suit in Macon
In order for your case to make you eligible to be compensated for medical malpractice damages, first, it is essential for a few points to be established by your doctor.
- Typically the defendant is a medical professional. It is critical that they owed you a duty to provide care in order to prove your case. The doctor’s nursing staff and hospital are held to high levels of care to ensure patients are not harmed or injured.
- The defendant failed to properly perform their duty of care
- The patient suffered injuries as a direct result of the breach
- The breach directly resulted in the patient suffering injuries
- Due to the injuries that were sustained, the patients also incurred medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
How To Calculate Compensation and Damages
When a patient is injured while being treated and has a case that contains all of the elements necessary for a malpractice case, they can seek compensation for the damages they have suffered by filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Georgia. The compensation can be cover lost wages, past medical bills, out-of-pocket costs and cost of future expenses and treatments that relate to their injuries.
A medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia allows an injured patient to seek compensation for their damages which include rehabilitation and hospital bills, past medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs such as mobility equipment and home health care. Injured patients can also be eligible to receive compensation for the cost of their future medical bills that relate to their injuries.
In order to determine a suitable amount to adequately cover the damages, it is essential to have economic and medical experts give their opinions to make sure that a fair amount of compensation is received. There also will be intangible damages such as anguish and suffering that the injuries have caused and the need for treatment and care in the future which need to be factored into the total amount of damages.
The following are the damages in a medical malpractice case that can possibly be recovered:
- Medical Expenses (Both Future & Present)
- Loss of Wages and Other Types of Financial Hardship
- Loss of Income From Wrongful Death
- Pain and Suffering
- Physical Impairment
- Loss of Comfort and Love and Other Forms of Non-Financial Damages
- Hospitalization Costs
- Loss of Companionship
How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Take?
Each case is different so it is very hard to anticipate how long a case could take without reviewing all of the details. Since medical malpractice cases tend to be drawn out and long they often go on for a number of months or sometimes even years before reaching a settlement and receiving compensation. If you believe you have a valid medical malpractice case, or you were injured due to medical personnel’s negligence, call Calvin Smith Law. Our leading lawyers will look over the details of your case and recommend what your next step should be.
How Much Time Do I Have To File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical malpractice cases have a statute of limitations, similar to personal injury lawsuits. In Georgia, your claim needs to be submitted with two years of the date that the death or injury occurred. If you wait until for too long and miss the critical deadline, you will not be able to receive compensation for the damages that the malpractice has caused.
Who can be Held Liable for a Death from Medical Malpractice?
When considering a medical malpractice case, it often is assumed that just doctors are subject to this kind of lawsuit. For example, a surgeon who is careless and makes a mistake in surgery that results in an injury or complication. However, it is not just doctors who can be held liable for medical malpractice. There are actually several different medical professionals within the medical malpractice field that may be held responsible in a medical malpractice case.
Some other parties that can help held liable in a medical malpractice case include the following:
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers
- Freestanding medical clinic
- Hospital malpractice due to medical errors made by their staff
It is not always immediately obvious where the liability needs to be placed within the medical system. That is why our team of legal specialists has the experience and skills to research your case’s specifics, consult with the appropriate experts, and determine the exact parties that played a role in your experience. Contact Calvin Smith Law so that one of our experts can look over your case and its details. We have the experience and skill to get the compensation that you deserve and need.
What standard of care is applied to medical malpractice cases?
Medical professionals in medical malpractice cases are held to a certain standard of care. It is not the same standard of care found in regular personal injury cases, where it is the level of care that a reasonable person would apply. A much higher standard of care is expected of a doctor or other medical professional when a patient is being treated.
Only a medical professional can give testimony on this subject and that is why usually your doctor will have an expert introduced who has looked over your case’s details who believe the standard of care has not been met. The expert will need to be in the same medical field or a similar suitable field to give testimony.
What are Damage Caps, and What is Their Purpose?
A damage cap places a specific limit on the amount of compensation that can be obtained in a medical malpractice case. Sometimes they have not been adjusted for inflation and may be applied to the damages or total compensation. They are applied so that a very high penalty is not applied by a jury on a medical professional due to feeling sympathetic to the plaintiff’s situation. These caps also help to protect the medical insurance industry’s balance and despite the incident, make sure a medical professional can still practice their profession.
What Are The Reasons Why I Should File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Although there are many benefits to settling your case out of court, some cases need to be taken to court. Yours could be one of those cases. You can discuss your case and its details with a qualified and experienced medical practice lawyer at Calvin Smith Law to get a better idea of where you will need to take your case to court or not. It is important to know that you will be faced with associated costs if you do take your medical malpractice case to court.
The following are some of the main reasons why you will need to take your medical malpractice case to court.
The Defendant’s Party Does Not Make a Settlement Offer
This is the most common reason. That is why you want to have a skilled attorney on your team. Typically they will recommend that you file a lawsuit. It is always a good idea, no matter what, to hire a lawyer how is experienced in and prepared for taking cases to court.
Your Settlement Offer Is Insufficient
If a settlement was offered, but the amount is just a fraction of what your case is known to be worth, then your lawyer might recommend litigation. Discuss this with your attorney so you know whether or not the settlement offer given to you will really cover all of your damages.
If you have an especially egregious case, your attorney might decide that your case should go to court. If a patient died during an operation due to the doctor failing to read the patient’s medical history, that would be considered to be gross negligence and your attorney would need to take this case to court.
Contact a Macon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If medical malpractice has left you with an injury contact Calvin Smith Law. Schedule a free consultation with a Macon medical malpractice lawyer to review your legal options with a free consultation. Call us today at (404) 383-7552.