As patients, we put our health and trust in the hands of nurses, emergency rooms, doctors, nursing homes and hospitals. We expect medical professionals to deliver the highest standard of care.
The medical field is unlike any other. An error by a physician can have much more serious consequences than an error by a sales person or an attorney. A medical malpractice error can result in severe injury or death.
A study by Johns Hopkins shows that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer. Institute for Safe Medical Practice estimates that each year medical errors injured at least 1.5 million Americans. As well as cost the healthcare system more than 3.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Not every unfortunate result by a doctor/hospital is a medical malpractice case. Patients must prove a few things to have a legitimate case. First, that a doctor/patient relationship existed. Second, there was a breach in the standard of care. Lastly, that the breach directly caused injury to the patient.
Standard of care refers to treatment that is accepted by medical experts as a proper treatment for a certain type of disease. Basically, it is what is widely used by healthcare professionals. The term is also called best practice, standard medical care, and standard therapy.
The duties that healthcare professionals owe their patients are:
A breach of any of these duties may give a cause of action for negligence. The patient may recover damages from his doctor. If you require expensive, ongoing care as a result of your injuries, it is a good sign you may have a case. The attorneys and staff at The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess have 20 years of experience with medical malpractice cases. We can help you determine if your situation qualifies by:
If you or a family member suffered an injury or fatality due to a medical malpractice error while under a doctor’s care, you have the right to financial compensation. We have experience helping injured medical patients get the answers to questions about their possible case. Furthermore, we can help you receive compensation for resulting medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. Call our New Orleans personal injury attorneys to discus your case.
Call our New Orleans, Louisiana office today for a FREE review of your personal injury case. We typically work on a contingent agreement basis, which means our fees are contingent upon the outcome of your case.
Don’t Delay! You may have a valid claim! Let us help you get your compensation before the statute of limitations expires!
With medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., there are many different causes for medical malpractice claims.
Based on data published from 2008-2011, an astounding 440,000 Americans each year experience a preventable adverse event while hospitalized.
Hospitals are usually not liable for the medical malpractice of doctors because most doctors are independent contractors.
A number of states hold the hospital responsible if it hires an incompetent or dangerous doctor. Moreover, the hospital is also responsible if it should have known that a previously safe doctor had become incompetent or dangerous.
Additionally, if someone is an employee of a hospital, the hospital is typically responsible (liable) if that employee hurts a patient by acting incompetently.
In other words, if the employee is negligent the hospital will usually be on the hook for any resulting injuries to the patient.
Medication errors are common in the health care system. In a recent study, critical incidents occurred most commonly during the middle of anesthesia (42%).
Human errors were believed to be a factor ranging from 65-87% for deaths during anesthesia in several studies.
Medication dosing errors are an ongoing concern in hospitals and occur most frequently in the middle of anesthesia. The three most common causes of medication dosing errors were found to be:
Reasons for Anesthesia Complications:
Johns Hopkins University found that, “among malpractice claims, diagnostic errors appear to be the most common, most costly, and most dangerous of medical mistakes.”
The most common way in which doctors are negligent by failing to treat a medical condition is when they “dismiss” the presenting symptoms as temporary or minor. This situation may result in a worsening of the underlying condition or injury, causing further harm.
Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis of an illness or injury are the basis of many medical malpractice lawsuits.
Even highly experienced and competent doctors make diagnostic errors. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose that results in a worsening of the condition can be actionable.
Most of the mistakes in emergency departments are caused by human error, according to a study published by BMC Emergency Medicine.
Most errors occurred during medical examinations or lab tests (36%). More than half of the unintended events (56%) had consequences for the patient.
The causes of error were human (60%), followed by organizational (25%) and technical (11%) causes. Nearly half of the root causes could be attributed to other departments either in or outside of the hospital.
The Doctors Company found that 52 percent of malpractice cases were due to lack of obtaining all the clinical information that was available. This included not noticing important information in the health record and not ordering a required test, leading to an incorrect diagnosis or premature discharge.
A study released on WebMD, looked at malpractice claim information for surgical “never events” from the National Practitioner Data Bank between 1990 and 2010. Researchers use the term “never events” because they represent shocking surgical errors that should never have happened like when a surgeon performs the wrong procedure.
Over the course of the study, 9,744 paid malpractice judgments and claims cost $1.3 billion. Johns Hopkins researchers estimate that a surgeon in the United States leaves a foreign object such as a sponge or a towel inside a patient’s body after an operation 39 times a week, performs the wrong procedure on a patient 20 times a week and operates on the wrong body site 20 times a week.
If you think you may have a medical malpractice claim, let our attorneys and staff help you. We will hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence. Call our New Orleans, Louisiana lawyers for a free review of your malpractice case. We also work on a no win/no pay basis, so you can afford a lawyer. Don’t Delay, Call Clay!