Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Woodstock
Thanks to the advances in modern medicine, the majority of people seeking
medical care should expect to receive excellent care from their doctors
and nursing staff. However, despite the fact that the United States has
one of the most state-of-the-art healthcare systems in the world, that
doesn't change the fact that doctors and nurses, are human.
Often times hospitals are continuously operating with staff shortages,
and many of their doctors are overworked and exhausted. When you combine
a bustling hospital with thousands of patients coming in and out and overwhelmed
doctors and nurses, it's only a matter of time before someone has
a slip of the mind or makes a mistake. Unfortunately, when a nurse or
doctor makes a mistake while caring for a patient, that one mistake can
have deadly consequences.
What types of errors are included in medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to when a patient suffers an injury as a direct
result of a negligent act or from an omission from their healthcare provider.
Medical malpractice covers a broad range of medical errors or omissions
and some common medical errors include but are not limited to:
- Failure to diagnose a condition such as cancer.
- Wrong site surgery.
- Leaving a sponge or surgical instrument behind after surgery.
- Operating on a healthy organ.
- Failure to order necessary tests (as in a heart condition or cancer).
- Wrong diagnosis. (diagnosing a disease that doesn't exist)
- Deadly drug interactions or drug overdose.
- Accidentally cutting or nicking a healthy organ during surgery.
Medical malpractice frequently involves birth injuries. Birth injuries
cover a broad range of errors that can be traced back to poor prenatal
care, or to preventable errors made during labor, and gross errors made
during delivery itself. Birth injuries can include brachial plexus injuries,
Erb's Palsy, shoulder dystocia, facial paralysis from forceps use,
cerebral palsy, and other complications due to oxygen deprivation at birth
that lead to severe mental retardation and death.
Who is responsible?
The plaintiff can bring a lawsuit against a doctor or a dentist, or a nurse;
however, they may also bring a lawsuit against the employer which is often
the hospital. Since many physicians are not actually employees of the
hospital, they are independent contractors; the plaintiff may bring a
lawsuit against the doctor as opposed to the hospital. On the other hand,
if the nurse or physician was an employee of the hospital, then the lawsuit
would most likely be brought against the hospital where the error occurred.
A hospital may also be held responsible for its own negligence if it failed
to investigate the credentials of a physician, or if they knew the physician
was incompetent yet they allowed him or her to practice anyway.
Proving Medical Negligence
In order for a plaintiff to be successful in their claim, they must prove
all four elements of tort negligence in their medical malpractice claim:
- The medical provider had a legal duty to provide treatment to the patient.
- That legal duty was breached and the provider provided a substandard level of care.
- The breach was the proximate cause (it caused the actual injury).
- Damages must have been sustained. Without financial or emotional losses,
there isn't any basis for the claim.
In medical malpractice claims, damages typically cover economic and non-economic
losses and these include: pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost income,
reduced enjoyment of life, loss of a limb or an organ, psychological harm,
loss of vision, emotional distress, and loss of future income.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice, please
contact Jones & Swanson. Medical malpractice cases have a statute of limitations, meaning if you
don't file a claim within the specified period of time, you lose your
right to file a claim permanently. We are here to help guide you through
every step of the process while pursuing maximum compensation on your behalf.