Mistakes happen in the medical field every single day. Medical mistakes may be more common than most people think, and a recent study conducted by physicians at Johns Hopkins University estimates that medical errors may account for more than 250,000 deaths each year – more than accidents, strokes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases.
Every caregiver and caregiving institution has the obligation to meet an acceptable level of medical care when treating patients. These standards of care exist to ensure that caregivers are taking necessary steps to prevent their patients from being harmed during treatment. When treatment plans fail to meet these standards, it is considered medical malpractice.
Patients who are harmed because of the medical care they received, and whose injuries could (and should) have been prevented, are considered to be victims of medical malpractice.
How Do I Know If I Have a Case?
The easiest way to know if you have a medical malpractice case is to contact The Becker Law Firm and arrange for a free initial consultation. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact us today. You may use the contact form on this page or call us at (440) 252-4399. We will evaluate your case free of charge, as we believe there is no financial obligation to learning if you have a potential claim for damages. Best of all, we take cases on a contingency basis, which means that we will charge you nothing unless we win your case
If you aren’t yet ready to talk with us directly, we have compiled facts about medical malpractice that may be important to know as you are deciding how to move forward and seek full justice for the damages caused to you or a loved one.
Who Is Responsible for Medical Malpractice?
Although medical mistakes and negligence are the results of actions taken (or not taken) by caregivers, these caregivers do not operate in a vacuum. Many caregivers are part of much larger institutions that are responsible for ensuring that their staff meets and exceed accepted levels of care. The ways in which these institutions are managed, have systems put in place, require extensive training, and provide oversight are all done in order to prevent medical malpractice. Examples of three institutional settings where medical malpractice may occur include hospitals, nursing homes, and emergency rooms.
What Types of Errors Constitute Medical Malpractice?
There are many ways in which medical care can go wrong. Of the many medical malpractices cases we’ve tried, three important examples include Post-Operative Mistakes, Medication Mistakes, and Failures to Diagnose.
Complications are common when a patient is recovering from surgery, and it is the responsibility of doctors and post-operative staff to monitor and follow up on the patient’s condition. When they fail to do so, a patient can suffer life-threatening complications that may result in serious injury or wrongful death.
Post-operative care errors can include:
- Medication errors;
- Inadequately treated infections;
- Instruments left in the patient;
- Failure to properly monitor the patient.
When The Becker Law Firm takes on a case of post-operative injury, we conduct a thorough investigation to determine if state or federal regulations were violated and if the doctors, nurses, and other staff members present violated post-operative treatment standards and protocols. We subpoena medical reports, staffing reports, and other relevant evidence to find out who was at fault, and how their action (or inaction) contributed to the injury. We then focus on seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other hardships.
Medical professionals are responsible for ensuring that a patient’s medical history is thoroughly reviewed, as well as for documenting and communicating the patient’s condition to other caregivers. When they fail to do so, patients may receive medications that greatly harm them instead of aiding the healing process.
These errors can take on many forms; in some cases, too much or too little medicine is given or prescribed. In other cases, doctors may overlook a patient’s medical history and give a drug that may not be dangerous to the general public but is extremely dangerous to a person with a specific medical condition. In still other cases, medication errors arise as a result of dangerous interactions between different kinds of medicine.
At The Becker Law Firm, we know how to uncover the facts in cases involving medication errors. We conduct thorough investigations to determine who was at fault, and how their actions contributed to a serious injury or wrongful death.
Failure to Diagnose
Because effective medical treatments depend on accurate and timely diagnoses, the medical profession has established standards of care for understanding diagnostic information and identifying medical conditions. When doctors misdiagnose, the results can be catastrophic. Delayed treatment may result in conditions worsening, and patients can suffer unnecessary and life-threatening complications.
In some cases, doctors fail to follow up on test results; on other occasions, doctors may fail to listen to their patients or rely upon test results that were incorrectly interpreted by another medical professional.
At The Becker Law Firm, we handle a wide range of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis cases.
What Types of Injuries Result from Medical Malpractice?
The different ways in which patients may be harmed are as numerous as the ways in which medical care can go wrong. Some of the most severe catastrophic and irreparable injuries that can result from medical malpractice include wrongful deaths, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Wrongful Death from Malpractice
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the negligence of another person, service, or institution. In the case of medical malpractice, a wrongful death occurs when caregivers and/or caregiving institutions fail to meet acceptable standards of medical care.
Wrongful death lawsuits are about seeking full justice. They are the means through which we are able to hold doctors, nurses, and hospitals accountable for negligence. They are about recognizing loss and preventing similar tragedies from happening to other families.
The Becker Law Firm is equipped to get to the root of the medical negligence. We understand the causes and types of injuries that lead to a wrongful death, and we have resources and access to experts to help us direct the investigation and trace the negligence to its source.
Brain Injury from Malpractice
Medical malpractice can lead to brain injuries in a number of ways, including:
- Hypoxia: One of the most common causes of brain injury is lack of oxygen to the brain, also known as hypoxia. The results of hypoxia can be severe, including memory loss, paralysis, cognitive loss, and brain death.
Bleeding brain injuries: A bleeding brain injury, or hemorrhagic stroke, happens when a blood
vessel in the brain bursts and bleeds into the brain and surrounding areas.
Doctors must take special precautions when treating patients at risk of
bleeding brain injuries. Patients at the highest risk of bleeding brain
injuries generally include:
- People who have weakened blood vessels due to congenital abnormalities;
- People who have sustained blood vessel damage over time due to high blood pressure and other factors;
- Patients who have been given the prescription drug Coumadin.
Without proper medical treatment, a bleeding brain injury can result in life-changing injuries and a wrongful death. People who have suffered bleeding brain injuries can suffer speech impairment, mobility impairment, loss of cognitive functions and other serious conditions.
- Blood clots: Surgical errors can lead to blood clots, which travel to the brain and cause catastrophic damage.
- Untreated stroke: Undiagnosed or mistreated stroke can lead to severe brain injuries.
- Anesthesia errors: Errors in administering of anesthesia can lead to permanent brain damage.
A brain injury is a life-changing condition that can leave the victim unable to work, relate to others, and enjoy activities. The Becker Law Firm works to fully assess the damage that a brain injury has had on you or your loved one’s life.
Spinal Cord Injury from Malpractice
Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis in the form of paraplegia or quadriplegia, causing victims to rely upon extensive physical therapy, adaptive equipment, and modified living arrangements.
In some cases, a spinal cord injury cannot be blamed on anyone. Often, however, our investigation reveals mistakes on the part of physicians, hospitals, and other parties that result in life-changing injuries. Situations in which medical malpractice can lead to a spinal cord injury include:
- Errors during intubation (the insertion of a breathing tube) that cause damage to the spinal cord;
- The incorrect positioning of a patient during surgery;
- Failure to immobilize the spine after an accident;
- Failure to properly monitor the spine during surgery;
- Chiropractic malpractice, including improper spine manipulation.
Pursuing a medical malpractice claim can help you obtain the resources necessary to pay for your treatment and live a fulfilling life. The Becker Law Firm thoroughly reviews the facts of each case to determine how medical malpractice may have played a role in our clients’ injuries.
What Are the Long-Term Costs of Medical Malpractice?
At The Becker Law Firm our experienced trial advocates know how to stand up to powerful medical institutions on behalf of our clients. Medical professionals, hospitals, and their insurance providers aggressively defend against medical malpractice suits. Caregivers, medical institutions, and their insurance providers employ armies of attorneys and experts to protect themselves against the costs of these suits and will claim that they were not at fault by any means necessary.
You will need your own team of experts to ensure the interests of your family aren’t just brushed aside. The Becker Law Firm applies a thorough, detail-oriented approach to its medical malpractice cases to help our clients seek compensation for:
- Lost income;
- Pain and suffering damages;
- Medical bills;
- Loss of household services;
- Funeral expenses;
- Quality-of-life losses.
Our lawyers will work to assess the full extent of damages and seek compensation that best addresses your current and future needs. The lifetime costs a family incurs from medical malpractice injuries can be overwhelming, and the caregivers or institutions who caused them must be held fully responsible.