Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are held to a high standard of care and most of the time they meet this standard. But sometimes, this duty can fall by the wayside, and you can be injured by the person who was supposed to help you.
If a healthcare provider acts incorrectly or fails to act at a time when medical professionals with similar training and experience would have behaved differently, the medical professional is providing treatment “below the standard of care.” This negligence can put a patient at risk of injury or death.
Unfortunately, medical errors occur more often than they should, with a recent Johns Hopkins study suggesting medical errors are the third-greatest cause of death in the United States, after only heart disease and cancer.
Ben Crump takes medical errors seriously, and he’s committed to helping you hold medical professionals accountable for their mistakes. If you believe you or a loved one may have been a victim of medical malpractice, Mr. Crump may be able to help you.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Consider These Things When Looking at Your Case
There are several moving parts in a medical malpractice case — this involves the complex worlds of both medicine and law. A typical case rests on determining the following:
Patient-Doctor Relationship: You must show an established relationship with your healthcare provider in the form of hiring or otherwise contracting their services. These services can only take place within their realm of employment, like a hospital or private practice.
Duty of Care and Breach of Duty: Professionals like doctors and nurses must perform to a certain standard established by the medical community. Your providers have a legal obligation to provide you with service consistent with those standards. A breach of duty is a negligent act or failure to act, like removing the wrong organ, seriously damaging the body near the surgical site, or leaving a tool in the body, among other things.
Causation: One of the most difficult aspects of a medical malpractice case is proving the fault of the practitioner. Documents, other medical treatments, and statements from healthcare providers are frequently used to show the relationship between your injury and a doctor’s negligence.
Damages: The injury caused by that negligence must have economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are objectively verifiable monetary losses, like past and future medical expenses, loss of past and future earnings, and a loss of employment or business opportunities. Non-economic damages are more subjective, and include pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment in life, among others.
What Kind of Medical Errors and Damages Are Common?
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Due to the complexity of the medical fields, injuries can arise from a variety of sources. Common sources include:
- Anesthesia errors like choosing the wrong drug or dosage, failure to monitor, failure to use machines correctly, or failure to act;
- Emergency room errors like misreading charts, failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis, or failure to monitor; or
- Device errors like manufacturing defects, design defects, and failures to warn.
Medical professionals could be negligent at any stage of the process, ranging from your initial visit to the ER or clinic to the moment you leave their facility and start the recovery process. This is just a short list of potential ways you may be affected.
What Can I Get For My Injury?
Your injury could negatively impact your mind, your body, and your wallet. Common damages sought from healthcare providers in medical malpractice cases include:
- Medical expenses: When a patient is injured by his or her doctor, the patient may be burdened with unanticipated medical bills. This includes doctor visits, therapy, drugs, and other expenses. Future medical expenses may also be a factor.
- Pain and suffering: Damages for pain and suffering typically compensate for physical pain, but emotional distress like anxiety, depression, and other mental suffering can play a factor.
- Loss of consortium: Family members may be able to collect compensation after the loss of husband, wife, or parent through a wrongful death claim, or for more common circumstances following a medical error, like loss of sexual relations, companionship, affection, and comfort. This typically involves life-changing injuries. A loss of consortium indicates you were deprived of “family benefits” because of the defendant’s actions.
- Loss of wages or earning capacity: When it comes to medical errors, some injuries are so grievous you may never be the same. In these cases, seeking lost wages or damages for future earning potential may be reasonable.
What Do Attorneys Do in Cases Like These?
An attorney can steward your legal claim through the courts and provide you with insight into the nature of your situation. Some of the ways an attorney will help include:
- Reviewing information and starting a preliminary investigation about your claim;
- Determining things like the value of your claim, the responsible parties, and what you’re entitled to; and
- Handling court presentations and the burdensome rules that a state may place on claims.
Even when facts and evidence line up in your favor, it’s crucial to have an attorney that can connect the dots for a judge and jury to see your side.
What Ben Crump Can Do For You
Finding a strong attorney to represent you is a tall order. You need to be assured of both their knowledge and their ability to present your case in the best possible light.
Mr. Crump knows how to present, explain, and support evidence that may lead to your success in the courtroom. He also understands the field of medicine and has built relationships with medical experts who are critical when it comes to evaluating your case.
The window for a medical malpractice claim in some states is limited. It’s critical to contact an attorney as quickly as possible after you suspect a medical mistake. Contact Mr. Crump today; he is ready to help you.