Medical malpractice can be defined as a negligent act or omission that falls below the accepted standard of care, causing serious injury to the patient. It is a challenging area of law as these cases are rarely black and white. That is why it is essential to have capable and experienced legal counsel to represent you in your medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Canton medical malpractice attorneys at Slater & Zurz are knowledgeable, straightforward, and diligent. We fight tirelessly to bring justice to those injured due to a medical professional’s negligence or careless mistake. We do everything within our power to hold at-fault parties accountable for the harm they have caused and aggressively pursue maximum recovery on behalf of our clients. Our seasoned attorneys have over 100 years of collective experience in successfully handling medical malpractice cases and know precisely what avenues to pursue to get you the legal outcome you deserve.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Doctors and other healthcare professionals have a duty to provide a patient with the appropriate standard of care. When they fail to do so, either through a negligent act or a careless omission, serious injuries often result. Common types of medical malpractice our lawyers see include:
Surgical errors – A surgical error is a preventable mistake made during a medical procedure. These errors go beyond the known risk related to the surgery performed. Common surgical errors include:
- Performing surgery on the wrong body part
- Damaging healthy organs during surgery
- Failing to properly monitor the patient during and after surgery
- Leaving medical instruments in the patient’s body during surgery
Medication errors – In a recent study, it was estimated that medical errors account for more than 250,000 deaths each year in the US. These errors occur when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or the wrong amount of medication. Injuries can also result when a nurse administers the wrong medication or dosage to a patient or a pharmacist incorrectly fills a patient’s prescription.
Anesthesia errors – General, regional, and local anesthesia all carry the risk of complications. If a negligent medical professional improperly administers anesthesia and the patient sustains injuries as a result, the negligent party may be held liable for damages. Examples of anesthesia errors include:
- Administering the wrong type of anesthesia
- Improperly monitoring the patient
- Administering the wrong dose of anesthesia
- Failing to properly manage the delivery of a patient’s medications or fluids
- Administering anesthesia too late
One of the most common and serious complications that can result from anesthesia errors is known as anesthesia awareness or intraoperative awareness. This occurs when a patient regains consciousness while the surgery is being performed.
Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose – If a doctor fails to order diagnostic tests or incorrectly interprets the results, it can often warrant a medical malpractice claim. Failing to diagnose or misdiagnosing a patient’s condition can result in either a lack of or delayed treatment, leading to the worsening of the patient’s medical condition.
Failure to treat – If a doctor fails to treat a patient’s condition due to negligence or medical error, it can be considered medical malpractice. Failing to treat a patient can cause further injury or harm. Examples include:
- The failure to treat a known medical condition in a timely manner or at all
- The failure to assess a patient’s condition
- The failure to refer a patient to a specialist
- The failure to treat a patient because they lack insurance
- The failure to advise a patient of all available treatments for their condition
Birth injuries – The birthing process can be dangerous not only for the baby, but the mother as well. Medical errors made due to negligence or a careless mistake, such as excessive force, the improper use of birthing tools, not performing a C-section in a timely manner, and failing to properly monitor the fetus, can all lead to serious complications, even death.
Liable Parties in a Medical Malpractice Case
In a medical malpractice or negligence claim, it is not only the doctor who can be held liable. Although doctors and hospitals are often the focus of a medical malpractice claim, several other types of medical providers can also be held accountable. They include:
- Nursing Homes
- Assisted living facilities
- Urgent care centers
The Four Ds of Medical Malpractice
Attorneys often refer to the proof needed in a successful medical malpractice claim as the “four Ds.”
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. In other words, they have an obligation to provide reasonable and competent medical care.
Deviation of Duty
The second element that needs to be proven in a medical negligence case is a deviation or breach of duty. It must be shown the doctor acted in a way that was below the accepted standard of care and that other doctors in the same situation would have acted differently.
A medical malpractice lawyer must show that not only a medical error was made, but that the error resulted in damages. Damages can be physical, emotional, or financial.
In a medical malpractice claim, an attorney will also need to show the actions or omissions of the medical provider were a direct cause of the patient’s injuries. The medical professional’s attorney may likely assert the patient’s injuries were caused by other factors, such as poor health choices or a previous procedure, which will have to be disproven by the injured victim’s attorney.
Types of Compensation in Medical Malpractice Claims
If you or a loved one were injured at the hands of a negligent health care professional, you deserve justice. Our dedicated medical negligence attorneys at Slater & Zurz will help you hold those responsible accountable for their actions and fight to get you full recovery for your losses. Damages will depend on your specific case, but may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Costs of future medical care
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
Medical Malpractice FAQs
What is “informed consent”?
Before a medical procedure, a doctor must explain the process and all possible outcomes, which include the potential complications and side effects. A patient must know this vital information beforehand so they can make an informed decision as to if they want to proceed with the surgery. If a doctor fails to share this information, this could be grounds for a malpractice suit.
Am I still able to sue for medical malpractice if I signed a consent form before my procedure?
If a consent form is executed correctly and lists the risks associated with the procedure, a signed consent form may bar you from recovering damages. However, signing a consent form does not give your doctor permission to act in a negligent manner. Therefore, if your medical malpractice attorney can prove the defendant was negligent in their care for you, you may still be able to obtain compensation.
What are damage caps, and what is their purpose?
A damage cap is a limit placed on how much money you can recover in a medical malpractice case. It may apply to the total award or a portion of the damages, such as non-economic damages. The purpose of a damage cap is to prevent an excessive amount of money from being awarded to the plaintiff. Damage caps are also in place to keep medical malpractice insurance premiums at a reasonable cost, preventing medical professionals from having to leave the profession after a lawsuit.
Speak to an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Canton
Patients put their trust in the doctors, nurses, and hospitals responsible for their health and well-being. Unfortunately, sometimes that trust is broken when devastating injuries result from a medical professional’s negligent acts or omissions.
If you believe you or someone you love has been injured due to medical malpractice, contact our reputable Canton medical malpractice lawyers at Slater & Zurz. With over a century of combined medical malpractice experience, we are equipped to take on even the most complex cases. Our attorneys work closely with a team of medical experts to build a compelling case, helping us to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. We work tirelessly to make sure you are fully compensated for your losses, allowing you to recover from the physical, emotional, and financial toll caused by your injuries.
We are here to help – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We welcome you to contact us to schedule your free consultation. Call 888.534.4850 today.