Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Lawyers

We trust our lives to doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals.  While most healthcare providers perform their job to the highest standards, medical errors unfortunately happen at an alarming rate.  According to a recent study, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.  That does not take into account the thousands more people who are injured by medical errors every year.  When someone is injured by a medical error, they need the help of a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

Medical malpractice cases can be some of the most complex and costly cases to litigate.  That’s because medical malpractice cases involve the errors of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff or hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  The issues are intricate and almost always involve the hiring of expert witnesses to prove that medical errors were made along with the collection of hundreds if not thousands of medical records and other documents.  State laws also complicate medical malpractice cases.  The best medical malpractice lawyers will help ease the stress and anxiety of dealing with the aftermath of a medical error and fight to obtain the compensation their client deserves. 

If you’ve been injured by a medical error in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, call GKT to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer today.  Consultations are always free and we never collect a fee unless we win your truck accident case.  Our medical malpractice lawyers are always available at any time by calling (304) 845-9750, by Live Chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, surgeon, nurse, or other medical staff fails to perform their duties to medically-accepted standards of care and causes an injury or death.  Medical malpractice can involve a doctor’s wrongful action or the failure of a doctor to take an action.  Oftentimes, a doctor or other healthcare provider’s actions or inactions are judged by what another doctor would have done under the same circumstances.  Thus, for the purposes of keeping things simple, medical error is a good way of describing medical malpractice. 

Common Medical Malpractice Examples

Medical malpractice can take the form of any number of actions or inactions by a health care provider or facility.  While it would be impossible to provide every conceivable medical malpractice circumstance, below are some of the more common medical errors leading to a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Failure to Diagnose, Misdiagnosis, or Delayed Diagnosis

Perhaps the most common form of medical error is when a doctor or other healthcare provider fails to provide the correct diagnosis or provides the wrong diagnosis.  When a doctor provides the wrong diagnosis, the patient may receive medical treatment that is unnecessary and even harmful, while treatments that could address the correct diagnosis aren’t provided.

Medical issues that are commonly misdiagnosed may include:

  • Stroke (acute cerebral vascular incident or subarachnoid hemorrhage)
  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
  • Spinal epidural abscess
  • Blood clot in lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  • Flesh-eating disease (necrotizing fasciitis)
  • Meningitis (bacterial and viral)
  • Testicular torsion
  • Blood infection (septicemia)
  • Lung cancer
  • Broken bones
  • Appendicitis

While these are some of the more common medical errors regarding failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, any medical condition can be misdiagnosed, including serious diseases such as cancer. 

It’s not always clear whether a doctor or other healthcare provider failed to provide a correct diagnosis.  Failure to diagnose amy also include failure to establish a differential diagnosis, failure to order diagnostic tests, failure to address normal findings, failure to consider available clinical information.  An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help determine whether a doctor made a medical error by failing to properly diagnose a disease or other medical condition. 

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors occur when an anesthesiologist makes an error when administering or failing to administer anesthesia.  Anesthesia errors are one of the more common forms of medical malpractice and may include the following:

  • Administering the wrong anesthesia
  • Administering the wrong amount of anesthesia (both too much anesthesia or too little anesthesia)
  • Failing to properly monitor a patient under anesthesia
  • Failing to properly administer anesthesia

When an anesthesiologist makes a medical error, it can be tragic and result in a wrongful death case.  Even when an anesthesia error does not result in death, it can result in a condition referred to as intraoperative awareness.  A patient experiencing intraoperative awareness may be mentally conscious during a surgery but unable to move.  Thus, they will be mentally “awake” and experience the surgery and have lasting memory of it.  Patients who have experienced intraoperative awareness often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are errors made by a surgeon during the course of a surgery.  These types of medical errors can take many forms, the most common of which are below:

Foreign objects left inside the body

Sometimes surgeons leave foreign medical objects inside the body.  These may include clamps, scalpels, knives, blades, pins, needles, tubes, bulbs, sponges, tweezers, forceps, and a variety of other surgical tools.  When left inside the body, these foreign objects can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections or damage organs and other tissue. 

Cuts and Nicks

Surgeries are very delicate procedures. One slip of the hand and an organ, blood vessel, nerve, tendon, ligament, or other tissue can be significantly damaged.  Organs such as the intestines or liver may be damaged, as well as arteries, veins, and various nerves.  Cuts and nicks to the appendix can cause severe and life-threatening infections, while a cut to a nerve during surgery can cause paralysis. 

Performing the wrong surgery

Believe it or not, some surgeons perform the wrong procedure or perform the right procedure on the wrong body part.  If a surgeon performs the wrong surgery, a patient will have to recover from the incorrect surgery and then later undergo the correct one.  Sometimes, as is the case with amputations, the patient will never fully recover from an incorrect surgical procedure.   

Birth Injuries

Birth injuries are some of the more heart-breaking types of medical malpractice injuries.  When a mother and her baby are injured due to a medical error, the results can be tragic and permanent.  Unfortunately, medical errors resulting in birth injuries are more common than we think.    Common causes of birth injuries may include:

Delayed C-Section

During labor, sometimes a c-section is necessary to protect the health of the mother and baby.  When the delivering doctor delays a c-section, it can result in very serious injury to both mother and child. 

Oxygen Deprivation

If a baby is deprived of oxygen during birth, the baby could suffer permanent and debilitating injuries.  There are a variety of circumstances under which a baby may be deprived of oxygen during birth.

Forceful Use of Delivery Tools

If the delivering doctor use forceps, vacuum, or other birth tools too forcefully, the baby can suffer serious injury including paralysis. 

Failure to Monitor

Even the most “normal” pregnancies and labors are not without risks.   Mother and baby should be monitored continuously during labor to ensure that both are healthy and stable.  A doctor’s or nurse’s failure to monitor during labor can lead to a multitude of injuries and even death. 

Common birth injuries may include the following:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Klumpke’s palsy
  • Brain injuries, leading to loss of cognitive ability
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Spine injuries, leading to paralysis and loss of use
  • Brachial plexus palsy or injury
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Facial paralysis
  • Torticollis
  • Kernicterus

Defective Medical Devices

Medical devices are products that are used on patients or are surgically implanted inside a patient.  When these and other medical devices are defective, the patient can suffer very serious injuries.  Defective medical devices have included:

  • Metal on metal and other hip replacements
  • Knee replacements
  • Pacemakers
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  • Defibrillators
  • Pain pumps
  • Vaginal and hernia meshes
  • Blood clot filters
  • Bone grafts

When these or other medical devices are defective and fail, very serious injuries can follow. 

Prescription Drug Errors

Prescription drug errors often involve a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist that:

  • prescribes the wrong medication
  • prescribes the wrong dose of medication
  • fails to consider interactions with other medications (i.e. mixing medications)
  • fails to warn of risks associated with medications
  • administers the wrong medication
  • administers the wrong dose of medication

Prescription drug errors are some of the more common medical errors made by healthcare providers.  Many times, these prescription drug medical errors are due simply to carelessness or fatigue of the prescribing healthcare provider.  That doesn’t make them any less serious as they often result in serious injury. 

Misreading X-Rays, MRIs, CT/CAT Scans, Etc.

X-rays, MRIs, and CT/CAT scans are tools that help doctors and other healthcare providers diagnose a patient’s medical condition.  These diagnostic tools are vital in providing reliable, high-quality care.  That’s why when doctors misread or misinterpret x-rays, MRIs, CT/CAT Scans, serious medical issues go unnoticed and untreated.  Without proper and timely treatment, medical issues grow in severity may become untreatable. 

Compensation for Medical Malpractice and Medical Errors

People who are injured as a result of medical malpractice or a medical error may be entitled to significant compensation.  The amount of compensation depends on a variety of circumstances, including the severity of any injuries, the degree of negligence or recklessness of the doctor or other healthcare professional, and whether injuries result in permanent disability or loss of life. 

An experienced medical malpractice attorney, like those at GKT, can help victims of medical errors determine the amount of compensation they may be entitled to.  The different types of compensation that people suffering from a medical error may be entitled to include:

  • Hospital bills and other medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Long term or permanent medical care
  • Disfigurement
  • Lost wages and loss of income
  • Lost future wages and loss of future income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship or loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Annoyance, aggravation, and inconvenience
  • Punitive damages

If you’ve been injured by a medical error in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, the medical malpractice lawyers at GKT can help determine what compensation you may be entitled to receive.  Contact GKT today. 

Who Is Responsible for a Medical Malpractice Injury?

Any number of different healthcare providers and facilities may be responsible for a medical malpractice or medical mistake injury.  Any person who fails to provide the level of care that is required is potentially responsible for a medical malpractice injury and must be held accountable. 

Individuals who may be responsible for a medical malpractice injury may include:

  • Doctors and physicians
  • Specialists (including cardiologists, neurologists, OBGYNs, orthopedic and other surgeons, and chiropractors )
  • Nurses and nurse assistants
  • Dentists
  • Any person who provides care to a patient

Healthcare facilities may also be responsible for a medical malpractice injury, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctors’ offices, including urgent care facilities
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Out-patient facilities
  • Clinics
  • Dialysis centers
  • Imaging and radiology centers
  • Mental health facilities
  • Addiction treatment facilities

The best medical malpractice lawyers will fully investigate which persons and what facilities may be responsible for a medical error injury.  Determining who is responsible is of the utmost importance to making sure that the injured person receives the compensation they deserve. 

Medical bills and expenses

Many people who suffer brain injuries incur significant medical bills. Compensation to pay for past and future doctor, hospital, and specialist bills may be available.

How Long Do I Have to Sue for a Medical Malpractice Case?

Medical malpractice cases must be filed within a certain amount of time.  In legal jargon, this time period is referred to as the statute of limitations.  The amount of time varies from state-to-state.  The medical malpractice statute of limitations in the states GKT practices are as follows:

Pennsylvania

2 years from the date of injury; except the two years do not begin until the injured person discovers (or should have discovered) they suffered a medical malpractice injury; however, no medical malpractice case may be brought more than 7 years from the date of the injury, regardless of whether the injured person knows or should have known about their medical malpractice injury. 

However, in West Virginia and Ohio, people injured by a medical error have to file what is referred to as a “Notice of Claim.”  The Notice of Claim must be served on the doctor or other healthcare provider who is claimed to have committed medical malpractice before expiration of the above statutes of limitation.  The Notice of Claim must include, among other things, an expert affidavit that states the doctor or other healthcare provider did not provider services meeting the standard of care, and that his or her failure to do so caused the medical malpractice injury. 

Preparing a Notice of Claim is a time-intensive process that includes gathering and reviewing hundreds if not thousands of pages of medical records, identifying a qualified expert to provide the opinion needed, and actually preparing the lengthy Notice of Claim. 

That’s why if you believe you’ve suffered an injury as a result of a medical error or malpractice, you should contact a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.  A skilled medical malpractice lawyer will be able to determine whether you have a case and take immediate actions to preserve your rights. 

What Fees Do Medical Malpractice Lawyers Charge?

Almost all medical malpractice lawyers, like those at GKT, represent injured patients on a contingency fee basis.  That means that the client does not pay any upfront costs or retainer fees, and the medical malpractice lawyer only obtains a fee if he or she wins the case (or it is settled).  There are no “hidden” fees or costs associated with hiring a reputable medical malpractice lawyer. 

Some medical malpractice lawyers, like those at GKT, pay for any expenses associated with the case upfront and will only seek reimbursement from the client if they win the case.  Expenses in a medical malpractice case can be extensive, especially in light of the need for one or more expert witnesses. 

At GKT, medical malpractice consultations are always free.  Contact GKT today to schedule one. 

The Right Medical Malpractice Lawyer for You

The right medical malpractice lawyer for you and your case can make all the difference. The right medical malpractice lawyer, such as GKT’s medical malpractice lawyers, will:

  • Take the time to know you and the facts of your case
  • Have knowledge and experience handling different medical malpractice cases and injuries
  • Have knowledge and experience of the healthcare providers and facilities in your case
  • Have knowledge and experience working with and against different medical experts
  • Work diligently to gather and review all of your medical records and other documents
  • Identify different theories of liability against different healthcare providers and facilities
  • Anticipate any defenses to your medical malpractice case and work to overcome them
  • Keep you informed at every step of the way
  • Fight to obtain the compensation you deserve

Sometimes, a medical malpractice lawyer will be able to settle your case without suing.  While that can be a great outcome, GKT’s medical malpractice lawyers treat each case as if it’s going to trial and prepare accordingly.  GKT’s medical malpractice lawyers are willing to do whatever it takes to obtain the compensation their clients deserve. 

About Gold Khourey & Turak Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At GKT, our medical malpractice lawyers understand that people injured as a result of medical error are not only recovering from an injury but are also dealing with a great deal of stress and anxiety.  GKT’s medical malpractice lawyers work tirelessly to relieve their clients of that stress and anxiety, so they can get back on their own two feet. 

GKT’s results speak for themselves.  GKT medical malpractice lawyer, Michelle Marinacci, focuses her personal injury practice on medical malpractice.  She, along with the other medical malpractice lawyers at GKT, have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for medical malpractice clients.    

At GKT, our medical malpractice clients are more than just a “case” or a “file”—our medical malpractice clients are our neighbors and friends.  We mean that, and that’s why if you’ve been injured by a medical error in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, GKT’s medical malpractice lawyers are the best lawyers for you.    

Again, consultations are always free, and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case.  Our medical malpractice lawyers are always available at any time by calling (304) 845-9750, by Live Chat 24/7 at GKT.com, or online.

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