When Doctors and Healthcare Providers are Negligent, We Seek to Recover for Damages and Injuries Sustained by Our Clients
Medical malpractice is an act or omission by a health care provider that deviates from the standard of care and causes injury to the patient.
No one knows exactly how many deaths occur due to medical error each year. One report estimated that medical error resulted in 44,000 to 98,000 deaths per year, while a subsequent report estimated that medical errors cause harm to more than 1.5 million people each year. One study suggests that if medical errors were a disease, it would be the sixth leading cause of death in America—just behind accidents and ahead of Alzheimer’s.
As Michigan medical malpractice lawyers, we represent those injured and the families of those killed by medical malpractice. Significant categories of medical errors include the following:
Surgical error can encompass operating on the wrong body part, leaving a surgical tool or sponge in a patient during surgery, or inadvertently cutting a major blood vessel, nerve, or organ. In some instances in which a major blood vessel is cut, blood flow can be cut off from the brain, which can cause brain injury. Other cuts can cause internal bleeding or even sepsis. In the case where surgical tools are left in a patient, serious irreparable harm can result.
It is estimated that thousands of people die each year in the United States due to medication errors. Medication errors can consists of being given too much (or too little) of a drug, being given the wrong drug, being given a drug that should have never been prescribed in the first place due to a patient’s condition, or being given a medication that reacts with medications currently being taken by the patient.
Failure to Diagnose
A leading category of medical malpractice concerns failure to diagnose cases. In failure to diagnose cases, a patient may present with certain symptoms which, if properly diagnosed, would have resulted in a positive outcome. As an example, if the patient is experiencing shortness of breath and severe pain near the shoulder, most physicians would seek to immediately determine whether the patient is having a heart attack. Similarly, if the patient is experiencing sudden and severe headaches along with blurred vision and speech impediment, most physicians would likely seek to determine whether the patient is experiencing a stroke or other brain abnormality, such as a tumor.
In the case of cancer and many other diseases, early detection is a critical factor for long-term survival. When a cancer (such as breast cancer) is not detected when the patient is first seen by a physician, the patient’s chance for surviving the cancer may decrease significantly.
Other Medical Errors
Other frequent preventable medical errors include birth injury complications, failure to follow-up on with a patient, anesthesia-related complications, and failure to prevent patient injuries such as falls.
Determining Whether a Case for Medical Malpractice Exists
To determine whether medical malpractice was the cause of injury, it is necessary to conduct a review of the injured person’s medical records and consult with medical experts, including doctors and nurses. To prevail in a medical malpractice action, a medical expert is necessary to describe how the standard of care provided fell below the standard of care in the medical community.
In Medical Malpractice Actions, Doctors and Their Insurance Companies Typically Fight Hard. So Do We.
Doctors and other medical professionals usually will fight vigorously to keep their record free of any settlement or award for wrongdoing. Because of the magnitude of the injuries caused, their insurance companies (who often have substantial control in litigation matters) will similarly fight vigorously in denying wrongdoing. In a medical malpractice action, the defendants will typically have a team of lawyers and their own experts to contradict the claims of negligence asserted.
We are just as tenacious in proving the claims of our clients. Winning a medical malpractice case often involves exhaustive efforts to obtain documents, interview and depose witnesses, examine medical research papers concerning the subject matter of the malpractice, and hiring medical experts to make a strong case about the deviation from standards of care that should have been provided.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We can then explain about the legal avenues that are available to obtain compensation from those who have caused medical malpractice, and how we will proceed with your case if we are hired.