If you’re planning on filing a lawsuit, you probably have what you believe to be evidence that you were wronged in some regard. Understanding evidence, however, does take some real legal knowledge. In fact, you may find that, upon meeting with your attorney, they don’t really believe that the things you consider to be evidence […]
CNN reported that a police department in Washington is facing a lawsuit over violating the rights of inmates. The reporting details that 11 women and 1 man are suing a police department over alleged instances where the inmates—who were all arrested on suspicion of drunk driving—were recorded while they were undressing and using the toilet. […]
The idea behind a lawsuit is to give a person who was wronged because of another person’s negligence away to get compensated. This can include suing manufacturers for putting dangerous products out on the market when they should’ve known better, suing motorists who are prone to driving dangerously and end up hurting or killing someone […]
Unfortunately, many dog owners are not responsible with their animals. In fact, it’s quite reasonable to argue that the biggest cause of dog bites has nothing to do with dogs, but with the people who are in charge of taking care of those dogs. There are differences on a state-by-state basis as to how much […]
For parents with children in daycare, a nightmare scenario seems to be unfolding in Ohio. According to NewsOK, a daycare worker has been arrested on two counts of rape. The woman, according to the article, had engaged in sexual conduct with an infant and made a video of herself doing it. Police claim that they […]
If you’ve gotten emails that appear to be from a friend of yours but that were actually from LinkedIn giving a pitch for the website, you’re not alone. In fact, a lawsuit has been filed against the business social networking website alleging that the company breaks into email accounts, uses the contact list to send […]
Today, it’s not uncommon for companies with whom people do very casual business – cellular phone companies, Internet service providers, etc. – to have some very sensitive information about their clients. For example, Social Security numbers are routinely used as forms of identification and many companies require that information in order to open an account. […]
There are instances when a personal injury attorney may turn down your claim. This may leave you wondering if there is any hope for justice but, keep in mind the fact that civil lawsuits are not really about justice; they’re about compensation. If you’ve been turned down as a client by an attorney, some or […]
Some of the largest jury awards are actually handed out to children. These occur in cases involving medical malpractice during birth, car accidents that permanently damage a child and in other cases. Obviously, a child cannot enter into a contract or take any other legal action of their own accord. Parents are the ones who […]
Medical malpractice claims are among the most intimidating lawsuits to pursue. First and foremost, you’re having your medical information revealed in court, which isn’t a very pleasant experience for most people. Second, you’re going up against medical doctors and experts who will fight you at every step of the way. The following information might help […]
Tough New Malpractice Requirements
Florida Governor Rick Scott will have the last say on a malpractice bill that has passed in the Florida state senate and house. The bill, Senate Bill 1792, would make considerable changes to the way that patients are able to file for malpractice in that state. The changes the bills bring about have riled opponents. Supporters claim that the bill will make Florida more amicable to physicians and increase patient options.
The Changes in Senate Bill 1792
The changes that the bill entails have some patient advocates alarmed. One provision of the bill allows a physician’s defense team to inquire with other healthcare providers for the patient filing the lawsuit. The bill changes the law so that this is not considered to be a breach of the patient’s privacy, something that advocates are very concerned about. The supporters of the bill say that filing a medical malpractice suit makes inquiring about matters that would have formerly been protected by patient/provider privacy appropriate.
The other provision of the bill creates stricter requirements for experts who testify in malpractice claims. The new legislation would require that experts be practitioners of the exact type of medicine involved in the lawsuit, according to Clinical Advisor. This means that it could be much harder for patients and their attorneys to get experts to testify on their behalf.
The bill is similar to other efforts that have been taken up by other state legislatures. The idea behind the bill is that malpractice claims drive up the cost of healthcare and make states unattractive places for doctors to practice. In Texas, where a similar set of changes has been put into effect, has shown that the effects – attracting more doctors, lowering the cost of healthcare, etc. – have not manifested in the wake of that state’s legislation.
What This Means For Attorneys
Malpractice claims oftentimes hinge on expert testimony. Changes to the law brought about by this bill may make it very hard for attorneys to find experts who qualify to testify in their cases, making it harder for plaintiffs to pursue their claims. The bill is backed by the Florida Medical Association. Support for the bill was largely along party lines, with Republicans backing the bill and Democratic representatives opposing it. Some Republicans, however, did express concern over the bill, particularly with those parts that allow the defense counsel to access formerly private medical information to support their defense of their clients.
Knowing The Difference Between Negligence and Incompetence is Critical
There is a difference between the words negligence and incompetence. The word negligence is generally heard in legal proceedings when an attorney is trying to establish that their client somehow came to harm because of the negligent actions of a defendant. A defendant who is negligent may or may not be incompetent. A negligent action, however, does not need to be incompetent, nor does it need to be a sign of general incompetence.
The word incompetent simply means that a person does not posess the requisite skills to perform a given task. It doesn’t mean that the person is lacking in intelligence, is habitually careless or anything other than their lack of specific skills.
For example, a person may be a fully competent driver, but put them on a professional racetrack and they will instantly be exposed as being completely incompetent when it comes to driving a racecar. Incompetence is situational and related to the job being performed. A negligent doctor can actually be an incredibly accomplished physician and not incompetent in any regard. It’s important to understand this where lawsuits are concerned.
Negligence implies that somebody either failed to do something in a competent manner or a careful manner. A physician who was incompetent in delivering care, for instance, may be found to have been negligent by a jury. A physician who very competently delivered the wrong care, however, would also be likely to be found to have been negligent, if their patient were to have come to harm.
Negligence always takes into account the person being accused of it. For instance, using the above example with drivers, being able to perform the types of maneuvers that police officers, racecar drivers, EMTs and other professional drivers can perform is not expected of your average everyday driver. In such cases, you’ll commonly hear terms such as “a reasonable person” or “a normal person”. These might seem like rather subjective descriptions, but they refer to what can reasonably be expected of the average person in a given situation.
A perfectly competent driver may be outrageously negligent in a given situation. For example, a driver who gets behind the wheel drunk is being negligent. He may be an excellent driver, but driving intoxicated constitutes a negligent act. When you’re looking at lawsuits, remember that words are everything. Keep in mind that, simply because somebody was fully competent at their job, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t negligent in regards to how they made you come to harm.
It is always prudent to consult an attorney in serious legal matters. Most attorneys practicing injury law offer free consultation and in many cases, have contigency based fees.
A doctor in Fayetteville will have to pay $6 million over a wrongful death lawsuit, according to SFGate.
This lawsuit is similar to many others, though still tragic. The doctor in question, according to the lawsuit, left a surgical sponge in the deceased woman’s body after closing a surgery. The sponge remained there for 10 weeks. This led to the woman suffering from infections and other ailments.
The woman was receiving the surgery to remove cancer from her colon and her rectum. Because she became ill after the surgery, she was unable to go through other cancer treatments.
Surgery is far more advanced today than it was even a decade ago. Some surgeries that were formerly life-threatening ordeals are now actually rather safe, relatively speaking. There is still the potential that a surgery can go catastrophically wrong, however, and sometimes it does because of physician negligence. The unfortunate woman whose death spurred the lawsuit described above is not the only person to have an instrument left in her body following a surgery.
Some surgeries are not botched in this manner, but are incorrect for the condition that’s being treated or are the wrong surgery entirely. These surgeries, even when they don’t end up taking someone’s life, cause all of the trauma, distress and financial hardships that go along with having any surgery, and sometimes cause those things to a much more significant degree.
If you find out that something was done incorrectly during a surgery and it requires a surgical correction to fix the problem itself, you’re obviously in a very bad situation and one that was not any of your own doing. You’ll be out wages from missed work, there will be pain and suffering involved and it may mean that an existing condition doesn’t’ get the treatment it needs or that it actually gets worse.
Consider contacting an attorney if you’ve been the victim of this type of malpractice. The attorney, if you have a good claim, can get started on filing your case and make sure you don’t end up missing your window of opportunity to sue. A good Houston medical malpractice lawyer will be able to go figure out who was responsible for the negligence that brought you to suffer and can help you figure out how much to seek in damages. Talk to an attorney today; the initial consultation is generally free of charge.
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Here in Texas, there is a constant stream of news regarding medical malpractice. The fact is that medical malpractice is a real thing and, unfortunately, it’s also a fact that there is a lot of information out there that is designed to make you feel guilty or like you’re running a scam if you sue a doctor for malpractice. The following information may help you to sort through it all and to understand your rights if a doctor breeches their duty to you.
Texas has caps on medical malpractice. This is a very political issue and, outside of the dichotomy that the media likes to hammer on, there are many interests involved in this law. Take a look at the news and you’ll see conflicting information being pumped out all over. Some stories say the caps have done nothing and other stories say it has made Texas safe for doctors again.
Make sure you keep in mind that suing a doctor for malpractice is sometimes the only way that the victims of the doctors and their families are ever going to get enough money to pay for the fallout. There are a lot of stories about people abusing the system. There are also many cases, both in the past an ongoing, where people were given the wrong operation, the wrong medication, where a deadly condition was missed because of negligent diagnoses and where patients were otherwise wronged.
If you were the victim of malpractice, you need to talk to a lawyer, not to political operatives, media pundits or advocates for any type of law. You need someone to represent your interests, not someone who represents insurance companies or doctors who would rather that they have the safety of knowing that even the most egregious acts of malpractice aren’t going to get them in enough trouble for them to really worry about it.
Why Attorneys Matter
When you’re the victim of malpractice, you’re going to be at a disadvantage. You may be dismissed outright by the doctor or medical facility responsible or you might be offered a settlement, which amounts to money that’s basically given so that you’ll be quiet and go away. The attorneys for the healthcare provider’s insurance company can make you feel like you’ll never get any more money than they’re offering; it’s their job.
A Houston medical malpractice attorney will represent you and only you. If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, don’t go it alone, don’t take a settlement without consulting an attorney and don’t feel guilty. The only ones who should feel guilty are the doctor or healthcare facility who wronged you.
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Medical malpractice lawsuits are sometimes the only ways that the victims of malpractice or their survivors have to get compensation for the negligence of a doctor or a healthcare facility. Understanding when medical negligence may be an issue is imperative. The number one thing to remember is that, if you even suspect negligence, you should talk to an attorney about the matter as soon as possible. Here, however, are some things that you may want to consider.
Failure to Diagnose
Almost half of the medical malpractice claims filed every year involve failure to diagnose in one form or another. It’s important to understand how failure to diagnose can affect a patient.
Failure to diagnose can occur in scenarios that involve a regular visit to a doctor or an emergency room visit. The main thing these claims generally involve is that the doctor missed something that they should’ve caught and, because of that, their patient was brought to harm. An example would be an emergency room doctor failing to diagnose a serious trauma injury that later went on to cause the victim a great deal of financial and personal harm.
It’s important to remember that, if you deliberately concealed information from a doctor that may have led to them making the correct diagnosis, medical malpractice may not apply. For instance, if you were suffering all of the symptoms of diabetes and didn’t tell your physician and the physician didn’t run any tests to determine whether or not you had diabetes, it would be very difficult to argue that the physician is at all responsible for that. Failure to diagnose applies when the doctor should have known but did not.
The incorrect treatment or surgery for a condition can end up causing a great deal of harm to patients. Being given the wrong treatment is one of the most common reasons that people file a medical malpractice claim. Not only may the treatment itself – particularly if it is a surgery – cause the patient to go through pain and suffering, loss of wages, physical harm, mental trauma and other hardships, it may cause the condition they actually had to worsen. If your physician has ordered an incorrect treatment for you and if you have suffered because of it, you should speak with an attorney.
What if You Don’t Know?
Again, speaking with an attorney is the best move if you’re not sure whether or not you were the victim of medical malpractice. A Houston medical malpractice attorney will be able to listen to your story and determine if it seems like medical malpractice was an issue in how you came to harm. This area of the law is particularly complex and, in Texas, it has been changed in recent years. You’ll want to make certain that you find an attorney who understands this law to a very exacting degree and who is willing to sit down and listen to you during a consultation. Consultations are usually free, so there’s no harm in calling an attorney and asking if you could meet with them.
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If you go to a hospital, you’ll be handled by many different people and many of those people will belong to different departments. It’s important to understand that malpractice lawsuits can be brought against individuals other than your attending physician. For example, an article in Diagnostic Imaging details a claim that was brought against a radiologist, which is likely not the first person that somebody who has been the victim of medical malpractice would think to sue.
Failure to Communicate
In the claim detailed in the article, a radiologist was sued for malpractice in 2011 in Pennsylvania due to failing to communicate important information to the patient. The patient had one chest x-ray done, which showed, according to the article, increased density in the lungs.
The problem came after a second x-ray was recommended and taken. The results of that x-ray was never given to the patient, who ended up suffering with inoperable lung cancer.
In order for patients receive quality, competent care, all of the different departments within a healthcare facility have to communicate with one another, and with that the patient, effectively. In some instances, situations where hospital staff does not communicate with one another can end up in disaster, as is detailed in the case above.
If you’re considering filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you may actually wonder whom it is you would sue. You may know that you got treated poorly by healthcare a facility, but speaking with the lawyer may reveal surprising information about who would ultimately be as possible for the negligence that caused you to suffer. In some cases, it may be the radiologist. It may also be the healthcare facility itself, an ER technician who did not take enough time to notice that you had a serious problem or someone else involved in your healthcare who failed you.
There are limitations on how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim after the incident has occurred. If you believe that you may have been the victim of medical malpractice, you should speak with an attorney, whether or not you’re even considering suing. Attorneys generally offer free consultations and, at those consultations, they’ll be able to get any of their questions answered and to see if there is information that they need to follow up on. They can determine from this whether or not it seems logical for you to sue and why.
If it’s unclear how a healthcare provider failed you, ask an attorney what they think. Even if it doesn’t persuade you to go ahead and sue or convince you not to sue at all, you’ll at least have an expert opinion to work with when you decide whether or not a healthcare facility or someone within it owes you compensation.
Medical malpractice claims can be very complex. Most of the time, when they’re being discussed, they are addressed from the standpoint of explaining the complexity involved and why you need a good attorney to handle them. There is a very important human dimension to these cases, however, that is seldom discussed. If you’re debating whether or not to speak with an attorney about a medical malpractice claim, the following information may answer some of your questions.
Many of the attorneys that handle personal injuries and medical malpractice claims will offer to meet you for a free consultation. When you’re dealing with medical malpractice issues, it’s sometimes understandably embarrassing to discuss what actually went on at the doctor’s office. These are very sensitive issues, obviously, and it’s understandable if you hesitate when considering whether or not you should discuss them with someone.
Everything you discuss with an attorney under the auspices of a free consultation is considered confidential. In addition to that, realize that medical malpractice attorneys deal with these issues all the time. They are as unlikely to be shocked by anything you tell them as is your physician or anyone else who is commonly involved with medical issues. You do not need to be embarrassed when discussing these issues with an attorney, nor do you need to be worried about the information you discuss with them being divulged without your consent.
Oftentimes, it’s the desperation caused by incredibly high medical expenses that result directly from physician negligence that finally persuade someone to speak to an attorney. Unfortunately, this also sets up a situation where people who can handle the expenses may wish to just let the matter go. It’s important to remember that negligent physicians may well end up doing the same thing to somebody else. If you have the means to handle whatever medical expenses, lost wages or other damages were caused you by the negligence, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing yourself a favor by not confronting the issue.
In some cases, the expenses are so intimidating that it’s tempting to just take a settlement and let the whole thing go. Don’t do this. If the physician’s insurance company or the healthcare facility presents you with a settlement without you even having contacted an attorney in advance, they’re likely making a very cynical calculation that involves, essentially, paying you off in exchange for you not pressing the matter any further. Talk to an attorney about this before you accept a check. An attorney working for you has your interests at heart. The physician’s insurance company and the healthcare facility only have their own interests at heart.
Texas has very strict limitations on how long you have to file a medical malpractice claim after the fact. You need to speak with an attorney to get this information. At the very least, it will let you know how long you have to debate the issue before all of your options are off the table. It’s important to talk to an attorney as soon as you possibly can.
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The lawsuits that get the most publicity tend to be the ones that win plaintiffs millions of dollars. This is simply because they’re eye-catching, interesting and the public tends to be fascinated by lawsuits. It tends to, however, lead people to an erroneous belief that the point of the lawsuit is simply to punish someone by getting money out of them. Sometimes, lawsuits do include sums that are added simply because of the egregious negligence that led to the lawsuit in the first place, but this is usually not the case. Personal injury attorneys mostly help people get compensated for real damage that they suffered.
These days, most people live an existence that is accurately described as check to check from a financial perspective. Being hit by a drunken driver or a driver who was simply negligent and having your car destroyed is devastating for most people. In fact, it may well cost them their employment, if they depend upon their car to commute. When you see large sums of money given to a plaintiff in a lawsuit, remember that they very well may be replacing their car. Consider how much a vehicle costs. If someone’s negligence cost them their vehicle, there’s really no reason that they should have to foot the bill themselves.
The same applies to damage to property. Negligent drivers sometimes end up driving into people’s yards, and even crashing into their houses. This sort of damage can be very expensive and, because personal injury lawyers can step in and offer assistance, the people who are victimized in this way sometimes file a lawsuit to recover those damages. The large sums that they receive are usually related to the large amount of damage that they suffered.
Medical Expenses as a result of Personal Injury
Medical expenses have bankrupted far too many people. Unfortunately, even though property damage is bad enough, car wrecks, medical negligence and other types of negligence oftentimes result in very high medical expenses for the victim. Rather than staying a victim and not taking any action, people who end up in this situation sometimes contact a personal injury attorney so that they can get assistance recovering those damages. Whether it’s a hospital, physician, a negligent driver or a store owner who didn’t flag a hazard that caused someone to slip and fall and hurt themselves, a personal injury attorney may be able to offer assistance.
Coming up with the figure that you want to seek in the lawsuit is difficult and it does require real expertise. Part of what a personal injury attorney does is make an accurate assessment of the real financial damage that has been done to you as a result of somebody else’s negligence. By doing so, they provide you with a way to go to court and to seek that money in compensation.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney
If you believe that someone’s negligence has resulted in you suffering unnecessary financial or medical hardships, be certain to contact a personal injury attorney about the matter as soon as possible or call us for a FREE consultation at 713-771-5453
The first thing to remember about considering a malpractice claim is that it’s not a decision you should make completely on your own. What you really need to decide is whether there was an actual breach of duty that a physician or other healthcare provider – or healthcare facility – committed against you. A Medical Negligence Lawyer can help you evaluate your personal situation and advise you whether or not you can a valid case.
Injury Due to Failing to Diagnose a Condition
Sometimes, the worst thing that a physician can do is fail to diagnose a condition that they should’ve noticed. The reason for this is that some conditions can become markedly worse in a short amount of time if they’re not treated quickly. Consider for instance, the potential consequence of untreated diabetes, untreated cancer or other conditions that may become downright deadly if the physician doesn’t notice them in time.
If a physician had every opportunity to diagnose a condition that ended up bringing you to harm and they failed in that regard, you’ll want to speak with an attorney about the matter. Almost half of the malpractice cases brought against physicians every year have to do with a physician failing to diagnose a condition.
Injury Due to Wrong Treatments
Being giving incorrect treatments is one of the most common reasons that people decide to file lawsuits for medical malpractice. When people are treated incorrectly, the consequences can be nearly as bad as whatever condition was being treated itself.
A doctor is expected to be able to deliver competent care for any conditions that you suffer with, within realistic limits. For example, some conditions are always fatal and many conditions go in that direction, despite the best efforts of physicians and other healthcare professionals. If you are injured, however, because a physician ordered what turned out to be the wrong treatment for your condition, you may want to consider contacting an attorney about the matter. They may be able to prepare a successful lawsuit for you.
Injury Due to Unsafe Supplies
Medical supplies, obviously, have to be manufactured to the highest standards of safety and sterility. In some cases, medical supplies end up becoming contaminated. When this happens, it may be the fault of the supplier, the healthcare facility or the physician themselves. If contaminated supplies have caused your suffering you should contact an attorney about the matter. There have been successful lawsuits filed over instances where medical supplies were not stored, prepared or used properly and where infections and other negative consequences resulted.
It’s always best to speak with an attorney right away. Texas has very strict limitations on how long you have to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, you may end up missing your chance to file a lawsuit at all. You can contact an attorney to discuss filing a lawsuit without any obligations. They should be able to tell you whether your case seems like it would be worth pursuing.