Perhaps you or a loved one has been a victim of a negligent doctor. You may be feeling confused, taken advantage of and angry. You are probably asking yourself, “How could a practicing doctor do this to me? How did he not see this coming?”
If you have been a victim of negligence from a health care provider, you could potentially have a medical malpractice lawsuit. To determine if you may have a medical malpractice claim, you must first understand what a medical malpractice claim is.
Understanding a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Generally, a successful medical malpractice claim consists of four elements:
- A duty was owed – Whenever a patient is under the care of a health care provider or hospital, a legal duty is created.
- A duty was breached – The healthcare provider failed to act with an acceptable level of care.
- The breach caused injury – The breach of duty was the direct cause of an injury sustained by the patient.
- Damage – There must be some sort of loss caused by the injury. The damage can be physical, emotional or monetary.
If your situation includes these four elements, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced Dallas medical malpractice attorney at Guajardo & Marks can get you the compensation you deserve.
Examples of Negligence
- Diagnostic errors – These errors make up around 17 percent of preventable errors in hospitalized patients, causing thousands of patient deaths every year. A prompt, accurate diagnosis is central to effective patient care.
- Surgical errors – Many surgical errors are classified as “never events,” meaning that these errors should never have occurred. They are also frequently referred to as “wrong site, wrong procedure or wrong patient” errors. Over 4,000 surgical errors occur in the United States every year.
- Medication errors – Every day in the United States, a person dies from a medication error. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that these errors can occur in any stage of the distribution process, including prescribing, repackaging, dispensing, administering, or monitoring.
- Birth injuries – Birth injuries, or birth trauma, can occur before, during or after the birthing process. They pose a risk to both child and mother. Oxygen deprivation, broken bones, excessive bleeding or nerve damage are common examples of birth injuries.
- Hospital-acquired infections – About one in 25 hospital patients suffer at least one healthcare-associated infection every day in the United States. These infections include Clostridium difficile, Staphylococcus aureus, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and pneumonia.
These are some of the most common and harmful types of medical malpractice, but there are several other examples. Medical malpractice may also include anesthesia errors, cosmetic surgery errors, chiropractor injuries, dental malpractice, nursing home abuse, emergency room errors and defective medical devices.
How Medical Malpractice Happens
Doctors and nurses make mistakes for many of the same reasons that everybody else makes mistakes. They may be tired or distracted due to the demands of their job. However, one of the main causes of medical malpractice is miscommunication. As patients see more doctors for testing and treatment, flaws in the ability of health care providers to communicate between team members and departments are surprisingly common.
Damages in Medical Malpractice
The amount of compensation paid to a medical malpractice victim varies on a case-by-case basis. When receiving compensation for your claim, you may recover damages due to both economic loss and non-economic loss.
Economic damages include:
- Medical care and expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of present and future earning capacity
Non-economic damages include:
- Mental distress and suffering
- Loss in quality of life
- Loss of relationships
- Permanent impairment or loss of function
- Wrongful death
What to Expect in a Medical Malpractice Claim
It’s possible that you may not immediately recognize an injury caused by medical malpractice. As soon as you believe that you have suffered a serious injury or illness, you will likely need to receive further medical treatment. Keep copies of all bills and correspondence relating to your injury. It is also important to contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
You and your attorney will discuss your case and figure out a plan. With your consent, your attorney will investigate your case, prepare all necessary paperwork and file a claim. The health care provider, their attorney and possibly their insurance company will likely contest the claim. Both sides will prepare cases to be heard in court. Your attorney will work with you to understand what comes next and what, if anything, is required of you.
In some cases, the matter is settled out of court between the two sides. It is also possible that the matter will not be resolved and the case will go to court. At Guajardo & Marks, we prepare every case as if we will go to trial. It is our experience that it is only after being fully prepared and showing the other side we mean business that we achieve best results for clients.
How Guajardo & Marks Can Help
When seeking a medical malpractice attorney, it is important that you look for someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in these types of complicated lawsuits. The attorney should also have compassion and understanding for what the victim is going through. At Guajardo & Marks, we will fight relentlessly to get you the compensation you deserve. We will also be by your side to answer all your legal questions.
Contact Us Today
Contact the law offices of Guajardo & Marks to speak with a Dallas medical malpractice lawyer who will fight on your behalf to recover the damages you deserve. We will handle your case with the knowledge, experience and dedication it takes to win. Call 972-774-9800 today for a free case evaluation.