Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More people die each year in the United States from medical errors than from breast cancer, AIDS, or even highway accidents. According to a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), approximately 200,000 people in the United States die each year due to mistakes by medical errors. It was reported that 12,000 deaths a year result from unnecessary surgery; 7,000 deaths result from medication errors in hospitals; 20,000 deaths are caused by other hospital errors; 80,000 deaths a year result from hospital–born infections and 106,000 deaths a year from non–error, adverse effects of medications.
When you go to a doctor or hospital for medical care and treatment, you expect that the hospital, doctor, or nurse will provide quality care. Medical malpractice is the failure to use the care and skill that a reasonably qualified medical provider would exercise under the same or similar circumstances. It is an area of the law which protects patients who have received care which falls below what is known as “the standard of care.”
Medical malpractice can involve a variety of issues to include:
• Surgical malpractice;
• Failure to diagnose an illness;
• Failure to properly or timely treat a condition;
• Incorrect treatment of an illness;
• Medication errors;
• Diagnosis error;
• Emergency room error;
• Gastric bypass surgery care error;
• Breast implant errors;
• Lack of informed consent for treatment;
• Wrong site surgery;
• Improper use of anesthesia;
• Failure to order proper tests;
• Failure to consult with a specialist;
• Failure to monitor a patient;
• Failure to stabilize a patient;
• Improper use of a medical device;
• Birth injury or birth trauma due to obstetrical physician, nursing, or hospital negligence;
• Surgical procedures that are not necessary, or that are done without patient consent.
In order to succeed, the victim of medical malpractice must prove that the errors, such as the mistakes listed above, caused their injury. Medical Malpractice is a highly technical practice area within the realm of personal injury law. These are complex and expensive cases. It is extremely difficult to prove, and requires qualified experts who are willing to testify that the care given failed to meet the appropriate standards, and that this failure caused injury.
Therefore, it is important that you consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately. the lawyers of Petersen & Petersen have handled medical malpractice claims involving a wide variety of medical specialities. The following is just one highlight:
$2,000,000 WRONGFUL DEATH SETTLEMENT IN NEGLIGENT PRESCRIPTION CASE
Petersen & Petersen is proud to report obtaining a confidential settlement of the policy limits available in a wrongful death case against a physician and practice for negligent drug prescribing. The physician prescribed the drug Aldactone, a diuretic and antihypertensive medication, after the patient complained of hair loss, despite no research into off-label usage of the drug. The prescription was given for purely cosmetic reasons. The drug was actually contraindicated for this patient based upon the drug manufacturer’s warnings. Punitive damages were alleged based upon evidence that the doctor – in the month before the patient’s death – increased the dosage, despite having lowered it at a prior visit with knowledge of an elevated potassium level that caused her to be hypokalemic – a dangerous condition that impacts the electrical activity of the heart. The doctor then failed to order timely lab work to monitor her potassium level. Less than one month on the contraindicated high dose, the woman suffered an arrhythmia and cardiac arrest due to hypokalemia. She died within days of the event.
Through experience, training, and education, the lawyers of Petersen & Petersen are able to expertly evaluate medical injuries and pursue medical malpractice and medical negligence claims on behalf of the injured plaintiff. We look forward to putting our experience to work for you.