Millions of patients seek treatment in medical facilities every year. Mistakes in medical facilities are not uncommon, though they are seldom talked about or reported to the media. Tens of thousands of people die each year due to medical mistakes. This has become the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice frequently occurs at hospitals in emergency rooms and operating rooms, but malpractice can also arise out of a visit to a doctor’s office or even a phone call to a nurse.
At Datsopoulos MacDonald & Lind, our Montana medical malpractice attorneys regularly represent individuals who have suffered extensive injuries or have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a hospital, physician, nurse practitioner or other health care provider. If your or a loved one has been injured due to the medical negligence of someone else such as a doctor, surgeon, chiropractor or even a dentist call 406-728-0810 today to schedule a free consultation.
What is medical malpractice?
A legal claim for medical malpractice arises when a patient is injured by medical care that is not within the accepted standards of medical practice in the same or similar communities. Medical malpractice is a term used to describe negligence or mistakes made by hospitals, doctors, nurses or other health care providers. Medical errors occur every day, and sometimes those mistakes cause a wrongful death or permanently injure a patient.
When negligence occurs, the injured patient or family is usually not told about the mistake. An attorney can review medical records with the help of medical experts to determine if the standard of care was not followed. When medical malpractice injures a patient or causes a wrongful death, the patient and/or family are entitled to recover from the hospital or doctor’s medical malpractice insurance.
Examples of medical malpractice include:
Surgical errors are extremely common accounting for many serious injuries and even deaths. Surgical errors can cause both severe emotional and physical devastation. In many instances, a patient may not even be aware that a surgical error took place, as it is often covered up and never acknowledged. If you or a family member has been the victim of surgical malpractice then please contact our firm today.
Surgical errors can cause significant, irreparable physical and emotional harm and even death. Of course, surgery is often a high-risk undertaking, and not all bad surgical outcomes mean that there was a surgical error. But when the harm is caused by negligence, the healthcare provider may be liable for medical malpractice.
Surgical mistakes commonly associated with negligence include: wrong site surgery, wrong patient surgery, organ perforation or puncture, use of unsanitary surgical instruments and surgical instruments left inside the body.
If something like this has happened to you, contact Datsopoulos MacDonald & Lind right now for a free no pressure consultation.
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
Misdiagnosis is killing thousands of people each year. Doctors so often get it wrong, failing to properly diagnose a patient who does not have time on their side. Whether a doctor fails to diagnose, delays diagnosis or misdiagnoses a patient’s condition it can lead to incorrect treatment or no treatment at all. This can cause a patient to become progressively worse and is in many cases irreversible; resulting in serious injury, illness, disease and even wrongful death.
Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is a very common medical malpractice claim. The wrong diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. The correct diagnosis is so important that there’s a standard way to diagnose disease; it’s called making a differential diagnosis. When a healthcare provider fails to follow the appropriate diagnostic process, they may diagnose the wrong disease or fail to diagnose any disease at all.
If the undiagnosed disease progresses and the patient suffers terrible harm or untimely death, then the healthcare provider may be liable for medical malpractice. Commonly misdiagnosed illnesses include: cancer, pulmonary embolism, stroke and appendicitis
Lawsuits that hold healthcare providers accountable for misdiagnosis do more than help the victims and their families — they help make our families and our communities safer by making sure that the medical care we all receive meets minimal quality standards.
Help protect your loved ones. Hold wrongdoers accountable for their negligence.
Similarly, the failure to diagnose a medical condition is a serious form of medical malpractice. Some may think of malpractice or medical negligence mainly as it relates to the treatment of a patient, but a doctor’s actions in diagnosing patients is just as important. A misdiagnosis or the ultimate failure to diagnose a serious medical condition may lead to catastrophic injuries or the loss of the patient’s life. This is particularly relevant in deadly conditions such as cancer or a heart attack.
There are different situations that may cause a failure to diagnose. A doctor, who is too busy, overworked or who has not slept may be quick to make a decision just so he or she can move on to the next patient. An inexperienced doctor may fail to recognize that certain symptoms indicate one condition over another. A nurse may fail to write down crucial information about a patient’s complaints or symptoms on a medical chart, leading to a doctor making a diagnosis based off inadequate information. An insurance company may deny further testing that would enable a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
Depending on the particular cause of a failure to diagnose, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the hospital, doctor, nurse or perhaps your medical insurance company for their actions.
Prescription Medication Errors
Prescription drugs have the potential to enhance health and save lives. When prescribed in improper doses or in dangerous combinations, however, they can cause severe physical or mental reactions than may require hospitalization or even result in death. Medical professionals who administer harmful amounts or combinations of drugs, or the wrong drug, may be liable for medical malpractice.
Medication errors occur more frequently than most people realize. They account for many medical malpractice claims that have resulted in serious injury, illness and even wrongful death. When we are given medicine, whether it is in the hospital, a healthcare facility or from a pharmacy, we expect that the type of medicine and dosage are safe. In addition, when others know of additional medicines we may be taking, we trust that they would know whether a possible deadly or fatal interaction could take place.
Some of the most common prescribing errors include: confusing drugs with similar names; ignoring allergies to medications; failing to consider the weight and age of a patient; failing to obtain complete patient information; failing to stay current on drug warnings; failing to accurately communicate drug prescriptions (including poor handwriting); failing to properly label medication; misusing abbreviations, zeroes, and decimal points in prescriptions; and prescribing too much of a medication.
If you or a loved one is the victim of the negligent actions and wrongdoing of a doctor, nurse, healthcare facility, hospital, dentist, pharmacist or any other medical professional, please contact our firm immediately. You may have the legal right to file a medical malpractice claim in which you can ask for monetary compensation for any medical expenses, emotional trauma, lost wages and much more.
When administered correctly, anesthesia is both safe and highly effective. On the other hand, when anesthesia errors do happen, they can have harmful, far-reaching effects like brain damage or even death. Improperly administered anesthesia that causes injury or death may warrant a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In many ways, the anesthesiologist is the most important medical professional in any surgery. However, patients rarely even know who their anesthesiologist is, much less know about that person’s credentials. Anesthesia errors are all too common and can lead to serious injury and even death.
Common causes of anesthesia errors including: failure to constantly monitor the patient; failure to properly intubate (place a tube in the patient’s throat to allow breathing); failure to recognize complications; communication errors between staff; the use of defective equipment; overdose or underdose of anesthesia; delayed anesthesia delivery; failure to avoid an allergic reaction if it could have reasonably been prevented; failure to guard against drug interactions; failure to instruct the patient not to eat or drink within 24 hours following surgery; and failure to properly administer oxygen during surgery.
At Datsopoulos MacDonald & Lind, we help people who have been hurt by or lost loved ones due to anesthesia errors. We have the skill and resources to seek maximum compensation for the hardships caused by medical malpractice.
Birth or Labor Injuries
Giving birth should be a joyous experience, but when something goes wrong it can be devastating. Seven out of every 1,000 births will have major birth injuries, resulting in nearly 30,000 babies and mothers injured per year. Birth injuries commonly occur when a doctor fails to diagnose a mother or baby’s condition during pregnancy or during labor and/or delivery. Just one simple mistake can severely harm a mother and/or child, which can lead to a lifetime of medical care and a shortened lifespan.
Birth injuries are not the same as birth defects. Birth injuries usually occur during the delivery of the baby, while birth defects are usually caused by genetic or environmental factors before the baby is born.
All pregnant women rely on healthcare of some kind, and sometimes bad things happen without anyone being at fault. But if a healthcare provider provides negligent care or commits an error, whether it’s because of poor judgment, lack of adequate training, malicious intent, or simple human error, then they may responsible for medical malpractice.
Birth injuries can mean a lifetime of care. If your child has been seriously injured, life will never be the same again. We can help you protect your child’s rights and get them what they deserve so they can build a good life.
If you are a parent of a baby that is the victim of a birth injury, or a mother who has been harmed during or after birth, please contact our firm immediately. We may be able to help by filing a medical malpractice claim against the doctor, midwife, doula, nurse, hospital and or any other healthcare worker or facility that is to be held accountable. By filing a medical malpractice claim you may be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional trauma, pain and suffering and much more.
As a patient, you and your baby have the right to receive quality care at all times. When someone fails to meet the proper standards while caring for you or your baby they must be legally held responsible.
Studies show that hospitals often fail to meet our expectations for the health and safety of patients in their care. A report by the Institute of Medicine entitled “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System” determined that approximately 98,000 people are killed every year by medical errors in hospitals. Many more are seriously injured because of hospital malpractice.
Hospitals are responsible for the negligence or incompetence of their employees. If an employee injures you through a negligent act or improper care, we can help you hold the hospital where the negligent employee works liable for your resulting medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Although hospitals are liable for the harm their employees cause, not every medical professional who works in a hospital is an employee. For example, many doctors who provide treatment at a hospital are not actually employees of the hospital. If your injuries were caused by doctor negligence and the doctor was not an employee, we can help you obtain compensation from the negligent doctor through a physician malpractice claim.
As with other professional malpractice cases, the main objectives in negligent dentistry litigation are to establish and quantify the fact of injury to the plaintiff, and to prove that the injury was the result of a departure from a recognized standard of care on the part of the defendant dentist or oral surgeon.
We have all been to the dentist, hopefully most of us at least twice a year. When we visit the dentist, we not only want to feel safe, we want to rest assured that our dentist is providing us with the highest quality care available. Whether we are being seen for a routine cleaning, having our wisdom teeth pulled, getting a filling, crown, or root canal, having implants or bridges placed, or are undergoing a complicated oral surgery, we trust and rely on the dental professional.
Unfortunately, dental malpractice occurs more often than most realize, and frequently include claims such as: failure to diagnose cancer of the mouth, periodontal disease or other conditions, surgical errors, nerve injuries, tongue injury, jaw injury, lip injury, root canal and bridge work negligence, implant planning and placement negligence, negligent wisdom tooth removals, and negligent crown placements. Regardless of the type of dental work you have had performed, if the dentist failed to adhere to the applicable standard of care, and you were injured as a result, you need to speak to an attorney.
Because your dental chart plays such an important role in your dental malpractice case, it is important as soon as you suspect you are the victim of malpractice, you request a complete copy of your dental records. You are entitled to obtain a complete copy of your records at any time, for any reason, and you need not even say why you are requesting your records. The most common basis for requesting records is to simply say they are needed for a second opinion.
Psychiatrists, like all doctors and health care providers, have an obligation to provide patients with a certain standard of care. The failure to provide the appropriate mental medical treatment may amount to psychiatric malpractice, which is a type of medical malpractice.
Many cases of psychiatric medical malpractice are never reported because the victims are already emotionally unstable or uncertain of their own mental condition. Patients may find that their complaints about psychiatric malpractice are dismissed as paranoia or exaggeration of circumstances. Sometimes even family members fail to listen when you tell them your concerns.
But if you feel you have been the victim of psychiatric medical malpractice you should meet with an attorney immediately to help determine the validity of your case. At Datsopoulos MacDonald & Lind, we may recommend that you meet with one of our trusted associated psychiatric specialists who can evaluate the extent of damage caused by your psychiatrist or help you evaluate your own circumstances.
We work with individuals who have suffered from a psychiatrist:
- Abusing knowledge or power
- Sharing information without patient consent
- Threatening the patient
- Failing to notice or diagnose a dangerous condition
- Prescription of incorrect or harmful psychiatric medication
- Sexual misconduct
Under no circumstances should you feel that your psychiatrist has the right to treat you without respect or care. Every medical professional has a responsibility toward his or her patients and takes an oath to bring no harm, physically, mentally or emotionally, to patients. Your treatment at every step should be designed to help your condition improve and should be confidential.
If you have suffered negligence or mistreatment at the hands of a psychiatrist or psychiatric staff member, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney immediately. He or she can help you take the appropriate steps toward the compensation and justice that you deserve as a victim of an inexcusable type of medical malpractice.
Besides bringing forth a psychiatric malpractice lawsuit, there are some other actions that may be taken as well against an offending psychiatrist. Filing a complaint with the psychiatrist’s employer, filing an ethics complaint with the review board or filing a human rights complaint are other actions that can be taken either in lieu of or in addition to a psychiatric malpractice lawsuit.
Please contact Datsopoulos MacDonald & Lind today to meet with an attorney and confidentially discuss the details of your case. We can help individuals like you find help after psychiatric abuse and neglect.
If you’ve been injured while in a hospital or under the care of a physician, you should talk to a medical malpractice attorney right away. Victims of medical malpractice have a right to a monetary settlement for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, ongoing care, diminished earning capacity, lost income, and other costs and losses.
Medical malpractice cases can be very complex, however. It takes specialized legal and medical expertise to prove liability on the part of the healthcare provider. In addition, your claim must be filed within a certain period of time after the injury happened. If you wait beyond this “statute of limitations,” you will not be able to file a legal claim. We can help you.
When you work with our experienced injury attorneys, you can expect the best. Contact Datsopoulos MacDonald & Lind for a free consultation at 406-728-0810.