Category: Medical Malpractice

What Kinds of Cases Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Cover?

What Kinds of Cases Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Cover?

Medical professionals are supposed to provide the best care possible to those who seek out their expertise, but that isn’t always the case.
In some instances, mistakes made by medical professionals can lead to lifelong injuries, worsening symptoms, or even death. Depending on your situation, these mistakes can be considered medical malpractice and may be handled by a medical malpractice attorney in Oregon. The medical malpractice attorneys at Warren Allen LLP work specifically on cases where medical professionals cause individuals harm or a negative medical experience.
Here are a few of the cases that are commonly covered by medical malpractice attorneys:

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis is when a medical professional examines a patient and either fails to diagnose the correct illness or says that the patient doesn’t have an illness when they actually do.
When this happens, a patient may be diagnosed with a condition that they don’t have and, as a result, take medication and treatment that is unnecessary. A “missed diagnosis” can cause a disease or ailment to worsen, preventing a patient from having the opportunity to treat it in a timely manner.
Misdiagnosis is one of the most common reasons people hire a medical malpractice attorney, and make up a majority of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Delayed Diagnosis

A patient may also suffer from not being diagnosed with a health condition, ailment, or disease in a timely manner, also known as receiving a delayed diagnosis. In order to be classified as malpractice, the patient must seek out professional medical help and fail to be diagnosed properly.
When this happens the patient doesn’t receive the treatment they need in the correct time frame and typically will have further health complications as a result. In worst-case scenarios, a delayed diagnosis can result in harm or even death.
Some instances that occur and are considered to lead to delayed diagnoses are as followed:

  • Dismissing symptoms reported by the patient that would lead to a correct diagnosis
  • Lost or mishandled lab work or results
  • Failure to refer the patient to a specialist when signs indicate they should be
  • Not doing further tests when there are abnormalities in routine bloodwork<

If you have experienced an issue that resembles one of these scenarios and have suffered medically because of it, you may wish to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal options are available to you.

Surgical Errors

A surgical error is a preventable mistake that occurs during a surgical procedure. While all surgeries come with their own risks, there are some mistakes that can be prevented with proper care and procedure.
Some examples of surgical errors are incompetence, poor communication, insufficient planning, neglect, fatigue, or drug and alcohol use. The most frequent surgical errors include operations on the wrong body part, nerve damage, the administration of too much or too little medication, and wrong incision location.
If a surgical error was caused due to one of the above reasons, it could be handled by a medical malpractice attorney. It’s best to consult with an attorney in your state to see if your unique situation qualifies for these kinds of lawsuits.

Birth Injury

Birth injuries are sustained during the labor and delivery process and include injuries such as nerve damage, broken bones, or even death. This occurs when health professionals involved in the birthing process, such as midwives, nurses, or doctors, fail to uphold quality medical care and an injury is sustained to either the mother or the infant.
Common mistakes made during the birthing process can include not performing a C-section when medically necessary, not properly monitoring for signs of fetal distress, improper use of forceps, and exercising too much force. When a birth injury is sustained to an infant or mother during labor or delivery, it may be handled by a medical malpractice attorney in Oregon.
Birth injuries that are commonly cited in malpractice suits include cerebral palsy, brain damage, and paralysis. Injuries like this can significantly impact the child’s quality of life and cause lifelong medical issues. For these reasons, they and other birth injuries are often handled by medical malpractice attorneys.

Failure to Treat

Another frequent cause of malpractice claims is failure to treat. The phrase “failure to treat” may seem cut and dry, but more situations fall into this category than you’d expect. Some examples of failure to treat include failing to provide follow-up care, not ordering necessary medical tests, and releasing a patient too soon from the hospital. Doctors handling a larger caseload or patient roster than they are capable of dealing with is another form of failure to treat. These scenarios and more may be covered by a medical malpractice attorney.

Medication Error

Taking too much, too little, or the incorrect medication can come with some serious consequences. If you are prescribed the wrong medication, the wrong dose of a medication, or prescribed medication that is unnecessary, it may be considered medical malpractice.
When a doctor chooses to prescribe a medication for you, it is their duty to check for other prescriptions you’re already taking, to ensure they’re choosing the correct medication, to check for proper dosing, and to prevent any drug interactions. Failing to inquire about your current medications could result in severe symptoms or side effects and, in worst-case scenarios, could result in death. This could be caused by a mistake on your doctor’s part, but it can also be the fault of a pharmacist. Medication error is a serious mistake to make, which is why it’s often covered by medical malpractice attorneys.
If you or someone you know has experienced a medical issue that resembles one of the above cases, it may benefit you to reach out to a law firm like Warren Allen LLP. The medical malpractice attorneys at Warren Allen LLP can look into your case and determine whether you have any legal standing to file a lawsuit against the medical establishment that has wronged you. The damages from these types of lawsuits often include recovery for pain and suffering, medical bill coverage, or recovery for reduced quality of life.

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5 Tips for Finding the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Oregon

If you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice, finding the best medical malpractice lawyer is essential. You may know you need representation, but how do you find the right one? This can be an overwhelming time, without the added stress of worrying about how to find representation and file a medical malpractice claim. The right lawyer will help you navigate these difficulties while fighting for fair compensation.

Medical malpractice cases are complex and technical, and medical teams are often represented by attorneys and insurance companies on their payroll. You will need a lawyer with relevant experience in this specialized field, as well as a good rate of success.

Extensive medical bills and pain and suffering caused by medical malpractice demand a chance at fair compensation to cover these fees and help work toward healing. If you live in the Oregon area, below is a helpful guide to finding the best medical malpractice lawyers in Oregon.

1. Ask for Recommendations

In order to find the best medical malpractice lawyer, you must first begin compiling a list of potential lawyers. But where do you find good lawyers in the area? Often, the best way to find lawyers with good reputations and experience is to ask for recommendations. There are several ways you can find helpful recommendations.

You can start with the bar association. Your local bar association should be able to provide a list of injury law firms in the area. You can either contact them via their website or through their listed number.

Online searches are also a good resource, though they can be more difficult to sort through due to an over-saturation of options. When looking online, it’s important to check reviews for any malpractice lawyer you are considering. Look for testimonials and reviews from past clients. You can also use the internet to broadly ask if any friends, family, or trusted online communities have experience with a lawyer they would recommend.

Finally, take advantage of the professionals in your area. You can check with a primary physician, your insurance company, and even attorneys in other specialties. These professionals may have direct or indirect experience with good lawyers in the area.

2. Review their Background

Once you have made a list of lawyers in your area, it’s time to narrow down the list to the most qualified for your case. This can be accomplished by reviewing their backgrounds: what type of lawyer are they and what kind of reputation do they have within the legal community?

Essentially, there are two types of medical malpractice lawyers: lawyers who represent individuals wronged by medical malpractice and lawyers who defend doctors or insurance companies. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a misdiagnosis, surgical error, medication mistake, or another form of malpractice, you will need a plaintiff’s lawyer.

Once you have determined they are the right type of lawyer for your case, look for client reviews and a history of their past performances within the legal community. You can check with the local bar association to see if any corrective measures were taken for the lawyer in question or if they are in good standing. Also, check to see if they are a member of a personal injury trial association and if they’ve held leadership positions or received any accolades.

3. Look for Relevant Experience

The best medical malpractice lawyers in Oregon will have specialized experience in the field. Medical malpractice is a technical and complex area of law because it requires extensive knowledge in both medical and legal matters. This requires a lawyer with not only a lot of experience but also experience specifically in medical malpractice. They need to have an extensive understanding of technical information and standard medical procedure and be equipped to effectively handle procedural matters unique to medical malpractice cases.

Look for information regarding malpractice on their website: what is their education? Have they published any examples of successful case studies? Do they have a medical background? Check their biographies and look for articles or blogs detailing their experience with medical malpractice.

4. Ask the Right Questions

Law firms offer free consultations. If you have a few lawyers you are considering, take advantage of the free consultation and ask the right questions. How many medical malpractice cases have you handled? What types of medical malpractice cases do you have experience in? How many of these have you won? How long have you worked in the field of medical malpractice? How much of your time is devoted to personal injury cases? What was the outcome of your most recent medical malpractice case?

How these questions are answered will determine if the lawyer has the time, experience, and interest to properly handle your case. It’s important to establish not only what type of experience they have but also their success rate.

If you are ready to consult with the best medical malpractice lawyers in Oregon, consider Warren Allen LLP. We offer sound legal advice and representation for people who have experienced personal injury. Our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping you receive compensation and the best resolution possible.

5. Discuss Fees

Finally, it’s important to have a clear understanding of how your potential lawyer handles fees. Most medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no fee unless there is a favorable result—your case settles or you win in court. The lawyer will then take a fixed percentage of the recovery, or the amount paid to you. If there is no win, there is no fee arrangement.

However, some lawyers and firms may have other costs related to your case. It’s important to discuss their fee structure before hiring. A reputable firm will be transparent with its costs and help you understand if you are responsible for any costs.

These tips will help you find the right lawyer for your specific situation. Hiring the best lawyer will help set you on the path to recovery and healing.

 

Medical malpractice cover page with scrubs and stethoscope.

What Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help Me With?

Medical professionals like doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners are some of the hardest working people in America, a fact that has become all the more clear during the pandemic. The vast majority of the time, you can trust that your healthcare provider is doing their best for your benefit. However, there may be a time when, through negligence or personal error, a medical professional winds up causing great harm instead.

In that unfortunate instance, if you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, you should always consult medical malpractice attorneys, such as the professionals at Warren Allen, for help. In this blog post, we’ll look at how a veteran medical malpractice attorney can help you in your time of need.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice refers to harm done by a medical practitioner, such as a doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, or healthcare institution as a whole, to a patient under their care. Colloquially, it may be used to refer to any medical treatment or interaction perceived as substandard. However, from a legal standpoint, medical malpractice must meet several criteria to suffice:

1. There Must Be an Extant Doctor-Patient Relationship

To put it plainly, a medical malpractice suit can only be brought against a doctor or medical professional who had direct involvement in treating the patient in question. For instance, if a doctor published a paper suggesting a new treatment for an illness and following that treatment caused injury or death, that doctor cannot be hit with a malpractice suit. The doctor who used that new treatment on the patient could potentially be vulnerable to malpractice lawsuits, however, but there are other constraints on this.

2. The Medical Provider Must Have Acted in Negligence

One of the most critical facets in any medical malpractice suit is this: the doctor or other healthcare professional must have acted in a negligent manner. It’s not enough that the victim of the possible malpractice be unhappy with the care they received. Their medical malpractice attorneys must be able to demonstrate that this was truly a case of negligence.

In our hypothetical case earlier, the doctor who treated the patient with this new treatment might be able to successfully argue that they thought they were using the most advanced, cutting-edge treatment possible and that they had clearly notified the patient or their family that this was experimental. This would be a strong argument to fend off a medical malpractice suit.

Context is also critical here. For example, if a neurologist was on board an airplane and called upon to help care for a person suffering a heart attack with only basic medical supplies, it would be difficult to sue them for malpractice given the context, their lack of resources, and their lack of specific training. They could well argue that they did the best they could in the circumstances.

3. The Negligent Behavior Caused Specific Injury

There are two parts to this third and final criterion: first, that this negligence directly caused a specific injury, and second, there were specific damages incurred by the victim as a result of this injury.

For the first part, it can be understood as this: if the doctor was in fact negligent, did this negligence cause the harm in question?
In other words, if a doctor was giving an eye exam, and perhaps was doing so sufficiently poorly so as to be considered negligent, and then their patient suffered a fatal heart attack, is there actually a link between the two events? If the eye doctor’s negligence led to blindness, on the other hand, that would be a prime candidate for a medical malpractice suit.

The second part is equally key: did this injury cause damage to the victim in a real, tangible way? If you believe that your doctor erred and prescribed you the wrong medication, but you were not harmed by taking the medication, then you would not likely have a successful malpractice suit.

Some of the most common types of damages listed in a lawsuit for medical malpractice are:

  • Physical pain and emotional distress
  • Loss of wages due to lack of work
  • Extra expenses due to further medical treatment to correct the potential malpractice
  • Death

If your incident involves all three of these medical malpractice elements, then you could stand a good chance at prevailing in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Services Do Medical Malpractice Attorneys Offer?

If you think you or a loved one potentially has a viable medical malpractice suit based on the above criteria, then you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney. An experienced malpractice lawyer can help you through the following services:

  • Assessing your case. Especially in the emotionally charged period following a medical mishap, it may be difficult to maintain an unbiased mentality as you try to work out whether you have a viable, valid malpractice suit to bring forward. A medical malpractice attorney can give an experienced, unbiased assessment of your situation and whether you will be likely to prevail.
  • Helping you understand all your legal rights. It’s unlikely for any one individual to understand all the labyrinthine facets of federal, state, and local law, especially one who isn’t an experienced attorney. If your rights have been violated in any way, the attorney can let you know just what the injury was and what your recompense might be.
  • Handling necessary paperwork and red tape. Filing a lawsuit in any situation can be daunting, especially if you’re dealing with pain from medical malpractice or are caring for someone who now needs it. The medical malpractice attorney can take care of all the filing for you, taking this off your plate.
  • Arguing cases as needed. Most lawsuits are resolved out of court in settlements, but should your lawsuit need to be argued before a judge, you will be glad you have an experienced medical malpractice attorney representing you.

To help your medical malpractice attorney help you, it’s often a good idea to get a medical assessment by another doctor (i.e., not the one you might possibly sue) to have a professional evaluation of your condition and the harm that has been done. However, if you aren’t sure where to start, you can always contact your malpractice lawyer for a consultation.

 

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