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All health care providers are expected to treat patients with a recognized “standard of care.” Medical malpractice occurs when a health care practitioner deviates from the accepted practice norms and causes harm to a patient.
You can trace medical malpractice suits back to the 1800s in the U.S. Complications following “surgery” were sometimes disastrous. People were left with deformities, such as shortened or crooked limbs.
Lawyers at that time alleged that physicians did not provide “due proper care, skill and diligence.” Although the medical procedures, drugs and technology of today differ dramatically from those in the past, the consequences of contemporary medical errors are equally disturbing.
Current Medical Malpractice Estimates
Up to 200,000 patients may die each year in the U.S. due to medical malpractice. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
All forms of negligence can lead to serious and life-altering complications, such as disability, disfigurement or death. Medical malpractice refers to:
- Failing to diagnose a condition or not diagnosing the correct illness
- Failing to recognize symptoms
- Disregarding or not taking a thorough patient history
- Misinterpreting or ignoring diagnostic results
- Not ordering the appropriate tests
- Conducting unnecessary surgery
- Making surgical mistakes, such as operating on the wrong body part, performing the wrong type of surgery, or leaving a foreign object behind
- Administering improper medication or dosage
Common Medical Malpractice Areas
There are many types of medical malpractice. Some of the more common ones are for:
- Cancer misdiagnosis
- Failure to diagnose
- Wrongful death
- Hospital error
- Informed consent
- Medication error
- Surgical error
- Podiatric malpractice
- Anesthesia complications
- Birth injury
- Brachial Plexus Palsy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy
- Foreign object (left in you)
- Pain and suffering
You may have been damaged by one, or more of these, areas of malpractice.
Types Damages You May Recover
If you have suffered due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to two types of damages: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages compensate you for monetary losses and expenses. These may include:
- Lost wages
- Medical care and expenses, including physical therapy, medications, repeat surgeries, hospital and doctor visits, and diagnostic tests
- Reduced or lost earning capacity if you are no longer able to work in your chosen field as a result of your complications
- Funeral expenses if a loved one died as a result of negligence
Noneconomic damages are designed to compensate you for your physical pain and suffering, permanent disability or loss of function, mental distress, and lost quality of life.
In all instances of negligence, you may have cause to collect damages.
Lawyers Who Are Here for You
Have you or a loved one suffered complications resulting from medical negligence? If so, we may be able to help you. We realize your choices may feel overwhelming. To select the right firm for your needs, it is important to ask the right questions. These might include, what experience can this firm offer me? And, what is this firm’s philosophy toward working with its clients?
We believe that Weitz & Luxenberg stands out. For a quarter of a century, our lawyers have been winning complicated medical lawsuits. In fact, we are one of the largest mass tort plaintiffs’ firms in the country, representing tens of thousands of individuals.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
As a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won more than $17 billion for our clients.
We would feel privileged to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please call us at 800-476-6070. If you prefer, you can complete our form, and our client relations representative will contact you shortly.