Have You Been Hurt Due to Medical Malpractice?
If a Medical Professional Caused You Harm, You Need to Talk to Slocumb Law Firm
In many cases of medical malpractice, the damage to a patient is clear, such as when a surgical mistake results in the wrong body part being operated on, or if a LASIK surgery accident worsens a patient's vision.
Other cases, however, may not be so apparent. A diagnosing error, for example, might be undetected for several months or even years.
At Slocumb Law Firm, our attorneys are familiar with a vast array of medical malpractice claims. You need to contact us today if you suspect medical negligence. If you or a loved one was harmed by a doctor, nurse or some other healthcare provider, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Our law firm can help you with your options. Call now.
Serving the following locations:
- Auburn, AL
- Mobile, AL
- Birmingham, AL
- Montgomery, AL
- Huntsville, AL
- Baltimore, MD
- Washington, DC
- Columbus, GA
What is medical malpractice? Straight answers from a hard-working lawyer
Medical malpractice does not occur every time medical treatment is unsuccessful. Doctors do not guarantee the services they provide. However, a doctor is required to have the necessary knowledge, skill and experience to perform the services in question. Malpractice arises from a professional's misconduct or failure to use adequate levels of care, skill or diligence in the performance of their duties, such as being infected from a non-sterile needle injury.
- Do I Have Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
- Needle Stick Injuries
- Surgical Mistakes
- Birth Injuries
- Diagnosing Errors
- Obtaining Copies of My Medical Records
Perhaps you or a loved one was injured while undergoing a medical procedure. While you might have had a bad outcome after seeing a doctor, nurse practitioner or some other medical professional, you don't necessarily have proof of medical negligence. The doctor might say you, as a patient, did something to hurt yourself or that another doctor you saw made a mistake. That's one reason why claims of medical errors can be complicated - and why it's smart to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
A lawyer can review your case, including examining medical records and talking to you, family members and friends. Timing also is critical in evaluating a potential case. Each state has a statute of limitations which places a deadline on the time you have to initiate legal action. If you take too long, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for damages related to the negligent action by the doctor. Malpractice cases also can be linked to negligence by other medical professionals, including nurses, technicians, and emergency medical technicians.
While the individual who performed the procedure may be named as a defendant in court documents, you may also have grounds to take legal action against the hospital.
Hospital workers face a variety of risks every day on the job, including the chance of getting pricked by a needle. While getting stuck by a needle might not cause any serious immediate injuries, the health care worker whose skin was penetrated by a needle runs the risk of getting infected with a potentially serious and even fatal disease. A nurse, doctor or other health care worker typically has to wait for test results to find out if he or she has contracted a disease such as Hepatitis B or C or the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), to name a few potentially grave conditions. The list of serious diseases that are linked to needle stick injuries is long and distressing. Talk to an attorney as soon as possible to learn about your rights if you or a loved one is a victim of a needle stick injury.
Surgical mistakes can be irreversible, particularly if they involve critical areas of care such as treating a spinal injury. The financial cost of coping with them can be many times that of the original surgery. In some cases, such as a loss of vision from a LASIK surgery error, the outcome permanently changes how the injury victim lives their life.
However well-intended a medical professional is, he or she can make a surgical mistake. Nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and other doctors accept this risk when they enter their profession. Many factors can contribute to surgery's inherent error risk, including lack of sleep or lack of adequate training. Medical malpractice law dictates that you do not have to accept the outcome when a medical error affects your health care.
Among the most common surgical mistakes are:
- Equipment that has not been properly sterilized
- Anesthesiology errors
- Surgical implements or other equipment left inside patient's body
- Operating on the wrong body part or wrong patient
- Negligent amputation
If you notice signs of birth injury and suspect professional negligence, don't hesitate to call Mike Slocumb Law Firm. We know that injuries that occur to an infant may be traced back to the negligent actions of a doctor, nurse or other medical care provider involved in the delivery or even during pregnancy.
The type of birth injuries can range from broken bones or fractures to facial paralysis and brain damage.
Injuries may be linked to conditions such as cerebral palsy (obstructed blood flow to the brain during delivery) or Erb's palsy (also known as shoulder dystocia, in which the newborn's shoulder is trapped behind the mother's pelvis during delivery and nerve damage or loss of a limb is the result).
Errors in judgment or failure to follow best practices can lead to a diagnosing error in which serious but treatable conditions worsen, require high-risk surgery, or cause irreversible damage. In some of the medical malpractice cases, a diagnosing error may be the precursor to a wrongful death claim. When diagnosing such serious diseases such as cancer or heart disease, immediate attention is necessary to ensure the best possible outcome.
There are a number of factors that can lead to an error of diagnosis.
- Failure to properly analyze lab results, or to order the correct tests
- Delayed diagnosis of cancer
- Failure to monitor a patient's progression due to misdiagnosed disease
- Misinterpretation of tests
- Failure to order a biopsy
- Failure to involve an appropriate specialist
Healthcare can be complicated; getting effective legal representation does not have to be. Talk to us today about your situation.
If you suspect negligence by a medical care provider, you will need to have copies of your medical records. These documents typically are used as evidence in a lawsuit. In addition, you may need to get copies of the records for your new doctor to review. Some people don't realize that, with few exceptions, they have a right to obtain their medical records. It's spelled out in the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This Act allows people to request their own records and (in some cases) another person's records with permission of that individual.
While there are exceptions, you may have a right to obtain copies of medical records from your children or your elderly parents if you are designated as a representative.
If you lost a loved one because of medical negligence, you may have a right to get a copy of the deceased person's medical records. This may be the case if the loved one designated you as a personal representative of the estate or you were appointed by a court be a representative.
In some cases, obtaining copies of medical records can be a complicated and confusing process. Let's talk. We can help.