The attorneys at Kroll & Johnson, P.C. are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by the negligence of others. When a doctor, nurse, other medical professional, or medical facility fails to meet the standard of care established by medical professionals in your community, and harm results, then you may have a medical malpractice claim. “Standard of care” simply means what another reasonable doctor would do in similar circumstances. A common myth is that only doctors can commit medical malpractice. In fact, nurses, medical assistants, anesthesiologists, radiologists, dentists, and many other medical professionals can, and do, commit medical malpractice every day.
Medical malpractice occurs more often than many people would like to believe. Doctors and nurses occupy a prestigious position in our society, and it is difficult to comprehend that they may make a mistake that leads to loss of life or serious injury. If you think you may be the victim of medical malpractice, you need to take affirmative steps to protect your legal rights by contacting an Oregon medical malpractice attorney at once. At Kroll & Johnson, P.C., the initial consultation is always free, and we never get paid unless we win your case.
What should I do if I think I may have a medical malpractice claim?
First, concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Because you may experience feelings of betrayal and because you may find it difficult to trust the medical professional or medical facility that harmed you, it is best to seek out other qualified care to assist you in this process. Next, once you have begun to walk the road towards recovery, order your medical records from the hospital or treatment facility where the substandard care was provided. This will often require contacting multiple departments until you can finally gather all of your medical records. Many people experience difficulty in gathering their medical records. Do not give up. Be persistent and polite.
After you have gathered your medical records, consult with a personal injury attorney who has litigated a medical malpractice claim. Bring your medical records with you when you go to see the attorney. An experienced attorney will likely want to review the medical records, or send them off for review by a doctor or nurse before making a decision to take or reject your case. Most attorneys, including the attorneys at Kroll & Johnson, P.C., that practice in the field of medical malpractice offer free consultations. Take advantage of this service. Once you have retained an attorney to handle your case, your attorney will be able to guide you through the complex maze that every medical malpractice case presents.
What are the most common types of medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice or medical negligence can result from improper actions by a medical professional, or a failure to act by a medical professional. The following are the types of medical malpractice claims most often seen by the personal injury attorneys at Kroll & Johnson, P.C.:
Differential diagnosis: When a doctor examines you in an emergency room, he or she should eliminate the most harmful cause of the symptoms that you present with first. For example, if you go to the emergency room complaining of a burning sensation in your chest, the doctor should not immediately jump to the conclusion that you must be experiencing the temporary effects of heartburn. Instead, the doctor should do the necessary tests to determine if you are experiencing a heart attack. When a doctor fails to properly eliminate the most harmful condition first, then they have violated the rules of differential diagnosis and may have committed medical malpractice.
Substandard Treatment: When a surgery is performed in a manner that deviates from how a reasonable doctor would perform it, then medical negligence based on a theory of substandard treatment may have occurred. The most classic example of substandard treatment is leaving medical sponges inside a patient’s body cavity that become infected and lead to complications or death. Another common source of substandard treatment is failing to identify common complications inherent in a certain type of surgery. For example, it is common for colostomies to result in the perforation or puncture of the lower intestines. The actual perforation of the lower bowels may not in of itself be medical negligence, but a surgeon not taking the time to check if the bowels were perforated may be substandard treatment.
Informed consent: Every medical professional must receive your informed consent before performing any treatment or procedure. If the medical professional: 1) fails to explain the risks of the procedure or treatment; and 2) then obtains your informed consent to have the procedure or treatment performed, then you may have a medical malpractice claim.
What can I recover if I am the victim of medical malpractice?
A victim of medical malpractice may be able to recover what is referred to as “economic” and “noneconomic” damages. Economic damages are the medical bills that result from the malpractice. It is also the cost of any future medical treatment that you may require. Economic damages are also lost wages from not being able to work or not being able to work in the future.
Noneconomic damages are for the pain and impairment experienced as a result of the medical malpractice. The purpose of noneconomic damages is to compensate a victim for what they will endure into perpetuity if they suffer from a permanent injury. A victim of a temporary injury (in other words someone who has fully recovered from their injury) can still recover noneconomic damages for pain and impairment. Please consult with an experienced personal injury attorney today to determine if you may have a medical malpractice case.