When you go to the hospital, see a doctor, or undergo surgery, you typically trust medical professionals to be attentive and provide you with the proper care you need. But in some cases, medical professionals make mistakes, and these mistakes can have devastating results. Medical negligence cases are extremely complex and require legal experts to help you get a good outcome. A Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer from Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz LLC will provide legal aid that will represent your best interests.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical professional acts negligently or in a way that causes the patient significant and unnecessary harm. They can potentially have life-altering or life-threatening consequences. An injury that changes your life could mean you’re no longer able to do activities that you once enjoyed or will have to change your job. Recovery from these injuries often takes a lot of time and can be expensive, so it’s important to start on your case as early as possible.
Personal injury cases often have a statute of limitations, or a time limit in which you can make your claim. Maryland has a statute of limitations of five years since the injury happened or three years since the injury was discovered. Getting started earlier will also help you remember dates and details with more accuracy. Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz LLC has skilled lawyers with medical malpractice experience who are ready to stand by your side.
What Are the Types of Medical Malpractice?
Any medical care provider can make an error that causes the patient to sustain injuries at any point. The following are medical malpractice cases that our Baltimore legal team commonly handles and has had successful outcomes with verdicts and settlements.
Surgeons can make errors that include operating on the wrong person, performing the wrong surgery, or operating on the wrong part of the body, called wrong-site surgery. There’s also a chance that medical tools, gauze, or tape will be left in the patient after surgery. This leads to complications like infection or pain and will require another surgery to correct it.
Medical tests like MRIs or X-rays can provide crucial information about a patient’s condition. If a doctor misses a detail or doesn’t recognize something on the test, it may take longer for the patient to get a correct diagnosis.
Failure to Diagnose or Recognize Symptoms
Doctors could fail to recognize symptoms of life-threatening problems like a heart attack or stroke. In those cases, symptoms need to be caught as early as possible.
Missing the warning sign of these health problems could result in a patient suffering from a major medical event that severely affects their health or could possibly result in a fatality.
Doctors may also look at symptoms and diagnose a patient incorrectly. They’ll start treatment for the wrong illness and fail to treat the correct one.
This gives the real illness more time to get worse and the incorrect treatment could also exacerbate the original issue. Because the illness or injury got worse, the patient may have to spend a longer time in recovery. In more serious situations, the patient may have a limited window of time in which the treatment will work effectively. A doctor that failed to diagnose their illness correctly could make them lose vital time to treat the illness.
Patients may be given the wrong medication or an improper dose. Incorrect medication could threaten health and an improper dose could make patients more likely to fall.
Doctors also need to be aware of how a medication will react to any other conditions the patient has or other medications they’re taking. When doctors neglect to look into this information, the patient could experience a harmful drug reaction.
Before medical procedures, it’s common for patients to get anesthesia to numb the pain or help the patient sleep through it. But there are a number of errors that can occur with anesthesia. Too much or too little can be administered.
- When a patient has too much anesthesia, they can suffer from being unconscious for a long period of time, seizures, getting sick, and hallucinating.
- Patients that aren’t given enough may wake up during surgery or feel pain that they weren’t supposed to.
- Doctors may fail to realize that the patient is taking medication that will have an adverse drug reaction to anesthesia, and the patient can sustain serious injuries. They could also give the patient the wrong kind of anesthesia.
- Patients also need to be briefed on instructions before they’re given anesthesia. They may not be supposed to drink or eat because those factors could counter the anesthesia. Doctors that fail to provide this information risk the patient not being informed and a possible event happening during surgery.
Birth complications can cause permanent damage to the baby that affect how they live for the rest of their lives. Oxygen deprivation can cause significant brain damage, which can cause disorders like cerebral palsy. Pulling on the infant during the delivery process can cause Erb’s Palsy or other brachial plexus injuries. Those affected by birth injuries will have to go through a recovery period, but depending on the severity of the injury, the baby may not make a full recovery or will require assistance from medical equipment.
Misusing Medical Equipment
Medical devices help patients stay healthy, monitor their vitals, and detect medical problems. In some circumstances, there may be an issue with the device that puts the patient or user’s health at risk. A faulty joint implant or pacemaker could break down over time. The manufacturing company may be held liable in these situations.
It’s also possible for medical staff to not have the proper training or knowledge to use these devices safely and effectively. In these cases, the medical professional who failed to use the device correctly and injured their patient may be able to be held liable by an experienced med mal lawyer.
Emergency Room Errors
Emergency rooms are usually full of people who need immediate attention. The staff need to be able to get to people quickly, but still make sure they’re following protocols. When those protocols are broken, the patients’ safety may be at risk.
Issues that can occur in the emergency room include:
- Failing to diagnose cardiac issues or stroke symptoms.
- Misreading tests that were taken.
- Delaying diagnosis, which prevents the patient from treating their problem and possibly allowing their condition to worsen.
- Not recognizing signs of serious conditions like appendicitis or blood clots.
Patients deserve to be treated with respect and as individuals. Doctors are supposed to take time and listen to what the patient says is bothering them. If any medical professional rushes the patient or has preconceived notions about the patient’s problems, they could miss critical information and make a misdiagnosis or prevent the patient from getting the proper care as quickly as possible.
Falls can seriously injure older patients and occurs when there is inadequate supervision and a lack of safety precautions to prevent falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four seniors fall annually. Seniors have a more difficult time recovering from a fall because it takes them longer to heal and there’s a risk of breaking a bone that can get infected.
Hospitals are responsible for keeping their patients safe and this includes preventing older patients from falling. Neglecting to see patients regularly or provide aid with everyday tasks such as using the restroom could lead to a senior trying to do it themselves and falling.
Nerve and Perforation Injuries
When there’s too much pressure on the nerves or the bowel or bladder, nerves can be damaged and the bowel or bladder can get perforation injuries, and cause further complications after surgery.
Those with nerve injuries may feel numbness or weakness at the injury site. They may also have trouble feeling sensory input in that area or moving it. For example, a damaged nerve in the shoulder could lead to issues moving the arm, hands, and fingers.
Incompetent chiropractors can worsen pre-existing conditions. This could mean injuring vertebrae in the spine or aggravating herniated disks. Spinal injuries can lead to issues with mobility and affect how the patient lives their life in the future.
These aren’t the only types of medical malpractice cases we handle in Baltimore. If you’ve been hurt with an injury that could have been prevented if a medical care provider hadn’t made a mistake or acted negligently, our lawyers will evaluate the merits of your case.
What Causes Medical Malpractice in Maryland?
When a mistake is made by a medical professional, you may wonder how it occurred. You may also need to know this detail for your claim. Hospital negligence can happen because of the following reasons:
- Lack of Communication. There needs to be communication between staff about the patient to get the best care possible. Miscommunication or no communication at all could prevent a healthcare provider from getting crucial information about their patient.
- Staff Issues. Some facilities may not have enough staff to properly attend to every patient. Those who do work there are most likely overworked and fatigued. Exhaustion could easily cause a person to make a mistake.
- Incorrect Information. Everything important about a patient is in their medical records. The healthcare providers depend on that information to treat their patients. Missing information could have fatal consequences.
Some of these issues can combine, such as an exhausted doctor or nurse failing to make an important note or making an illegible note on a patient’s chart, so the next staff member to see the chart misses the information. Malpractice cases can be extremely complex and may contain multiple components of negligence.
If you feel your case may be too complicated, we encourage you to get in touch with our Baltimore lawyers regardless. One of our medical malpractice lawyers will investigate your case to find the cause of negligence, whether it was a clerical error made by the hospital administration or a doctor was negligent when they were supposed to be helping you. We can help you discover answers as to what happened and why.
What Does Your Medical Malpractice Claim Need?
Your medical malpractice lawyer in Baltimore will put together the important elements of your claim so you can get a favorable settlement.
- Prove Doctor-Patient Relationship. There needs to be proof that you sought medical care from a healthcare provider and they agreed to treat you.
- The Doctor Acted Negligently. With the help of medical expert witnesses, they can show that your healthcare provider failed to meet a duty of care and any other competent healthcare providers would have acted differently in the situation.
- The Doctor’s Negligence Caused Your Injury. Link the negligence to your injury. This can be done with copies of medical records.
- How Your Injury Has Affected You. This will allow you to show that your injury has caused pain, made your life difficult, or could have prevented you from doing your job. Keeping a log of your injury and how it impacted your life could help your claim.
There’s a chance that your claim won’t be settled out of court. Should the case need to continue in order for you to get the appropriate compensation, Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz LLC is prepared to take the matter to the next level and fight for you in the courthouse.
How Can a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help You?
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a medical care provider’s negligence, you can seek legal options from Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC. We’re here to represent the citizens of Maryland and provide excellent legal services to make sure you get the compensation and benefits like pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earnings, medical expenses for the past and future.
Our attorneys know the nuance and work required to get a successful medical malpractice settlement. We will fight to get you a favorable outcome with a combination of legal expertise, knowledge of specific injuries, and the cost of treatments and recoveries. We’re ready to give you the help you need. Get in touch with us, so you can schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers at no cost.