hospital negligence

Victims of Hospital Negligence Can Get Fair Compensation

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) estimated that more than 32 percent of people who go for treatment at a hospital would experience a hospital-related injury. This can be the result of negligence on the part of the doctor, staff, hospital and more. These injuries can range from mild to serious or even cause death. They may even cause a patient to require additional treatment, a lengthened stay at the hospital. In some cases, these injuries have made it necessary for patients in Florida to be readmitted to a hospital after discharge. Victims of hospital-related injuries can sue for negligence and receive compensation for their wounds.

No Damages No Case

It’s important to realize that medical malpractice isn’t about unsatisfactory results. It is about the negligent conduct of medical professionals. Not all people who don’t get their desired arise from treatment will have a valid lawsuit. A study was carried out by the Harvard School of Public Health. It found that most victims of medical malpractice are denied compensation because of a lack of evidence when it comes to proving the negligence of doctors as well as hospitals. It’s important for a potential victim to contact an attorney that is knowledgeable and experienced with medical malpractice. Legal professionals will be able to let a person know if they have a valid claim.

Common Hospital-Injuries

The type of negligence a patient can experience at a hospital can result from some common medical errors.

  • Identification errors. This can occur when a patient is misidentified for treatment. This can lead to a patient receiving the wrong procedure, getting the wrong medication and more.
  • Errors in communication. This can result in a change of treatment or medication n that has not been adequately communicated to hospital staff. This has caused patients to experience serious injuries. This often happens when essential information concerning patients is not shared during hospital shift changes.
  • Location errors. This often occurs with patients who have dementia or memory loss. These are patients who need to be carefully monitored. Injuries occur when these individuals are left unattended.
  • Hospital infections. This includes everything from a urinary tract infection to an arterial line infection as well as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and more. An infection at the spot on a patient’s body where a surgical procedure occurred can cause serious problems. These can be avoided in most cases.
  • A lack of staff. This often leads to hospital injuries. A hospital may not be able to provide an adequate number of competent medical professionals to treat their patients properly. This could cause a delay in emergency response time as well as scheduled treatments and some other problems.

Hospital Employee Actions

All hospitals are responsible for the actions of their employees. This is particularly the case if an employee’s actions cause harm to a patient. Should a hospital employee not be reasonably cautious when administering treatment or any other type of activity involving a patient, the hospital is liable. Not everything that results in a patient being injured will be the result of negligence, though.

Physician Mistakes

Should a doctor make a mistake that results in a patient being injured, the hospital may not be held liable. This will depend on the healthcare specialist being a direct employee of the hospital. Should an employee do something that harms a patient as a result of a physician’s supervision, the doctor may be held liable, but not the hospital. This will also depend on the employment status of the medical expert and the hospital. Whether a hospital employee’s actions are a result of a physician’s direct orders, supervision will be taken into consideration.

Initial Investigation

A claim of hospital negligence will begin with an inquiry. The medical practitioner, hospital staff and others involved with providing care may be contacted. All relevant documents including medical records will be obtained. The medicals records and documents will be carefully reviewed. All appropriate medical literature from the National Library of Medicine that applies to a case will also be reviewed. This investigation will determine if someone was negligent in providing medical care. It will also show if a patient’s injury was a direct result of the negligent medical care.

Filing Lawsuit

Based on a review of all documents and medical literature, it will be determined if a case can be successfully prosecuted. If a case is questionable, a medical expert will be consulted. Once it has been determined a case has merit, a lawsuit will be filed on behalf of an injured patient.

Discovery

The next phase is pretrial discovery. There is written discovery where each party to the lawsuit sends each other questions in the form of interrogatories. They will ask for documents that are essential to the case. Depositions are legal records of issues and answers that can be used for trial. Those involved with the lawsuit, witnesses as well as expert witnesses will be given depositions.

Negotiations And Settlement

Going to trial is time consuming and expensive. The majority of medical malpractice cases are settled out of court. When a case does go to trial, the majority of the verdicts are for the defense. An insurance company may be willing to settle a case they do not believe they can win. The serious negotiations concerning a settlement in most medical malpractice cases happen after expert witnesses gave a deposition. It is also possible for settlement negotiations to continue during a trial.

Trial

If the negotiations don’t lead to a settlement of the case, the next step is going to trial. Many hours will be invested in preparing questions for witnesses. There will be exhibits developed as well as visual aids. Opening and closing arguments will be written. There could be focus groups utilized to see how individuals react when presented with what will be shown during the trial. An attorney is not able to guarantee what decision will be rendered during a jury trial. With the right preparation and careful presentation of evidence, the chances of a good settlement or a positive trial decision increase.  Our experts at Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. know this detailed process and can assist you with all the requirements.

Challenges of Winning A Cosmetic Surgery Lawsuit

Medical malpractice could be caused by a variety of acts committed by a medical specialist, but the primary factor behind it can invariably always be broken down to healthcare negligence. Plastic surgeons may confront charges of malpractice like any other medical physicians, but the fact that cosmetic surgeries are elective procedures means that it is more challenging for victims to seek remuneration in the case of mishaps. When it comes to plastic surgery, the results may not meet your expectations, but that does not necessarily mean it is a valid case of medical malpractice. Keep reading to find out more concerning the issues involved in making a medical negligence claim following an unsuccessful plastic surgery.

Defining Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery is a plastic surgery variant that is more or less a curative treatment for some part of the body, usually an external trait. On the other hand, reconstructive surgery aims to lessen debilitating scars caused by major burns or severe accidents. This type of procedure is a fitting example of plastic surgery that seeks to mend some devastating physical damage.

On the other hand, cosmetic surgery may be an elective procedure that is frequently used as a method of improving a person’s physical appearance and confidence. Breast mammaplasties or enhancements and thread lifts are a few examples of these types of procedures. Usually, cosmetic surgery is not considered essential, and health insurance providers often do not cover for it.

Challenges With Negligence in Cosmetic Surgeries

Surgical Mistakes

The most commonly encountered kind of medical negligence on cosmetic surgeries happens as a result of a medical error, meaning that the plastic surgeon wrongfully did something that damaged the operation. Other complications caused by cosmetic surgery that might result in a medical malpractice lawsuit are post-surgery infections, irresponsible Botox or Restylane injections for treating facial wrinkles, and severe side effects from the used anesthetics.

Poorly Trained or Incompetent Surgeons

A cosmetic doctor’s lack of knowledge or accreditation is another concern that may result in a cosmetic surgery negligence suits. As cosmetic surgery is a primary source of income for plastic surgeons (one that offers instant payment and requires no filing of medical insurance forms), it may lure new and disreputable practitioners.

If you have been thinking about undergoing cosmetic surgery, it is important to discuss with an experienced cosmetic surgeon who has been certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS). While this does not necessarily ensure a perfect result, it at the very least guarantees that your operation will be performed by a competent, certified surgeon who has a relatively high background.

Other Obstacles to Succeeding In Cosmetic Surgery Lawsuits

The primary challenge of succeeding with such a negligence lawsuit stems from the defining aspect of cosmetic surgery which separates it from standard surgical treatment — it is an elective procedure or, in other words, it is not a necessary intervention.

The Surgeon Often Gets the Advantage

Judges often have the idea that, since you probably requested the procedure as a boost for your self-image, you should not fault the cosmetic surgeon if the surgery proved to be unsuccessful. In many such cases, courts have a tendency to afford the surgeon more leeway.

Even if the claimant receives compensation for the damages he suffered, the court usually grants less compensation than in the case of a standard medical malpractice suit. Many legal professionals believe that awards are lower because the tribunals are not particularly sensitive to the claimant’s problems since it was his or her decision to undergo the operation. Consequently, the patient is also considered guilty for the surgery.

Prejudiced Juries

In a vague sense, judges and juries may be subconsciously penalizing the patient for having too much vanity, being obese, not exercising enough, or for being so generous that they can use their money for otherwise unneeded cosmetic surgery. While this might not seem like an especially fair or logical thought process, it is a common human characteristic to fall into this type of thinking pattern. Jury members may feel that if they cannot afford to have plastic surgery – and even if they could afford it, they would never use it for that purpose – so they have no reason to worry about somebody who can afford it.

Other jury members may be biased against cosmetic surgery negligence suits because they have already had particular success with cosmetic surgery themselves. Therefore, they assume that the patient is responsible for selecting an incompetent plastic surgeon, for being unaware that any surgery carries specific risks, and for expecting too much of their surgeon.

In these situations where jury members are so prejudiced against cosmetic surgery lawsuits, it is only fair for them to be removed by the judge. But while both sides legally deserve an impartial jury, most often the board members tell the court up front that they feel they are capable of making a fair judgment. But later during the trial, their biases may start to be visible.

The Battle Between Objective Legal Judgments and Subjective Human Tendencies

As you are now able to see, the difficulties with cosmetic surgical malpractice suits are not always due to an inability to prove a surgeon was negligent. They may arise due to the dynamics of the surgical treatment itself and the unfavorable impact it has on the judge or jury. The fact is that cosmetic surgery lawsuits are challenging situations in the legal system where courts may not be as responsive to a victim’s suffering as they could be. If you are dealing with such a case, our expert attorneys from Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. could guide you throughout the entire process and help you minimize the damages you suffered as a cause of an unsuccessful surgical procedure.

Delayed Diagnosis Vs. Misdiagnosis and the Legal Consequences

When performed in proper parameters, cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure that aims to change an individual’s physical appearance. When a medical professional evaluates an individual, he conducts a series of tests to assess the current condition of the patient. Doctors who don’t, put the patient at risk, which may result in later injury or damage. Delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis are both prevalent in the medical field at a relative standard rate of incidence hovering from 10 to 20%.

The Difference Between Delayed Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis

A misdiagnosis occurs when doctors give the wrong diagnosis to a patient. It delays treatment, and, consequently, the patient may have a decreased chance of recovery. A misdiagnosis could injure a patient even if it were not life-threatening. Getting the wrong treatment can have a physical and emotional toll on an individual. The psychological damage is often difficult to undo, and the unnecessary procedures, surgeries, and medications can provide enough incentive to seek financial compensation.

A delayed diagnosis occurs when a correct diagnosis is given after a significant delay in time. The delay would need to adversely affect the health of the patient to qualify for medical malpractice. One example is the case of cancer that could be treated if caught early enough. A delayed diagnosis might cause death because the doctor failed to grab the illness soon enough. For the late diagnosis to give rise to a medical malpractice claim, it must result in significant injury to the patient. Failing to provide tests promptly is one of the most common reasons for a delayed diagnosis. A late diagnosis is a serious matter, and it can result in the death of the patient.

Example of Misdiagnosis and Delayed Diagnosis

Itzhak Brook is a pediatric infectious disease specialist who works at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Brook was misdiagnosed with acid reflux after going to a local hospital for diagnosis and treatment. In reality, he had a cancerous growth that went undetected for seven months because of that misdiagnosis. If the doctors never discovered underlying cancer, he could have died due to the misdiagnosis. The procedure to identify the disease was pretty simple, and an intern is the one who figured out what was wrong.

Since the doctors eventually determined the correct diagnosis, this condition would likely be treated as a delayed diagnosis, as the proper diagnosis had been finally given. He believes the resultant surgery to remove his voice box would have been unnecessary if the doctors paid more attention to his case and correctly diagnosed his condition.

Dealing With a Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis

If you’ve recently discovered that your doctor misdiagnosed you, the first thing you should do is get treatment for your condition. Once you’re back on track to your health status, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of recovering financially. Ultimately, any evidence must show that any other doctor operating in a similar situation wouldn’t have made the same delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Your treating physician is obligated to provide an adequate standard of care. Failing to get a correct diagnosis is one of the most elemental parts of a doctor’s job.

Gathering Documentation

Gather any documentation that shows the dates of the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, and keep track of any papers that show the new course of treatment and diagnosis. Locate information for any tests you paid for, medications you had to purchase and other remedies that were prescribed to treat the incorrect condition. While this time will be tiring for you, it’s important to keep good records so that you have the best chance of winning your case.

Don’t Threaten to Sue Your Doctor

Medical malpractice is tough to prove. Negligence must be shown on the part of the doctor, and that can be a difficult thing to accomplish. Don’t tell your doctor you’re planning on filing a lawsuit since you don’t yet know if you have a case. The best thing to do is keep track of your conversations, and maintain a local approach.

Get a Legal Consultation

Contact our law firm for a consultation to determine the best steps to take to recover your losses. While providing malpractice is difficult, our firm is experienced and can help you get your money back. Determining negligence can be difficult, but we have experience in helping people prove their cases. If necessary, we can secure expert witnesses that will testify on your behalf.

Continue Your Treatment

It’s important to keep your medication and follow the advice of your doctor so you can ensure you recover to the best of your ability. This is also important to make sure that you don’t inadvertently reduce the legitimacy of your case by failing to follow the prescriptions of your doctor. If you’d like to see another doctor for treatment, you do have the right to do this.

Create a Journal

While it may not be something you want to think about, create a journal that documents your experiences with the doctor. If a hard injury occurs because of the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, your family may be able to use your notes to press charges on your behalf. A journal can also help vent your frustrations about the situation and help you better manage your recovery.

Getting the Help You Need

Medical malpractice is a complicated field, and you need the help of an experienced law firm. Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. are experts in defending victims of medical malpractice, and the company specializes in cosmetic surgery cases. Come find out how legal representation can help you win your case and get compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been harmed, you deserve to be awarded for your pain, suffering, and financial loss.

Cosmetic Surgery and Medical Malpractice

Many people undergo plastic surgery to repair or change something about their physical presence. Trying to return to a youthful appearance, many go under the knife to nip and tuck their aging bodies. As with any surgical procedure, complications or the unexpected can occur. During these surgical interventions, a simple error may cause substantial injury. If victims want to file for medical negligence, they must be able to prove that a medical professional made a mistake during surgery. The error must have caused significant suffering or permanent damage. Unfortunately, not all errors that occur during surgery can be the basis of a malpractice lawsuit. It is a complicated process that must meet specific criteria.

Understanding Cosmetic Surgery

As of 2012, there were 14.6 million cosmetic procedures completed in the United States alone. 286,000 of these proceedings were breast augmentation. Rhinoplasty, or nose reshaping, accounted for 243,000 surgeries. Americans are passionate about turning back the hands of time, and they are willing to pay whatever it takes to accomplish their goal. However, there is a distinct difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery. While they are in the same category, they are not the same types of procedures. Plastic surgery reconstructs something that is damaged or defected. Cosmetic surgery is used to enhance a client’s appearance. The most common types of cosmetic surgeries done today are:

  • Liposuction;
  • Breast Augmentation;
  • Eyelid surgery;
  • Tummy Tuck;
  • Nose Job;
  • Face Lift;
  • Neck Lift;

Medical Malpractice And Cosmetic Surgery

Surgeons are bound by the same medical malpractice laws regarding cosmetic surgery as the ones that perform any other types of procedures. When it comes to law, the kind of surgery makes no difference, especially when it comes to surgical errors. If you want to build a medical malpractice case, you must follow three general elements:

  • A Doctor-Patient Relationship;
  • A Breach in Medical Care;
  • An Injury caused by That Breach;

The doctor-patient relationship is easy to prove, and it is not usually disputed during a courtroom battle. Secondly, a legal team must determine that the medical standard of care was breached, which can be a bit more challenging in some cases. The court wants to determine whether another surgeon would have acted differently while doing the same procedure.

The other doctor’s actions must be valid and show that the outcome would have been different. They point out the errors that occurred on the operating table, and they use witness testimony to determine their validity. The cosmetic field is highly specialized; the attorneys and the victim must find an expert who has experience in the area and has performed this type of surgery before. The witness needs to show how everything occurred to prove that the surgeon was in error. The court discusses the mistakes and what happened as a result.

Consent Forms Cause Trouble In Court

Surgeons always inform their patients of the risks before any surgery. A nurse usually takes time and goes through all the possible complications associated with that particular procedure. No matter what type of surgery clients undergo, there will be risks involved.

Establishing the injury can be rather difficult. When a patient knows the potential dangers and agrees to follow through with the surgery despite its possible outcome, it does not always mean malpractice. Rather, some instances may be present during operation, and the harm may have been unavoidable given the situation at that time.

One thing that clients must keep in mind is that if they do not like the results of the procedure, it is not grounds for medical malpractice. The court considers this an unreasonable base for a lawsuit, and the case will not get very far. Many juries often assume the patient is not happy with the outcome, even if it can be proven that medical malpractice occurred. Some judges are biased in cosmetic surgery cases, which can be a challenge to overcome.

Filing A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The law sets time limits on how long clients have to file a medical malpractice suit. These rules are called statutes of limitations, and these laws vary from state to state. Each state has specific guidelines that must be followed. In many cases, there are procedural requirements to follow through with this type of case.

Some common medical malpractice issues are often the basis for a lawsuit:

  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Complications with Anesthesia
  • Nerve Damage
  • Aesthetic Damage
  • Gross Disfigurements

Having some after effects of surgery is normal. Common side effects include swelling, bruising, and pain. These are not permanent conditions, and they cannot be involved in medical malpractice suits.

Filing A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Many cases require an affidavit from an expert to even consider the motion. Having a medical malpractice attorney is imperative in this type of case. This area of the law is one that needs legal expertise to be successful. Clients need to ensure that their rights are protected, which means they need a strong legal team working on their behalf. Medical malpractice happens regularly, though it can be hard to prove.

Those who have incurred injuries due to medical malpractice must speak with an experienced attorney.  An attorney can take the emotional and financial burden away, and properly and efficiently settle the case.

Malpractice in Cosmetic Surgery

According to Daily Mail, more than 15 million people in the world have plastic surgery each year. More than 20 million plastic surgery establishments exist, and people opt for various or multiple medical procedures. Plastic surgery and cosmetic improvements have become commonplace for celebrities and citizens alike. One person may get plastic surgery to defy the aging process, and another person may get plastic surgery to get rid of an undesired nose.

Some people get plastic surgery because they survive accidents that alter the way they look. They hire specialists to try to reconstruct their faces or bodies. What happens when those surgical procedures are mistaken, and someone suffers disfigurement or an undesirable facial expression? What happens when someone’s plastic surgery procedure causes that person to develop a severe medical condition such as a skin infection? Victims of such surgery may be able to find recourse with a malpractice attorney. All doctors are supposed to adhere to a certain standard when they do their work. Therefore, an injury victim should contact a reliable attorney as quickly as possible.

The Necessity for an Attorney

Cosmetic surgery is a tricky area because it’s a voluntary process. Most patients give cosmetic surgeons their full approval to perform surgical procedures on their faces. Another reason that plastic surgery cases are tricky is that many practitioners inform their patients of the dangers of such methods before they happen. What constitutes malpractice in a cosmetic surgery procedure? How can a victim get compensation for injuries that he or she sustained at the hands of an individual who was supposed to improve his appearance? One can use the basis of other tort laws to examine the validity of a cosmetic surgery injury. In other personal injury cases, the victim must prove that:

  • An injury occurred during or as a cause of the procedure;
  • The defendant was obligated to make sure the victim did not suffer harm or significant damage;
  • A breach of duty caused the accident or incident;
  • Negligence led to that injury;

One can examine the same checklist for a cosmetic surgery suit. However, the victim will need to show how the cosmetic surgery resulted in an injury. Let’s take a cinema example most people know about. The writer of the classic movie “Batman” (1989) approached the dark subject of cosmetic surgery for the Joker’s character. The plastic surgeon in the film was trying to restore his face after he survived a bullet to the facial area and an almost fatal fall into a vat of acid. The surgical procedure was supposed to help, but it ended up giving him a permanent figure that he didn’t want. Similar surgeries do occur in real life, and the victims can receive compensation with an experienced attorney on their side.

Negligence in Performance

Negligence in performance occurs when a cosmetic surgeon does not provide services that he advertises or expresses. If most of the “before and after” pictures show perfect results, but the surgery of the victim goes anything but flawless, the person may have a claim for malpractice. Practice and theory are two different things, and it is important to work with a doctor that validates his procedures, uses high-quality tools and has previous experience in the area.

Negligence in Notification

Negligence in notification occurs when a plastic surgeon does not inform a patient of the possible effects of the surgery he desires. Usually, medical professionals are practically forced to provide such details. However, failure to do so does occur from time to time, and it is considered neglect. The victim and the attorney are responsible for proving that such a mishap occurred.

Percentage of Fault

Percentage of the fault may pertain to a plastic surgery case. The offender may try to say that the victim was partially guilty for the incident. If that happens, the victim may have a settlement deducted by the percentage of fault he or she has in the case.

Compensatory Damages and Pain and Suffering

A medical malpractice attorney will try to get two types of settlements for the victim. The first kind is called compensatory damages, and it covers all the expenses that the victim had to pay to solve or repair an injury. Pain and suffering are additional monetary awards that some people get because the level of neglect that the offending party showed is substantial. A remorseless plastic surgeon that overcharged the client and performed an unstable procedure is a likely candidate for having to pay for pain and suffering.

Steps a Victim Should Take

The first phase a victim should take is to alert the plastic surgeon that caused the injury. The parties may be able to resolve the situation at that time. The victim should gather all documents, communication, and facial pictures that he or she had before the injury occurred. The person should also consult with any eye witnesses who can make statements about the procedure. That may help in determining the level of pain and suffering that the victim endured because of the injury. It can influence the amount of money the victim receives for pain and suffering.

The victim should visit a medical specialist to get a diagnosis for any health problems. The doctor can also write a report about the disfigurement and any neurological restrictions that caused the injury.

Contact an Attorney

The first step in the recovery process is contacting a reliable attorney that has been practicing in the field for years and has the statistics and experience to back their claim up with prospective clients. Our attorneys at Law Offices of Vastola & Associates. are specialists in the malpractice field. They have helped people obtain monetary settlements for their injuries.  If you are a victim of a plastic surgery gone awry, please call and schedule a consultation.