What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is an act or omission by a health care provider in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or wrongful death to the patient. A study from Johns Hopkins found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, killing up to 210,000 – 440,000 people each year.
What to Know Before you File a Lawsuit
Medical malpractice can have serious consequences for those who survive. It is typical to see long-term health damage that may require a lifetime of care due to medical malpractice. Our team of attorneys is prepared to fight and help you or your loved one get the best care and treatment he or she deserves.
Many law firms hesitate to take on the challenges involved in a medical malpractice case, because these cases are costly and require in-depth medical and legal knowledge to effectively litigate. To file a lawsuit, you must collect appropriate medical records and submit legal papers. At McIntyre Law, we have the resources and experience needed to take on medical doctors’ insurance companies and the experts they use to try to avoid liability when medical negligence has occurred. Our attorneys have a proven history of effectively litigating medical malpractice cases and are here to help you and your loved ones.
What is a contingency fee?
When a lawyer works on a “contingency fee” basis, they’re agreeing to accept a fixed percentage of any monetary rewards from your lawsuit to cover their legal fees. If there are no rewards from your medical malpractice case, you don’t pay the lawyer. We get paid if, and only if, you do.
The Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Once a medical error occurs, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations on your medical malpractice lawsuit depends on the state where you live, and your specific situation. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you figure out if you’re eligible.
Meet our Medical Malpractice Attorneys
When you work with McIntyre Law, you’re getting an experienced team of law professionals who want to make sure you’re equally represented in your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
At McIntyre Law, we specialize in helping suffering victims get the compensation they deserve from the negligence of medical professionals. There are several types of medical malpractice cases we litigate often including:
There are unfortunate circumstances where a doctor’s negligence can cause a mother, her infant or both to suffer serious injury during the pregnancy or birth.
Patients who’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as those who live with and care for them may need long-term assistance with continuing care and help earning a living.
Other Types of Medical Malpractice
1. Surgical Errors
A sedated patient undergoing surgery is at his or her most vulnerable state. When you have a surgical procedure performed, you have the expectation to be treated with the utmost care and to recover from your surgery without complications. While every surgery may carry with it inherent risks, surgical malpractice is not an acceptable risk. Contrary to what insurance companies would like you to believe, there are standards in surgery that are there to protect the patients and those standards must be adhered to by medical professionals.
Typically, surgical errors resulting in Oklahoma medical malpractice cases happen when your health care professional fails to provide you with the appropriate standard of care and makes errors prior to, during, or after your surgery. A surgical error is a type of medical malpractice that can have terrible, even deadly, results. Surgical errors can include:
- Wrong incisions
- Wrong site surgery
- Equipment left inside the body
- Anesthesia complications
- Nerve damage
- Prolonged surgery
- Organ damage
- Non-sterile equipment
2. Doctor Impairment Injuries
Sadly there are situations where medical professionals have attempted to care for patients while impaired by alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs. The combination of doctor impairment and medical treatment is unjustifiable and usually has disastrous results for the patient. Our Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyers are experienced in handling these claims and will fight for accountability with the medical professionals and their employers.
3. Emergency Room Errors
Oklahoma emergency room doctors generally provide excellent care but there are those occasions where medical errors occur. These errors are preventable and are usually the result of the chronic staff shortages that plague hospital emergency rooms. However, staff shortages are not an excuse for neglect. The hospital emergency room is not a place for mistakes, and when emergency room doctors or nurses drop the ball, the results can be catastrophic.
Some of the most common types of emergency room errors are:
- failure to fully evaluate or treat a patient’s condition
- late or wrong diagnosis
- faulty laboratory tests
- contaminated blood transfusions
- prescribing incorrect medication or incorrect dosage
- and failure to monitor a patient.
4. Diagnosis Errors
A study published in the October 2006 edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes that missed or delayed diagnoses may comprise nearly 60% of all medical malpractice claims. The study showed that errors in diagnosis occur not only in hospitals, but in other medical settings as well. If you or a loved one has fallen prey to a diagnosis error, you understand the grave and serious impact these errors have on you or your loved ones. These errors often lead to death or permanent harm to a patient who could have recovered but for the diagnosis error.
There are several types of diagnosis errors that may occur. Diagnosis errors include:
- delayed diagnosis,
- and complete failure to diagnose a medical condition.
5. Anesthesia Error
Complications caused by anesthesia are among the normal risks of surgery, but anesthesia error is preventable and, like surgical error, is not an acceptable risk. When anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are negligent, the consequences are usually serious and sometimes deadly. Anesthesiologists play an important role in making sure the patient is medically stable and fit for non-emergency surgery and stable throughout emergency surgery. Anesthesia error can lead to:
- allergic reaction
- pain and awareness during surgery
- brain injury,
- and much more.
6. Medication Errors
Medication errors are one of the most preventable areas of Oklahoma’s medical malpractice cases. According to studies, drug overdoses or wrong medications cause an estimated 7,000 deaths a year. These mistakes are preventable. Medication errors can leave patients permanently disabled or can have results ranging in severity from minor to fatal. The mistake may be made when the drug is prescribed or in the administration of a medication. Many errors occur when medical professionals simply fail to pay attention to the patients past medical history, administer the wrong dosage or combine toxic and deadly combination of drugs. Poor packaging and labeling, inadequate policies and procedures by medical facilities, and failure to consider a patient’s medical history are just some of the causes of medication errors.
What compensation can I get from a medical malpractice lawsuit?
If you or a family member is the victim of medical malpractice, the courts will award compensation based on the unique experience and life situation of the victim. Types of compensation include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Lost and future wages
What to expect from filing a medical malpractice case in Oklahoma
An Oklahoma medical malpractice attorney will likely ask you to tell him exactly what happened, from your first doctor’s visit until your most recent contact with him or her. Ultimately, it could be up to a jury to determine whether the physician followed standard medical practice or if your treatment was below the accepted standard of care.
Expert testimony regarding the standard of care will be presented to the jury to contrast with the care that was actually provided so that the jury can determine whether the doctor was within the acceptable realm. Generally, a specialist will be held to a higher standard of care than a generalist. In other words, a heart surgeon would be expected to treat a heart ailment more specifically and knowledgeably than a non-specialist.
When you consult an attorney regarding a medical malpractice claim, be prepared to answer the following questions:
- What were the circumstances surrounding your illness or injury?
- What was your physician’s method of treatment?
- What information did your doctor provide about the treatment, possible side effects, long-term effects, etc.?
- Did you follow the doctor’s instructions?
- What happened to you as a result of the treatment?
Be aware, though, that a medical result can never be guaranteed. Sometimes, complications occur and a surgery or procedure doesn’t yield the desired result. In order to have an Oklahoma medical malpractice case, you would have to prove that the doctor deviated from the appropriate standard of care during the course of your treatment.
How do I know if I have a claim?
Experiencing medical malpractice in Oklahoma can be a scary concept. For one thing, you could be dealing with an ailment that requires ongoing treatment. Second, you might be hesitant to raise the question of medical negligence with your physician. Especially if it’s a physician whom you trust and who you’ve been seeing for many years, it could seem implausible that malpractice could have occurred, or even embarrassing to inquire about.
However, if you or a loved one has suffered or continues to suffer because of a medical provider’s mistakes, you’re entitled to compensation. The experienced Oklahoma medical malpractice attorneys at McIntyre Law can help you to get it.