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Medical Malpractice

an infant in the hospital

What is the definition of medical malpractice?

Are all bad outcomes malpractice?

How can an attorney help?

In what settings can malpractice occur?

What are some causes of medical malpractice?

What are some examples of medical malpractice?

What is the definition of medical malpractice?

In most states, a legal claim for medical malpractice arises when a patient is injured by medical care that is not within the accepted standards of medical practice in the same or similar communities.  Medical malpractice is a term used to describe negligence or mistakes made by hospitals, doctors, nurses or other health care providers.  Medical errors occur every day, and sometimes those mistakes cause a wrongful death or permanently injure a patient.

Are all bad outcomes malpractice?

No.  It is an unfortunate fact of life that people grow ill, and not everyone gets better.  Martin & Jones believes that we owe it to our clients and the medical community to have potential claims reviewed by experts who are both impartial and highly qualified.  We ask the best experts from around the nation to tell us whether or not a tragic outcome was related to medical negligence.  Our attorneys have identified highly qualified experts who are willing to review potential malpractice claims and provide impartial opinions.  The firm prides itself on obtaining excellent experts and respecting their opinions.  It is in no one's best interest to file a claim for medical malpractice simply because there has been an unfortunate outcome in a medical setting.

How can an attorney help?

When negligence occurs the injured patient or family is usually not told about the mistake.  An attorney can review medical records with the help of medical experts to determine if the standard of care was not followed.  When medical malpractice injures a patient or causes a wrongful death, the patient and/or family are entitled to recover from the hospital's or doctor's medical malpractice insurance.  Medical malpractice claims are among the most difficult cases to win at trial.  With that in mind, Martin & Jones carefully scrutinizes potential medical negligence claims to ensure that a claim is valid.  If medical experts believe that there is no evidence of medical malpractice, we explain the basis for those opinions to our clients so that they will understand what happened.  Most patients who believe they were injured want to find out how it happened.  On the other hand, if we believe that a client has been injured by medical negligence, we will represents that client  zealoulsly and ethically to obtain compensation and justice.

In what settings can malpractice occur?

Tens of thousands of people die each year due to medical mistakes.  This has become the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice frequently occurs at hospitals in emergency rooms and operating rooms, but malpractice can also arise out of a visit to a doctor's office or even a phone call to a nurse.  Patient safety can be compromised in a variety of ways.  Claims can arise from negligence on the part of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, technicians or home health care personnel.  In hospitals where some of all of a patient's care is delivered by medical students, interns, residents or others in training, medical mistakes are more common than you might expect.

Millions of patients seek treatment in emergency rooms every year.  Mistakes in emergency rooms are not uncommon, though they are seldom talked about or reported to the media.  Patients sometimes wait for several hours, and frequently there are not enough doctors and nurses to treat them all.  Understaffed hospitals and emergency room can cause deadly mistakes.  Emergency room patients are often treated inadequately, and there are many ways for mistakes to happen.  For example, prescription and medication errors are more common that most people expect.  Delayed or incorrect diagnoses are also problems in stressful emergency rooms.  Emergency room malpractice may subject patients to infections.  Frequently, there are problems that arise out of "patient dumping" or confusion over who is actually responsible for treating the patient.

Medical malpractice also occurs at VA hospitals.  Veterans are not barred from pursuing lawsuits again the U. S. government for injuries.  The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and Military Claims Act allow civilians to claim compensation from the government when damage is caused by the negligence of an employee or agency of the government including the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Therefore, veterans who have been victims of malpractice have legal remedies including lawsuits available to them.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a term that describes a group of disorders that affect the brain’s ability to control body movement.  There are several causes of cerebral palsy, but frequently it is caused by injury to the brain before, during, or just after birth.  Cerebral palsy may also be acquired after childbirth by any event that causes damage to the brain.

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Birth Injury

Medical malpractice or medical mistakes made near the time of childbirth can injure the mother. or the baby or both. Babies injured near the time of birth may face life-long physical or mental disabilities. Sometimes the family of an injured baby thinks that the child’s injury is related to a birth defect, and that the child was going to be born with that injury no matter what anyone did. But frequently babies are injured by a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery. This lack of oxygen is usually preventable. A preventable injury may be medical malpractice.

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Brain Damage

An injury to the brain is the most devastating kind of injury and can cause life-long disability. If a patient’s brain damage is the result of medical malpractice, the patient is entitled to recover from the negligent hospital, doctors, nurses, or other health care providers and their insurance companies.

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Surgery or Anesthesia Error

Thousands of patients suffer injuries or complications from surgical or anesthesia errors every year. Unfortunately, errors in the operating room are more common than many would like to believe.

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Emergency Room Error

Tens of thousands of people die each year due to medical malpractice. This has become the third leading cause of death in the United States. Especially in emergency rooms, malpractice occurs frequently, and many patients are treated inadequately. In emergency rooms, patients sometimes wait for several hours, and frequently there are not enough doctors and nurses to treat them all.

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Medication Error

Medication errors are among the most common medical errors, harming over one million people every year. Medication errors can kill or permanently injure patients. Those patients and their families are entitled to recover from the negligent hospital, doctor, nurses or other healthcare providers and their insurance companies.

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Delayed or Missed Diagnosis

Delays in diagnosis can directly impact a patient’s chance of recovery and survival. The earlier an illness is correctly diagnosed and treated, the better chance the patient has at recovery and survival. The failure to diagnose health issues early can lead to more serious complications of the illness or even death.

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Settlements/Verdicts

BOWEL INJURY DURING LAPAROSCOPIC GALLBLADDER SURGERY LEADS TO $1.15 MILLION RECOVERY


After undergoing routine surgery to remove her gallbladder by laparoscopic surgery, our client continued to be ill.  Because of nausea and vomiting she returned to the hospital, where she was found to have sepsis (a systemic infection).

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ICU MONITORS TURNED OFF, UNTREATED RESPIRATORY ARREST AND DEATH; $1.65 MILLION PAYMENT TO FAMILY

A 69-year-old patient was in an intensive care unit and had already experienced one respiratory arrest, which was quickly treated.  Nevertheless, the alarm on her vital sign monitor had been turned down.

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$8.7 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR YOUNG MOM WHO SUFFERED BRAIN DAMAGE AFTER DELIVERING HEALTHY BABY

A healthy, 24-year-old woman went into a hospital to deliver her first child, after a normal pregnancy.  The baby, a little boy, was successfully delivered and the mother was taken to recovery.  The young woman never regained consciousness and was left with a profound brain damage and in a semi-comatose state.

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MENINGITIS MISSED IN ER AND BY PEDIATRICIAN RESULTS IN $7.8 MILLION SETTLEMENT

Martin & Jones retained more than 20 of the foremost experts in pediatric infectious disease, neurology, radiology, nephrology, and emergency medicine to assist with the case of a little girl who suffered profound brain damage due to meningitis which was undiagnosed, even though her mother repeatedly took her to the emergency room and her pediatrician.

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EPIDURAL CATHETER LEFT PATIENT PARALYZED; CLAIM SETTLES FOR $1.2 MILLION

A 68-year-old female became paralyzed when her anesthesiologist and nursing staff failed to recognize and timely treat arachnoiditis from an epidural catheter after surgery.

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