Helping People in Durham Who are Suffering Due to Medical Malpractice
We place a tremendous amount of trust in our medical professionals, sometimes we even trust them with their lives. Even though most medical providers have years of training and care deeply about their patients, mistakes can still happen. These mistakes can leave you feeling powerless – you need to focus on your recovery and your health doesn’t allow you to sort out what went wrong. Fortunately, the attorneys at Martin & Jones can help, and a Durham medical malpractice attorney is just a phone call away.
The Standard of Care for Healthcare Professionals
Medical malpractice cases are typically the result of negligence on the part of an individual medical provider or the hospital or other institution. However, determining negligence in the context of a medical malpractice case is unusually difficult. The fact that there were complications or the treatment was unsuccessful doesn’t necessarily mean that you are the victim of malpractice. Even if you are certain that your treatment did not go as promised, you have to prove your case.
The critical issue in medical malpractice is determining whether the doctor or hospital provided treatment that did not meet the standard of care. The standard of care is arguably unique to each case. The question is whether they failed to provide treatment according to the standard that most other medical professionals with the same level of expertise and training in the same case or similar case. Most non-lawyers are unable to make this determination, but an experienced Durham medical malpractice lawyer can help.
When Medical Malpractice Can Occur
When you discuss medical malpractice, most people immediately think of surgical errors or cases that result in death. However, medical malpractice can occur at almost any point during your treatment:
- Diagnosis errors – either an incorrect diagnosis or a delayed diagnosis
- Medication errors – prescribing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or prescribing a medication that has an adverse effect when combined with a medication you are already taking
- Anesthetic errors – Providing the wrong anesthetic or the wrong dose
- Birth injuries – injuries sustained to the baby or the mother during the birthing process
- Emergency room errors – Errors or inadequate treatment that occurs in the emergency room
The reality is that there are several points at which malpractice can occur. If you suspect that you are suffering as a result of medical malpractice, a Durham medical malpractice attorney can discuss your case with you and determine whether you have a claim.
About Informed Consent in Healthcare Facilities
Generally speaking, there are very few situations where a recommended medical treatment comes with a guaranteed outcome. Complications, side effects, and other potential risks are always possible. However, doctors and hospitals are obligated to disclose any known potential side effects or complications. If they fail to do so and you are injured, you may have a medical malpractice claim.
This is why you are required to sign various consent forms before receiving treatment – your doctor must obtain your informed consent. In a nutshell, those forms are an acknowledgment that you are aware of the risks associated with your treatment. Your doctor or other staff are supposed to provide you with information regarding these risks before having you sign the forms. You may have a claim for medical malpractice if they failed to provide this information, did not provide it in some meaningful way, or misrepresented information regarding the risks.
As a result, the fact that you signed the consent forms does not mean that you don’t have a claim. Informed consent is a rebuttable presumption, which means that you can still pursue a claim if you can prove that the disclosure was inadequate in some material way. However, this is not easy, as it requires knowledge of the law and the rules of evidence. A knowledgeable Durham medical malpractice attorney will know how to overcome the fact that you signed the consent forms.
Damages Your Durham Medical Malpractice Lawyer Will Pursue
If your claim is successful, you could receive money for the following:
- Any medical expenses incurred in obtaining the treatment that caused the injury;
- Any medical expenses required to correct the injury;
- Your lost income; and
- Your pain and suffering.
If you’ve been disabled as a result of medical malpractice, then you may be able to recover additional damages. A Durham medical malpractice attorney can review your case and provide an estimate of what it may be worth.
North Carolina Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Every type of personal injury case is subject to what is referred to as a “statute of limitations.” This is a deadline imposed by law by which you must file suit. If you do not file your lawsuit within that time period, you will lose all of your rights. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years from the date of your injury.
However, the statute of limitations is more complicated for medical malpractice cases. This is because your injury isn’t always immediately apparent. As a result, you may be able to file a lawsuit up to four years from the date you received treatment. If the doctor left a foreign object inside of you during surgery, you have up to one year from the date you discovered the object but no more than 10 years from the date of your surgery.
Do not assume that you have plenty of time. The statute of limitations presents many complicated legal issues in a medical malpractice case. If you suspect that you are the victim of medical malpractice, you should speak with a Durham medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Speak with a Durham Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
You don’t have to face your malpractice claim alone. Founded in 1982, we’ve helped thousands of people recover the compensation they need to rebuild their life. We work with our clients every step of the way to help them build a better future. To schedule a free consultation with a Durham medical malpractice attorney, contact us today at 800-662-1234.