Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

Uneccesary surgery medical malpractice claimsHaving surgery can be frightening and stressful, but learning that you endured a painful, expensive, and unnecessary procedure can be even more distressing. Unfortunately, unnecessary surgery is a shockingly common type of medical malpractice.

While not every instance of an unnecessary surgical procedure is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, if your surgeon or another member of your surgical team was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation. Here’s what you should know.

After undergoing an unneeded surgery, victims often wonder how something like this could happen. Some of the most common negligence-related reasons unnecessary operations are performed include:

malpractice due to diagnostic errorsNot only are diagnostic errors one of the most prevalent types of medical malpractice, but they’re also one of the most frequent reasons for malpractice settlements and financial awards. Medical errors affect an estimated 12 million Americans each year, according to the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, and can be extremely harmful or even deadly for victims.

Some of the most common diagnosis-related medical errors include:

  • Missed diagnosis. The doctor gives a patient a clean bill of health, failing to diagnose a serious illness or medical condition.

pap smear errors and medical malpracticePap smears are an essential part of women’s reproductive healthcare. Using cells collected from the cervix, these gynecological tests screen for abnormalities that could indicate cervical cancer and are often combined with a test to detect the cancer-causing human papillomavirus.

Doctors recommend that women between the ages of 21 and 65 have a pap smear, also known as a pap test, every three years.

With the possibility for a life-shattering cancer diagnosis on the line, it’s vital for medical professionals to

Surgeons, dentists, general practitioners, specialists, and other medical professionals are required to provide patients with a quality standard of care. Though not all poor health outcomes are the result of providers deviating from an accepted standard of care, many are.

In fact, a recent study from Johns Hopkins found that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer.

What is a medical malpractice claim?In the event of a poor outcome, doctors and other medical personnel are judged based on what a competent medical professional with a comparable background would have done in similar circumstances. If providers with related training and experience wouldn’t have made the same mistake in this situation, the patient—or surviving family members—may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

When a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is sustained, it can be difficult or impossible for the victim to fully recover. The function of the brain can be permanently affected and victims can be left cognitively impaired, suffering from memory loss or mood swings, and coping with a whole host of other serious health issues. Unfortunately, in the event that the brain injury victim is a child, the long-term effects could be even worse because the developing brain is hurt. atlanta traumatic brain injury Van Sant Law

A child who sustains a traumatic brain injury needs extensive medical intervention. Unfortunately, a recent study showed that money affects the likelihood of a child getting appropriate care. Children are much less likely to receive the necessary rehabilitation if they come from poor families and/or if they come from families where English is not spoken as a first language.

In the event that a child was hurt by someone else through negligence or intentional wrongdoing, money should never be a barrier to a child getting appropriate care. An Atlanta traumatic brain injury lawyer should be consulted to provide help to the family when a child has sustained a brain injury so the family may pursue a claim for full compensation.

This past July, a previously-respected doctor specializing in the treatment of cancer was sentenced to 45-years in prison. The physician was given this sentence because of misdiagnosing and mistreating patients. Misdiagnosis is one of the most common errors made by physicians and is a leading cause of medical malpractice claims. In this particular case, the misdiagnosis was criminal, because it was done on purpose to enrich the physician.

Most medical mistakes are negligent, but not necessarily a violation of the law. While no criminal charges are usually filed against a doctor who makes a careless error, victims affected by the doctor's negligence can move forward with a claim for compensation in a civil lawsuit. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can assist plaintiffs in using the tort laws and civil court system to get their own version of justice by getting the compensation they need for injuries resulting from medical negligence.

Medical Negligence in Atlanta Can Lead to Civil Lawsuits & Sometimes Criminal Cases

Our Atlanta injury lawyers know that it is vital to hire the right kind of attorney with solid experience when dealing with personal injury cases. So we were interested to see a recent decision by the Georgia Supreme Court holding that a plaintiff in a legal malpractice action may not present expert testimony that he or she would have won the underlying lawsuit but for the lawyer’s errors. The case, Leibel v. Johnson, clarifies that in legal malpractice cases, expert testimony is only allowed for proving standard of care and breach of duty, not proximate cause. Justice Harold Melton explained that this is due to the fact that it is the jury’s role to decide on its own whether the plaintiff would have won the underlying case but for the attorney’s negligent representation.

The underlying case was a gender and age discrimination case. Steven Leibel represented plaintiff Dr. Mary Johnson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, against Scottish Rite Hospital. The suit for malpractice claimed that Mr. Leibel failed to introduce evidence that would have shown there were issues of fact for a jury to decide in the discrimination action. In the malpractice case, Dr. Johnson called a legal expert, Peter Spanos, who testified that certain evidence “tipped the balanceof the underlying discrimination case in Dr. Johnson’s favor. The trial jury awarded Dr. Johnson $2 million. The trial court granted Mr. Leibel a new trial, but the appeals court reversed and upheld the $2 million jury award. The Court of Appeals held that the testimony was admissible due to the “legal complexitiesof her discrimination case and was useful when a nonlawyer could not competently determine whether the negligence of the defendant lawyer proximately caused the plaintiff’s damages.

The Supreme Court of Georgia reversed, with Justice Melton saying “the second jury in the malpractice case is not deciding what the first jury would have done in the underlying case had the attorney not been negligent, but only what a reasonable jury would have done had the underlying case been tried without the attorney negligence alleged by the plaintiff.The jury in the malpractice action needs to determine whether the plaintiff has a winning case, in other words, not whether some prior jury may or may not have believed the plaintiff had a winning case. In so holding, it disagreed with the appellate ruling concluding jurors could not resolve this issue without legal knowledge. Justice Melton wrote that it is inappropriate for the second jury to determine what the first jury would have done, but instead needs to decide the case on the merits.

A patient who is considering undergoing a surgical procedure at a particular hospital, or considering having a procedure done by a certain physician, probably wants to know if the doctor or hospital has made any serious mistakes. Hospitals and care providers, on the other hand, have a vested interest in keeping their errors secret so patients still choose them for medial procedures.

Throughout most of the United States, hospitals and physicians are able to buy the silence of many patients who are harmed by serious medical errors. 9 Investigates looked at the practice of confidential settlements in which hospitals pay out millions of dollars to prevent patients from becoming aware of frequent mistakes and substantial risks to patient health.

Atlanta Medical Malpractice Cases Kept Secret Due to Confidentiality Clauses

When you visit the doctor, you expect that your doctor will conduct an exam, listen to you on the symptoms you are having, and help you to get a broader picture of your health status. A visit to the doctor can be especially important when something may be wrong so you can get the help that you need to treat the problem. Unfortunately, doctors don't always diagnose you properly and sometimes they may miss major medical problems entirely.

When a doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition, this failure can have a serious impact on your health. In many cases, your condition may become worse by becoming more painful and/or more expensive or difficult to treat. In other cases, your condition may become life threatening or fatal as a result of your doctor's failure.

When a medical professional lets you down by failing to diagnose a medical problem, you may have legal recourse. Delayed diagnosis is a form of medical malpractice and an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can assist you in understanding your legal rights and any recourse you may have available to you.

Post-operation complications can happen for many reasons. However, many complications are caused by surgical errors or by inadequate post-procedure follow-up care. Patients should be aware that the majority of complications following common surgical procedures occur among patients who were treated by a small group of care providers. This suggests that there are a small number of doctors who are not doing a very good job and who are causing the bulk of harm to patients.

If you are one of the patients who experiences post-surgical problems, you need to determine if your health issues are simply bad luck or if you were the victim of a surgical error. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can help you to obtain your medical records after your surgery and can help you to find an independent medical expert to review them. If a problem during your procedure or follow-up care is identified, we can help you to pursue a claim against the doctor, hospital, or other care providers whose actions caused you damage.

Comparing Surgical Rates Among Atlanta Physicians

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