Healthcare workers in Michigan are experts in their field. They study for years, receiving specialized training in every system in the body and are rigorously evaluated by medical boards. But, like anyone in any field, they occasionally make mistakes. When accidents occur in a medical setting and a patient is injured, it is vitally important that the victim seek legal counsel in order to make a recovery for medical malpractice (med mal).
Some of the biggest medical malpractice cases in Michigan have passed through our network of Michigan medical malpractice lawyers. In every case, we attempt to help clients recover as much compensation for pain and suffering as possible as they heal from their injuries, regardless of the circumstances.
In the unfortunate event that the victim is deceased, we work with family members and other survivors on behalf of a lost loved one.
What Is medical malpractice?
Not every medical procedure is successful, but there is a difference between an accident and malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured by a healthcare worker or facility that behaves negligently by an action, failure to act or omission. This behavior reflects a failure to exercise adequate care, skill or diligence and also deviates from the standard of practice that is deemed acceptable.
Injury, disability or death caused by the error of doctors, nurses, therapists, dentists, pharmacists and others can be grounds for a Michigan medical malpractice case.
Malpractice Case types
Although medical malpractice can take many forms, certain types of cases occur most frequently in Michigan and elsewhere.
In Michigan, and throughout the United States, "wrong-site surgery" is surprisingly common. This is when doctors operate on the wrong side of patient's body, on the wrong body part, or even perform surgery intended for another person.
Permanent damage can result from such a mistake and wrong-site surgery often opens the door for a medical malpractice case to be filed against the surgeon, surgical center and/or hospital.
Retained surgical instruments
Another common surgical error is objects left behind. This occurs when a patient is on the operating table and the surgeon, other doctor or nurse loses track of equipment, such as scissors. The patient is then sewn up with the foreign object inside a bodily cavity.
Perhaps the most common material left behind is bandages or gauze, which can be dangerous and even lethal if undetected.
Injury in childbirth
Childbirth is a beautiful experience, but it also carries medical risk. Newborns and even their mothers can experience physical injuries or cognitive damage during the process of labor.
In the hours immediately after birth, it is not uncommon for children to show strange marks on their bodies or discoloration, although this typically disappears over time. Parents should inform hospital workers of the abnormalities and keep careful notes if improper care occurs.
Birth injuries to be aware of include:
- Brain Damage from Oxygen Deprivation or Restricted Blood Flow
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Intellectual Disability or Mental Retardation
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brachial Plexus Injury, Erb's Palsy or Klumpike's Palsy
- Spina Bifida
- Wrongful Death of Mother
- Wrongful Death of Child
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
- Folic Acid Disorder
Prescription drug errors
Once a patient leaves a doctor's office, medical malpractice can still occur in the form of prescription drugs. This can occur when the patient is given the wrong medication, an improper dosage or even incorrect instructions.
In some cases, the malpractice can occur with a pharmacist, such as Walgreen's or CVS, rather than with the prescribing physician. An overdose or drug reaction can cause death and other serious side-effects.
Gathering Your Medical records
Every medical malpractice case requires in-depth investigation and information-gathering, regardless of how blatant the error was. Proving a medical malpractice claim is never easy.
The most vital evidence in any case is medical records. A qualified Michigan medical malpractice attorney will begin by pulling all relevant medical records from doctors and hospitals where the patient has received care. These documents, along with statements from doctors and nurses will create a paper trail connecting treatment to injuries, illness, or death.
Medical malpractice cases must be built slowly. But our clients have time on their side because we can front expenses as we conduct our investigation and assemble the facts.
Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform
Medical malpractice includes a wide scope of errors and outcomes. The likelihood of a successful case has also been altered in recent years by tort reform. There is little margin for error because medical malpractice cases receive intense scrutiny from the media.
Many victims of medical malpractice are often reluctant to come forward. They sometimes feel embarrassed about their experience or are wary of criticizing a well-known doctor -- and the larger medical community -- in public.
But the truth is, victims of medical malpractice perform a public good by speaking up. They ensure that hospitals, doctors and nurses are held accountable for improper care, and that future patients receive the correct diagnosis and treatment plan. A medical malpractice suit might just save a life.
No consultation fee
All potential clients receive our Zero Fee Guarantee. That means that you can speak with one of our experienced St Joseph med mal attorneys at no cost. In fact, clients never pay until a med mal recovery is made on their behalf.
Call 1-800-253-5537 now for a free consultation, or use our confidential contact form to submit your information in writing.