Florence Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Fighting for the rights of patients in Alabama
When we seek out care for medical issues, conditions and emergencies, we expect to receive the best treatment possible in our area. And we certainly don’t expect to leave a doctor’s office or hospital in worse condition than we came. However, this happens to unfortunate patients more than we think.
A 2016 study by Johns Hopkins University calculated that more than 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are due to medical negligence. This makes medical malpractice and errors the third leading cause of death in the country. Even more Americans suffer serious or life-altering injuries due to preventable medical errors. It’s crucial that doctors, nurses, obstetricians, surgeons and other medical professionals are held responsible when they harm their patients because of their own negligence or carelessness.
At Mezrano Law Firm, our Florence medical malpractice attorneys are well versed in the complexities and details around these types of cases. Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, and we want to both ensure you’re compensated for your injuries and that the guilty parties are held completely accountable. Feel free to contact us today about how we can help you.
Medical malpractice in Florence
Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other medical professional causes personal injury to a patient through a negligent act or a failure to act. Negligence can be errors in diagnosis, treatment, management of a condition, aftercare or mistakes during a procedure.
And, this act or failure to act must violate the standard care that other reasonable medical professionals would take under the same circumstances. To prove malpractice occurred, there must be a direct relationship between that negligence and the patient’s injury. Finally, the injury must have resulted in damages to the patient, such as pain, disability, lost income or other damages and losses.
Other examples of medical malpractice might include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to take adequate medical history
- Medication errors
- Unnecessary surgery
What is and is not medical malpractice
Sometimes there can be misconceptions about what constitutes medical malpractice. Following are a few examples that are not malpractice. Your surgeon performs elective surgery with no complications, but you’re not pleased with the outcome. Or, your doctor treated your condition but it didn’t improve, or you didn’t respond to the treatment.
In all of these examples, it may appear that your doctor failed you, but this is not necessarily malpractice or negligence. However, consulting with a skilled malpractice lawyer can give you a clear understanding of your particular situation.
Medical malpractice risks at Florence area hospitals
You might wonder if the major hospitals in your area are safe. A patient safety advocate organization called The Leapfrog Group developed a searchable tool called Hospital Safety Grade that ranks hospital safety around the country. The tool grades hospitals based on issues like hospital-acquired infection rates, safety records, surgical errors and their doctors, nurses and staff.
The search for Florence area hospitals brings up the following:
- Helen Keller Hospital, Sheffield, AL: Grade C
- Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Lawrenceburg, TN: Grade A
- Athens-Limestone Hospital, Athens, AL: Grade C
Other local hospitals include:
Common medical malpractice claims
Because every patient is different, every medical negligence claim is different. However, our attorneys do tend to see many of common themes with medical malpractice claims, including:
- Anesthesia errors. Anesthesia can cause serious injury when administered improperly. Too much can cause an overdose and too little can cause a patient to experience what’s called “anesthesia awareness,” which can be traumatic and painful. Improper intubation can also cause injury.
- Doctors under the influence. Even medical professionals aren’t immune to the problems of drug and alcohol addiction. But that is no excuse to practice medicine while impaired. Our attorneys can help if a doctor injured you while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Medication errors. Another common mistake, medication errors are a harmful type of malpractice. Improper dosing, unreadable prescriptions, pharmacy mistakes can all lead to allergic reactions, accidental overdoses or medicinal interactions. Overprescribing of painkillers may also be considered malpractice.
- Misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose. If your doctor fails to diagnose you properly, or misses your diagnosis completely, they are delaying the treatment you need to get well. And for some people, that’s a literal difference between life and death.
- Surgical errors or unnecessary surgery. Even though all surgery comes with inherent risks, those risks increase when a patient undergoes unnecessary procedures. And, if you’re injured during surgery, changes are you’ll have to undergo further surgery to repair the damage.
What is informed consent?
As a patient, you have the right to know exactly how your procedure is supposed to happen, or how your medication is supposed to work, and what kinds of side effects you should expect. In Alabama, medical professionals must provide certain information to their patients so they can make informed decisions about whether or not they want to agree to treatment.
This information should include:
- Diagnosis of the medical condition
- Recommended course of treatment
- Likely prognosis if the patient forgoes the procedure
- Available alternative treatments with comparable risks and benefits
With this information, a patient can make an informed decision about their procedure – informed consent.
Florence medical malpractice attorneys protecting your rights
The skilled and experienced malpractice lawyers at Mezrano Law Firm have been fighting for the rights of injured patients in Florence for decades. If you or a loved one has suffered harm and loss due to negligent doctors and medical professionals, let us help. Call us today at 205-206-6300 or fill out our contact form to set up a consultation at our Florence office.