Caring Gadsden Medical Malpractice Attorneys
We fight for the rights of injured Alabama patients
We put our trust in the hands of our medical professionals when we seek help for medical symptoms, conditions and emergencies. When we’re sick, we expect them to help us get better. If we end up worse than when we started, it’s easy to feel betrayed. Unfortunately, this happens to many people every year.
The Gadsden medical malpractice attorneys at Mezrano Law Firm are experienced in these types of cases. We have the strategies it takes for the complexities of a medical malpractice case. Let us work to ensure you’re compensated for your injuries and the negligent parties are held responsible for their actions. Talk to us today about how we can help you heal.
What is medical malpractice?
A Johns Hopkins University study estimated that more than 250,000 deaths per year in the United States are due to medical negligence – making medical errors and malpractice the third leading cause of death in the country. And, even more patients suffer serious to permanent injury due to medical negligence.
In the eyes of the law, medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other type of medical professional causes a patient personal injury, whether through a negligent act or a failure to properly act. Examples of medical negligence can be errors in diagnosis, treatment, management of an illness or condition, improper aftercare, mistakes during a procedure or failure to diagnose.
Additionally, this act (or failure to act) must violate the standard of care another reasonable medical professional would have taken under similar circumstances. To show that malpractice occurred, there must be a direct link between this negligence and the patient’s injury. Finally, the injury must have resulted in damages or losses to the patient – like pain, lost income or disability.
More concrete examples of medical malpractice include:
- Anesthesia errors. Several complications can arise during anesthesia administration, including using too much or too little, delayed delivery or using the wrong kind. This can cause overdose, traumatic pain, or allergic reaction.
- Doctors under the influence. There is absolutely no excuse to practice medicine or perform surgery while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Medical professionals who do this even once put dozens of patients at risk.
- Drug prescription errors. A patient can suffer serious or fatal injury if given the wrong or incorrect dose of medication, or the wrong drug altogether. This can happen when a pharmacist or nurse misreads labels or prescriptions.
- Misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose. The term misdiagnosis can mean an incorrect, missed or delayed diagnosis, causing delayed treatment. These types of claims typically fall under the violation of standard of care we talked about earlier.
- Misreading or ignoring test results. Our doctors should have a wealth of information to diagnose our condition, like X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. If they misinterpret or disregard these valuable test results, patients’ conditions can go untreated or misdiagnosed.
- Premature hospital discharge. When people recovering from surgery or pregnancy are discharged too early, they can suffer complications involving emergency procedures. Sometimes a simple procedure can turn into a severe injury due to another’s negligence.
- Surgical errors. Surgical errors can encompass anything from a surgeon committing a mistake during an operation like leaving an instrument in the body and causing an infection, to a surgeon performing unnecessary surgeries on their patients, causing complications.
All medical personnel – doctors, surgeons, nurses, obstetricians, pharmacists and other professionals – must be held accountable when they harm patients due to carelessness or recklessness.
Is my injury the result of medical malpractice?
Often, there can be confusion about what does and doesn’t constitute medical malpractice. Here are a couple examples of unfortunate medical outcomes, but are not malpractice:
- If you receive specific instructions about follow-up care after a procedure, don’t follow it and develop an infection, you likely will not have a medical malpractice case.
- If your doctor treated your condition with your informed consent about the procedure, but your condition didn’t improve, you likely don’t have a malpractice case.
- If you undergo minor elective surgery that proceeds normally but you’re unhappy with the outcome, it’s unlikely malpractice occurred.
It may appear your doctor failed you, but they may not necessarily have acted negligently. However, in any case where you feel your medical professional was careless, it’s always a good idea to consult with a skilled malpractice attorney for guidance.
Gadsden area hospitals and medical malpractice risks
As a potential patient in the area, you may wonder if the local hospitals are safe. The Leapfrog Group, a patient safety advocate organization, ranks hospital safety around the country, grading hospitals on issues including safety records, surgical errors, staff and infection rates.
A search for Gadsden area hospitals includes the following information:
- Gadsden Regional Medical Center, Gadsden, AL: Grade C
- Riverview Regional Medical Center, Gadsden, AL: Grade A
- Marshall Medical Care South, Boaz, AL: Grade C
What is informed consent?
Patients have certain rights about their medications, when undergoing surgery or any medical treatment and procedure. You have the right to know what to expect from your procedure, how it should proceed, how your medication is supposed to work and any side effects to expect.
Medical professionals must provide certain information to their patients so they can make clear and informed decisions about their health. This information should include:
- Proper diagnosis of condition or injury
- Recommended course of treatment
- Likely prognosis if patient forgoes procedure or treatment
- Available alternatives, along with comparable risks and benefits
This information allows the patient to make an informed decision, which is known as informed consent.
Dedicated Gadsden medical malpractice attorneys
The experienced legal team at Mezrano Law Firm has been representing the rights of injured patients in Gadsden for decades. If you put your trust in the hands of medical professionals and they caused you harm, we will hold them accountable. Let us help. Call us today at 205-206-6300 or fill out our contact form to set up a consultation at our Gadsden office.