Overview of Medical Malpractice Cases

medical malpractice

When we need medical care, we trust in doctors and other medical professionals, as well as in the providers that employ them. It’s understood that not all medical procedures go perfectly, and not everyone who is ill or injured recovers. But it’s also understood that medical providers are required to deliver a standard of care and that when they fail to do so they should be held accountable.

If you or a loved one of yours has been harmed while under medical care, you have a right to question it, and to find out what happened and why. If the evidence indicates negligence or that a preventable medical error has occurred, you deserve financial restitution for your losses. Stern Law can help you get the answers and accountability that will help to ease your mind at a trying time.

We Hold Negligent Medical Providers Accountable for Mistakes

Stern Law, PLLC, works with individuals and families whose lives have been torn by another person’s or entity’s negligence, such as in medical malpractice cases. We have the resources required of medical malpractice cases, which are complex and time consuming. We also have the dedication necessary to pursue daunting cases on behalf of injured patients and grieving families.

You do not have to accept that terrible things sometimes happen and there’s nothing you can do about it. Stern Law can do something about it. We can help you fight back. We are committed to providing information and resources to people who have been harmed by medical care they placed their trust in. We can help you identify your best options and provide you with the legal advice and ammunition you need to fight back. We stand up for people like you.

Was Your Bad Medical Outcome Actually Malpractice?

When we describe a case as medical malpractice, we mean a health care provider has injured or caused the death of a patient by failing to act in accordance with a reasonable standard of medical care. By reasonable standard of care, we mean what a reasonably careful provider would have done had they faced the same or similar circumstances.

There is an element of risk with any medical procedure, and a positive outcome cannot ever be guaranteed. But we should be guaranteed that medical providers will not ever neglect a patient’s needs. We should also be confident that we or our loved ones are being treated by medical professionals, paraprofessionals and technicians who are capable and properly equipped to provide adequate care.

A landmark study by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled “To Err is Human: Building A Safer Health System,” said as many as 98,000 people die every year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. Many others suffer lifelong disabilities.

And it’s not just medical practitioners who cause harm. “More commonly, errors are caused by faulty systems, processes, and conditions that lead people to make mistakes or fail to prevent them,” the IOM said.

If you suspect a bad medical outcome that left you or a loved one harmed was the result of negligence or preventable medical error, you owe it to yourself to find out whether medical malpractice occurred. Stern Law can investigate what happened to you and get answers. When malpractice has occurred, we will fight for compensation for you.

Where Is Medical Malpractice Likely to Occur?

Few people are as vulnerable as a patient in dire need of medical care. A patient puts their life in another person’s hands. In fact, they put their life in the hands of many people, as well what’s often a bureaucratic system that dictates how these many people deliver medical care.

In a single hospital stay for a serious injury or illness, a patient is vulnerable to potential injury by:

In other cases, preventable error or negligence may amount to:

A variety of negligent medical mistakes and omissions may occur and, upon investigation, be identified as medical malpractice

  • Traumatic Birth Injuries: Injuries that happen to newborns or mothers in the delivery room can stem from a doctor or nurse failing to notice signs of trouble or to act in a timely manner when an emergency arises. A baby may suffer physical trauma if it has assumed an unnatural position before birth and too much force is applied to the child’s body during delivery. This can cause bruising, bone fractures or nerve damage. If a Cesarean section (C-section) is necessary, surgical errors or infection may injure the mother or the child.
  • Intracranial Bleeding (Hemorrhage): Bleeding within the skull not only indicates an injury to the brain, but the pressure from the buildup of blood can cause brain damage and death if not alleviated. Intracranial bleeding can occur as a traumatic birth injury caused by improper delivery practices. It is caused by pressure to the head and skull, typically from a blow or sudden jolt. At any age, an intracranial hemorrhage is a medical emergency requiring immediate diagnosis and treatment.
  • Oxygen Deprivation Birth Injuries: Lack of oxygen to the brain for a significant amount of time will cause brain damage. It is referred to in medical terms as “hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy” (HIE), which can be fatal. A baby can become deprived of oxygen during labor and/or delivery because the umbilical cord has become twisted or compressed, or is around the child’s neck, or the child has been left in the birth canal too long during delivery.
  • Cerebral Palsy: Head trauma or oxygen deprivation during labor or delivery can cause cerebral palsy, an incurable motor-neuro deficit affecting movement, muscle control and/or balance. An infection acquired just after birth can also cause cerebral palsy. Children with cerebral palsy face a lifetime of deficits, which may require extensive therapy as well as the use of assistive and adaptive equipment.
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries (Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy): “Brachial plexus” refers to a group of nerves in the neck that link to controlling nerves in the shoulders, arms and hands. The brachial plexus can be damaged if excessive pressure is applied to an infant’s head or neck during delivery. Brachial plexus injuries can lead to loss of muscle control, strength and sensation, or paralysis in the neck, shoulders, arms and/or hands. Erb’s palsy refers to the nerves higher in the neck. Klumpke’s palsy is damage done to lower nerves.
  • Maternal Shock: An inadequate supply of oxygenated blood to a pregnant woman’s tissues may cause her to lapse into maternal shock. Several medical conditions can cause maternal shock. During pregnancy and delivery, maternal shock often is caused by hemorrhaging or septic infection. If a mother suffers from shock, her baby may be harmed as a result of inadequate uterine perfusion and delivery of oxygen. Maternal shock can also lead to trauma to the uterus, whether direct or indirect, and can trigger premature labor.
  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis and Delayed Treatment: All medical care begins with a diagnosis. Failure to diagnose a medical need right away delays treatment and allows the problem to linger or, in the case of infection or illness, to advance and do harm that could be irreparable and possibly fatal. Misdiagnosis may result in lack of, improper, or even harmful treatment. Cancer patients, in particular, are more likely to survive the sooner their illness is diagnosed and treated. Treatment may also be delayed in a hospital because of staffing issues or other process or system failures.
  • Medication Errors: The wrong drug, the wrong dosage, or medication delivered at improper intervals can be harmful. Medication errors can be caused by miscommunication due to illegible handwriting, confusing abbreviations or similar sounding drug names. Doctors, pharmacists, nurses or medical technicians can cause or contribute to medication errors, as can poorly drawn hospital policies or procedures.
  • Surgical Error: Surgeons have been found to make such mistakes as leaving clamps, sponges, gauze or other instruments inside their patients; operating on the wrong limb or organ; puncturing organs adjacent to but not part of the intended surgery; and using unsanitary instruments. Failure to properly monitor the patient after surgery or to provide proper post-operative care and guard against infection, blood clots, internal bleeding and other complications is also surgical error.
  • Medical Equipment Failure: Numerous types of medical equipment are used to make or keep patients healthy during treatment, surgery, recovery and in cases of disability. Their functions range from regulating medication or anesthesia, to monitoring vital signs and enabling patients to breathe. Medical equipment failure can cause medical complications and death. In cases of medical equipment failure, an investigation looks at what the medical provider knew about the state or condition of its equipment, whether personnel were properly trained to use and maintain the equipment, and whether a manufacturer may be liable for producing faulty equipment.

Stern Law helps individuals and families find answers when they have been harmed instead of helped by medical providers. Medical malpractice claims require extensive investigation and keen awareness of how to prove liability for the harm that resulted when a medical professional has made a mistake.

Meanwhile, several factors work to make medical malpractice cases more difficult. Statutes of limitations, the time period in which it is possible to bring a legal case, vary from state to state. Laws that affect medical malpractice claims are constantly in flux. Insurance companies often try to run out the clock during medical malpractice case negotiations. Eventually, they hope, the case could simply go away due to the law — or an injured patient’s death.

After a medical error has led to devastating harm, it is important to find the right legal help as soon as possible. Stern Law can help you determine whether you have the foundations for a strong medical malpractice case. We will investigate and help you move forward legally if at all possible.

Contact Stern Law About a Medical Malpractice Case

If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed by medical error or negligent medical care, contact Stern Law. We will speak for you.

Our ultimate goal for individuals and families hurt by medical malpractice is to ensure they receive compensation they deserve to help put their lives back together. Stern Law works with a national network of medical consultants and litigation attorneys to investigate and pursue medical malpractice claims for our clients. Medical malpractice lawsuits are complex and often difficult cases, but they can be won. Stern Law has a record of winning.

Contact Stern Law today. We will listen to you and to your needs, investigate your case, and advise you of the legal options available to you. We will provide legal representation that is tailored to your needs. We pursue medical malpractice cases aggressively and with dedication to obtaining compensation for our clients. We represent individuals and families. We don’t simply handle cases.

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