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Charleston Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Charleston Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you see a surgeon, they’ll often warn you that most surgeries carry with them some risks, whether it’s from anesthesia, a nearby organ being perforated, or a risk of hemorrhaging.

Doctors will also warn you when prescribing prescription drugs that your body may have an adverse reaction to. Medicine isn’t always a reliable science and, while there are some “acceptable risks” associated with certain treatment options, there is “preventable harm” that happens, too.

Each Charleston medical malpractice lawyer in our office knows that all too well as we advocate for patients that experience declines in health or death due to a health care provider’s negligence.

We also know how unfortunate it is to have made the decision to undergo what you expected to be a routine procedure only to come out worse than when you went in. We understand how gut-wrenching it can be to get admitted with a fetus seemingly healthy in utero, only to face complications at birth that result in a baby being born with Cerebral Palsy, a brachial plexus injury, or something else.

We understand that you trust doctors to prescribe and pharmacists and nurses to correctly dispense or administer prescription drugs, and the implications when that does not happen. These are just only a few of the concerns we’ve helped clients with, and we want to help you with whatever you’ve gone through, too.

Let’s sit down for a no-obligation consultation.

Types of Medical Negligence

In reading over the examples above, you’ve likely gained a clearer understanding of how medical malpractice is a broad area of personal injury law.

However, we want to highlight more in case the situations described above don’t fit your specific case, and you’re wondering if what happened to you falls under this umbrella. Those examples of medical negligence include:

  • Emergency room errors: Misdiagnosis, misread imaging studies, poor line of questioning resulting in allergic reaction
  • Birth injuries: Can affect mom or baby and may result from preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, deprivation of oxygen, shoulder dystocia/Brachial Plexus injury, and injuries resulting from the use of forceps and vacuums
  • Surgical errors: Anesthesia, wrong site, part, or patient, leaving tools or materials inside, ineffective sterilization of tools or machinery causing infection, and failures to monitor vital signs
  • Medication errors: Allergic, contraindicated certain patients, not advised of side effects, too much or too little, given to the wrong patient, not given soon enough b/c delayed diagnosis, compounded incorrectly. On doctor, nurse, pharmacist

Establishing Liability in Cases Where Providers Harm Patients

There’s a fine line between what constitutes provider negligence and what doesn’t, though.

For all patients, there’s some degree of an assumption of risk. That’s when the standard of care rule applies, which prompts further inquiry into whether the adverse outcome occurred because a health care provider’s actions deviated from the norm that similarly trained professionals in the same geographic space would have taken.

The grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit are most optimal when It can be shown that a medical professional deviated from the norm in treating a patient.

Also, you must be able to establish the four elements of negligence in a case like this to hold the responsible party liable for what happened. Those elements include:

  • There was a duty of care your medical provider owed you
  • Your health care provider violated that duty of care they had an obligation to uphold to you
  • Their breach of that duty caused you harm
  • You have documentable injuries or other adverse health impacts you suffered due to that duty of care violated

You (or your attorney) may rely on evidence compiled, including medical records from before and after the alleged negligence occurred, to show how a provider’s actions caused you harm.

In some cases, a Charleston medical malpractice lawyer will bring in expert medical reviewers to analyze records to give third-party opinions about causation to ensure we put forward the strongest case possible.

Potential Liable Parties for Malpractice

Doctors are perhaps most commonly sued for malpractice after making the following:

  • Diagnostic mistakes, including misdiagnoses or delayed diagnoses
  • Anesthesia or surgical errors
  • Radiologic interpretation misreadings involving X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc.
  • Failing to perform proper informed consent of patients who suffer unexpected consequences
  • Childbirth injuries

However, they’re not the only ones named as defendants in lawsuits. The following parties are in addition or instead:

  • Hospitals: These facilities can be sued for negligent hiring, training, supervision, and other oversights that contribute to non-physician staff members, such as nurses, making errors. Some common errors nursing staff make that may result in them and the medical centers they work for being named as defendants in lawsuits include medication errors and failing to monitor patients’ vital signs.
  • Pharmacists: Mistakes can occur when they’re compounding drugs for an infusion or merely dispensing the drug when filling a prescription. As for the latter, the incorrect drug or wrong dosage may be dispensed to the wrong patient.

It’s also worth noting that, although a lot of the focus above is on physical health or treatment provided by Western medicine doctors, dental professionals, eye doctors, chiropractors, mental health therapists, and others can and are often listed as defendants in medical malpractice claims as well.

Filing Deadlines That Apply to Medical Negligence Claims

Our state’s laws give those injured at the hands of health care professionals two years to file a claim or lawsuit after falling victim to a medical error or from the date in which they should have or actually discovered it.

There are exceptions to this rule, so you’ll certainly want to discuss your unique situation with a lawyer to see if they apply to your case.

Recovery Limits in Medical Malpractice Cases

Additionally, West Virginia Law Section 55-7B-8 specifies how our state applies a cap to the amount of noneconomic damages recoverable in cases involving negligence on the part of medical professionals at $250,000.

However, that amount is constantly changing because of adjustments for inflation. It increases to $500,000 in wrongful death cases resulting from errors and other types of malpractice.

The Role of an Attorney When You’ve Been Harmed by a Health Care Professional

As a patient, you may have already been in a precarious situation when originally seeking help from a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, dentist, chiropractor, or any other medical provider.

Now, you may be shocked to find that your life has taken an even more concerning downturn in light of their carelessness or recklessness.

It can be challenging managing your newfound and pre-existing health situation along with any pre-existing ones. Compiling the evidence necessary to build a strong case against the party who harmed you may be too much to handle.

That’s where our team at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC comes in.

Each Charleston medical malpractice lawyer has experience working on cases like yours, and we’re prepared to do what’s necessary to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions so that you receive just compensation for what you went through and no one has to go through the same you did.

It begins with a no-risk case evaluation where we can determine the merits of your claim and explain your respective rights. Let’s meet for that initial consultation now.

Contact our office to speak with experienced legal counsel.

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