- Doctor and Resident Doctors – In some cases, the doctor and his or her group may be the only defendants. But it’s important to conduct a full investigation to see if there were any other responsible parties.
- Physician’s Assistant, Resident Doctor or Nurse – If a physician’s assistant, resident doctor or nurse was negligent and caused harm, they may be named as a defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the hospital and the supervising doctor will likely be a defendant in the case as well. In most cases, the supervising doctor is also responsible. The hospital or company that employs the negligent providers will also likely be sued.
- Healthcare Group – Doctors often belong to large healthcare groups or medical practices. When that is the case, the medical group or healthcare group might also be named as a defendant.
- Hospital – If the negligence occurred in a hospital and was due to faulty equipment, understaffing or another matter that was the hospital’s responsibility, the hospital may be named as a defendant.
- Agency Nurses – Sometimes there are nurses or other providers who are employed by outside agencies. In that case, the agency may also be named in the lawsuit.
- Drug or Device Manufacturer – In cases where defective drugs or faulty medical devices caused harm, the manufacturer is usually included as a defendant.
- Military Hospitals and USA – With military malpractice cases, sometimes all of the providers were employed by the military and sometimes not. There are short deadlines for putting the government on notice of these types of claims, so please contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible if you suspect a military malpractice claim.
What Are the Most Common Serious Injuries Related to Negligent Medical Errors?
When medical negligence occurs, the injury may be temporary, and the patient can make a full recovery with no long-term health effects. In other cases, the injuries are serious and may have a profound effect on the patient’s quality of life.
Common injuries related to medical malpractice cases include:
- Brain Injuries – Brain injuries are among the most serious complications that can occur due to medical malpractice. These types of injuries can cause death, result in personality changes or leave a person completely disabled. Brain injuries can result from anesthesia errors, medication errors, lack of oxygen, physical trauma after falling from a hospital bed, improper handling during or after birth, and surgical mistakes.
- Perforated Organs – Surgery requires a meticulous level of precision, skill and experience. When a surgeon fails to meet the standard of care, this can have serious consequences. Victims of surgical mistakes may suffer from perforated organs or other serious injuries to their internal organs. When not treated right away, these injuries can lead to sepsis, brain damage and death.
- Infection – Infection is another common consequence of medical malpractice. Delays in in diagnosis and treatment of infections including sepsis and meningitis can be fatal. If a surgeon accidentally leaves a sponge or surgical instrument inside a patient’s body, this can also cause a dangerous infection.
- Worsened Illnesses and Death – Delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis account for a large percentage of medical malpractice claims. If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition properly, it may worsen to the point where recovery is no longer possible. If treatment isn’t started in time because of a delayed diagnosis, irreversible damage to a patient’s health can be the result.
If you’ve suffered from any of the above injuries due to medical malpractice, our experienced team can help you explore your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at our Washington, D.C. office.
Working with Medical Experts to Build a Successful Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical experts are key in medical malpractice cases for two main reasons, among many others:
- They can evaluate your case and help us determine which providers are responsible.
- They can testify on your behalf.
Successfully resolving a medical malpractice lawsuit depends on whether you can prove the standard of care was not met by a healthcare professional and you can link the errors to the harm the patient suffered. While your testimony is important to the overall case, these cases actually require testimony from experts in the same or similar specialty as the health care providers who caused the harm. You cannot pursue most medical malpractice cases without the right experts who will testify to the necessary elements of the case.
As the case progresses, we will work with our medical experts to thoroughly evaluate your medical records, depositions of key witnesses, and any other relevant information we have. Medical experts are typically physicians who specialize the same or similar fields as the defendants in the case. That makes their testimony highly important to the overall success of the case to meeting our goal of a settlement or a jury verdict in your favor.
During settlement negotiations and trial proceedings, our medical experts’ opinions, executed reports and testimony will be used to prove negligence, causation and damages. The experts will testify at depositions in most cases, and if your case goes to trial, experts will testify on your behalf during a trial to prove the case and to provide the jury with evidence that the defendants caused you harm due to their violations of the applicable national standards of care.
Patients often consult with other doctors for treatment after they suffer harm from negligence. We refer to those physicians as subsequent treating physicians. Sometimes they make statements to patients that are critical of the negligent doctors. However, these subsequent physicians do not have all of the information and are oftentimes hesitant to officially criticize their colleagues on the record. We encourage our clients to seek the best medical care for their injuries. For our cases, we will retain independent medical experts to support the case and to testify.
Bertram Law Group, PLLC works with highly qualified medical experts, biomedical engineers and other health care experts who have the proper credentials and can testify to support the elements of your claim for medical negligence.
What Are the Types of Compensation That May Be Available in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Financial compensation for medical malpractice lawsuits in D.C. is divided into two main categories:
- Non-Economic Damages – Non-economic damages refer to the non-economical ways that you’ve been harmed. This can include pain and suffering, mental anguish and embarrassment, and disfigurement. In some states, the injured patient’s married spouse can assert a claim for loss of consortium if applicable.
- Special Damages – Special damages refer to economic losses that have a specific value. Special damages may include payments for doctor’s visits, hospital fees, ambulance bills, costs for diagnostic tests or medical equipment in the past and the future. Special damages can also cover past, current and future lost income.