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Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Thousands of Americans suffer from the consequences of medical malpractice every year. We have represented many clients in Kentucky and Tennessee whose lives have been impacted by the shortcomings of medical professionals.

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider breaches the standard of medical care owed to the patient.  The standard of care depends on the location and specialty of the medical provider.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Martin Makary from John’s Hopkins University, there are 250,000 deaths annually in the U.S. as a result of medical malpractice.   In 1999, the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine estimated that medical errors accounted for 98,000 deaths annually. Dr. Makary’s recent estimate more than doubles that number and NASA toxicologist John James estimates that the number could be as high as 440,000 deaths per year.

Many deaths due to medical malpractice are not detected or reported.  Death certificates require the input of a disease code as cause of death but Dr. Makary believes “people don’t just die from billing [or ICD] codes.”

A recent USA Today article placed medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the U.S., just behind heart disease and cancer. It concluded that “Death certificates in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and more than 100 other countries rely on what’s known as International Classification of Disease (ICD) code, so human and system errors can’t be recorded, according to the World Health Organization.”

If you have suffered injuries while under the care of a physician, a hospital or another medical provider, a free consultation with our medical malpractice attorneys can determine if you have a case.  Our experienced attorneys can obtain your medical records, consult with experts and determine if medical malpractice occurred.

Medical malpractice can occur in different ways.  Some of the commonly seen types of malpractice are:

Surgical errors

A medical professional might make a mistake during a surgery such as operating on the wrong body part, puncturing an organ or blood vessel, or leaving surgical tools inside the patient.

Misdiagnosis

If a condition is misdiagnosed, it could lead to medical treatment that would be inappropriate or harmful to the patient. It could also potentially lead to unnecessary progression of a disease left untreated.

Birth injuries

Doctors, nurses, and midwives can directly or indirectly contribute to a baby’s injury if they do not strictly adhere to the high standards of care. Although most delivery complications occur for reasons other than medical errors, medical malpractice is responsible for devastating injuries to babies and mothers.  For more information regarding birth injuries, please visit our birth injuries page.

Failure to diagnose

Failure to diagnose a condition can lead to a delay in treatment that may have halted further progression of the disease or condition. Often, cases involving failure to diagnose involve but are not limited to various forms of cancer, diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks.

Medication errors

The most common medication errors occur when a doctor prescribes the wrong dose of a medication. A doctor may also cause harm to a patient by prescribing the wrong medication, failing to notice a contraindication or medication allergy, or failing to notice a dangerous drug interaction.  Pharmacists can also make errors in filing out the patient’s prescription.

Anesthesia errors

Anesthesia errors often lead to devastating injuries.  Even a slight miscalculation by an anesthesiologist, for example, can cause permanent brain damage or death.

Wrongful death

Sadly, in some cases, the negligence of a medical provider can cause the patient’s death.

Damages in medical malpractice cases depend on the circumstance.  Patients injured by a medical provider may be able to claim the following damages:

  • Cost of past medical care
  • Cost of future medical care
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of the ability to earn income in the future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

In some cases, a patient may be able to recover punitive damages if the conduct of the medical provider was grossly negligent or intentional.

Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of ways and liability can sometimes be shared by multiple parties. A hospital is typically liable for the actions performed by their employees, such as nurses, while on the job. A doctor may also be directly liable for negligence or error. However, doctors are not always employees of the hospital or the facility in which they work. Often, both doctor and hospital are liable for the malpractice. Our experience in medical malpractice combined with careful research into each individual situation will allow us to determine who should be held liable.

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What Should I do If I Want to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Case?

Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss the details of your potential case immediately.  There is a strict time period in which you must pursue the case, referred to as a statute of limitations.   The time limit is different in every state, but it is often only one year after the malpractice occurs.

Hughes and Coleman can help you determine if you have a case and what the statute of limitations is.  Our team includes attorneys who have devoted most of their careers specifically to medical malpractice cases for clients in Kentucky and Tennessee. Let our knowledge and experience help you during this difficult time.

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