How to Hold Negligent Individuals Responsible

Considering A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit? Who Should You Name As Defendant?

Posted by on February 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Considering A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit? Who Should You Name As Defendant?

If you’ve recently been injured or made ill through a medical professional’s negligence, you may already be considering your legal options — including filing a malpractice lawsuit. However, even if you have a clear set of facts pointing toward liability, affixing blame on the wrong person (or entity) can cause your case to be dismissed; and depending upon the amount of time that has elapsed since your injury, you may be prevented from refiling against the correct person. Read on to learn more about the factors you’ll want to consider when naming various doctors, nurses, and other medical staff in your malpractice lawsuit. Who can you sue for malpractice? In a professional setting (like medicine, law, or finance), malpractice is broadly defined as the breach of the professional’s duty of care — physical, legal, or fiduciary. In the medical realm, an action (or inaction) constitutes malpractice if it falls below the accepted standard of care and results in injury or death.  It can be fairly easy to determine who to sue in some cases. If your injury resulted from a nurse who ignored a notation on your chart and administered a medicine to which you’re allergic, or a surgeon who didn’t get enough sleep the previous night and nicked an artery during a routine operation, you’ll likely be able to prevail in court by naming only the person who took decisive action leading to injury as defendants.  But in other situations, liability can be less clear-cut, and you may find it difficult to pin down one (or more) responsible parties or determine how blame should be apportioned. This is especially true when the malpractice claim is based not on action, but inaction. Should you sue the nurse who was too busy talking to her coworkers to promptly respond to your requests for assistance, the doctor who should have known (based on your vital signs) that you were suffering from internal bleeding, or both? Often, the answer will depend on the facts at hand. What should you consider when deciding who to name as a defendant in your lawsuit?  Even after you’ve come up with an individual (or group) who could potentially be named in your medical malpractice lawsuit, there are some legal and logistical factors you’ll want to consider before filing. As a general rule, it’s safer to cast a wider net of potential defendants, as it both increases your odds of being able to collect any monetary judgment awarded and decreases the chance that your claim will be dismissed if it’s found that a single named defendant was not sufficiently involved in your care to generate a malpractice complaint. Your first step may be to evaluate each potential defendant’s financial solvency. Although you’ll be able to seek detailed, specific financial information from each defendant only after a lawsuit has been filed and the discovery process has commenced, you may be able to determine whether a certain doctor or nurse is essentially judgment-proof due to non-dischargeable debt, doesn’t carry malpractice insurance, or is otherwise unlikely to ever satisfy a monetary judgment levied on your behalf. If this is the case, you’ll want to ensure you add as many additional potential defendants as possible to prevent you from winning an uncollectible judgment.  You may also want to investigate whether any...

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Can Long Emergency Room Wait Times Kill You? What You Need to Know

Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can Long Emergency Room Wait Times Kill You? What You Need to Know

Anyone who’s ever been to the emergency room for a non-life-threatening injury or illness knows that you may end up waiting quite a long time to be seen by a doctor. But is that wait time dangerous? It can be. Emergency room wait times are on the rise, with some hospitals reaching four times the national average wait time of 28 minutes. In 2011, there was an extreme example of just how damaging these wait times can be. One little girl deteriorated so badly over the course of her five-hour wait in the emergency room that she ultimately ended up needing several amputations. Find out what you need to know about how to deal with long emergency room waits. Avoid the Wait If You Can If at all possible, it’s best to avoid overly long emergency room waits. In many areas, emergency rooms post their wait times on their websites or you can call and ask for an estimated wait time before you go. While that’s no guarantee—it’s always possible that more pressing emergency cases will arrive while you’re waiting—it will give you a good estimate to go by. It may be worth driving farther to an emergency room with a lower wait time than to go to a closer emergency room with a longer wait. Another option is to try urgent care centers in your local area. Urgent care centers typically specialize in one or a few specific types of medical issues, like heart disease or obstetrics, or they take less emergent cases. As a result, they tend to have lower wait times. Keep the Staff Updated If you can’t avoid the wait time, it’s important to keep the medical staff updated on your condition while you wait. If your symptoms are getting progressively worse, you may need to be moved to the front of the line. Emergency rooms use a process called triage to treat patients—instead of operating on a first-come, first-serve basis, they treat the people with the most severe symptoms first. That means that if you arrive with a low fever and cold symptoms, you’ll probably be prioritized below people showing symptoms of heart failure, people with serious injuries, or people with high fevers. However, if your fever rises while you’re waiting, if you begin to feel faint or dizzy, if you develop a rash, or if you begin to experience heart palpitations, it could be a sign that you’re more seriously ill than first thought, and you should be moved up in the queue. Report any new or worsened symptoms to the nurse on duty. If you feel that you aren’t being taken seriously, ask to speak to a charge nurse or shift supervisor. Know Your Rights If you experience harm as the result of a long emergency room wait time, then you may be entitled to compensation from the hospital for your losses or injuries. Failure to treat or an unreasonable delay in treatment is a form of medical negligence, which means that you may be able to bring a medical malpractice suit against the hospital, against the individual staff members that made the decision to delay treatment, or both. In order to bring a lawsuit, you’ll need to prove that you’ve experienced harm. Harm could be physical, financial, or both. For instance,...

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Christmas Catastrophe | Tips For Getting Your Tree Home Safely

Posted by on December 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Christmas Catastrophe | Tips For Getting Your Tree Home Safely

It’s that time of year when millions of people are heading to a local tree farm to cut down the perfect Christmas tree. Live Christmas trees are preferred by many, yet getting it into your home can be a difficult task. If you don’t have a pickup truck to stick the tree in, you have to be extra careful so you don’t end up causing any danger on the road. Here are some smart tips for transporting your Christmas tree safely. Wrap Your Tree After you cut down your tree, you want to wrap it up carefully. Bring a large blanket. It doesn’t need to be heavy, it just has to keep the tree contained. Not only will it protect the tree from the wind on the road, but it will protect other drivers too. If there are loose branches on the tree, they can fly off and into the windshields of other drivers. The surprise from the branches hitting the windshield can frighten the drivers and cause them to swerve on the road. You can end up charged with reckless driving if your Christmas tree causes an accident. Make Sure Your Tree isn’t Obstructing Your View It might sound obvious to you to make sure your tree isn’t hanging in front of your front or back window, but you’d be surprised how many people drive off the lot before they realize that their tree is hanging in the way. Make sure you check your rear windshield as well as the front. Don’t drive trying to look around a tree. You could be cited for driving with an obstructed view or end up causing a serious accident. Bring Ratchet Straps If you go watch people at the Christmas tree farm, you’ll probably see dozens of people fasten the tree to their car with bungee straps. Bungee straps work okay for added protection in the back of a pickup truck, but they aren’t secure enough to strap a tree to the roof of your car with them. Ratchet straps allow you to tighten the straps as much as you need to make sure the tree is completely snug on your roof. As long as you use them properly, your tree is not coming off the roof. With a bungee strap, it could come unhooked or snap if pulled too tight. If your tree goes flying, you could end up being responsible for a fatal accident on the road. If you have never used a ratchet strap, click here to watch a video on how to use them properly. Make Sure Kids are Still The extra weight on the roof of your car makes it difficult to drive. If your kids are bouncing around in the car, it can make the weight shift even more. You could lose control of your vehicle because of the smallest disturbance. Make sure your children are buckled in tight and sitting still. Even if the weight shift doesn’t disturb your driving, you don’t need any added distractions while you are driving home with your new tree. Adjust the Way you Drive Most people drive a few miles over the speed limit, and many take sharp turns while driving home. You need to drive a few miles under the speed limit and take slow turns. If...

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Emotional Distress: Did Your Auto Accident Leave You Unable To Have Children?

Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Emotional Distress: Did Your Auto Accident Leave You Unable To Have Children?

If a devastating auto accident caused irreparable damage to your reproductive system, contact a personal injury attorney for help. You may qualify for compensation based on the emotional distress, pain and suffering you experience from your accident. Emotional distress can leave you unable to work, function in society and cope with your family life. In most cases, emotional distress can cause a decline in your physical health, because you need to undergo extensive medical and psychiatric treatment to overcome it. Here are things you may expect a personal injury attorney to do in your case. Obtain Medical Evidence of Your Reproductive Injuries Before a personal injury attorney, such as those at Kornfeld Robert B Inc PS, moves forward with your case, they must obtain medical evidence of your inability to have kids. If your doctor examined you after your accident and found severe reproductive injuries that hinder your ability to produce or carry children, such as scars and internal bleeding, an attorney will need documented proof of those injuries. In addition, the exam results must show that the reproductive damage occurred from the accident and not from past problems, such as infertility or cancer. You may expect the other driver’s insurance company to have its own doctors examine you. The insurance company may want to pay the least amount of compensation for your personal injury claim. Because the insurer’s doctors may not act in your best interest, a personal injury lawyer will most likely send you to their doctors to obtain a third opinion about your injuries. You may undergo additional blood tests and sonograms to verify your injuries. The tests and sonograms may reveal that you require surgeries on your reproductive organs to remove damaged tissues. Although the extensive exams may seem excessive, they can actually strengthen and help your case, because you have additional medical evidence to back up your injury claim. After an attorney obtains the documentation they need, they may order psychological evaluations to back up your claims of emotional distress. Obtain Comprehensive Psychological Evaluations of Your Emotional Health Comprehensive psychological evaluations examine the extent of your emotional distress and how it may affect your life now and in the future. You generally take a number of assessments that require you to answer questions about your auto accident and the problems it caused in your life afterward, including your inability to have children. The evaluations may reveal that you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, one of the most prevalent problems associated with auto accidents. Post-traumatic stress disorder usually develops when you experience a terrifying ordeal, such as a devastating auto accident. However, the disorder can also emerge after your accident when the effects of the accident begin to surface. You develop a number of symptoms that affect your life, and the lives of your loved ones and friends. For example, you may blame yourself for your reproductive injuries. If you didn’t drive that fateful day, you would still be able to have children. Your family and friends may try to support you, but you may become angry and withdrawn. If you continue to lash out at your loved ones, they may think it’s better to avoid you than deal with your anger. Your emotional distress may carry over to your job once you return to work. If...

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