If a doctor didn’t perform up to the usual standard of care during your procedure and you came to harm as a result, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. Many people think that, having given informed consent prior to the procedure, they no longer have the right to take legal action against a negligent health care provider. However, that is not necessarily true. It depends on whether the consent was valid, the harm was expected, and the doctor’s actions were appropriate.
What Is Informed Consent?
Informed consent is an agreement between you and your doctor. You agree to assume certain risks involved in the procedure, and your doctor agrees to perform up to the established standard of care, providing the agreed-upon procedure in a manner consistent with best practices.
Another way to look at informed consent is as a contract. If your doctor does not live up to what he or she agreed to, it is a breach of the contract, which gives you the right to pursue legal action.
What Is the Difference Between Informed Consent and a Waiver?
A waiver is another type of legal agreement between two parties. When you sign a waiver, you give up your right to pursue legal action if you are hurt in an accident and the other party’s at fault.
Informed consent is not a waiver. When you sign an informed consent form, you acknowledge certain risks of the procedure and give permission for it to take place anyway. If a complication arises because of the risks your doctor informed you of, it affects your ability to take legal action against him or her, but you do not waive all your legal rights.
Under What Circumstances Can You Sue with a Valid Informed Consent?
Prior to a procedure, your doctor does not inform you of all the possible risks of your procedure. That would be impossible. Only the most important risks are mentioned. If your current condition was not outlined as a risk in the informed consent form, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice if it was the result of negligence by your doctor.
However, a bad outcome is not malpractice per se. You have to be able to demonstrate that your doctor did something wrong. You can also sue for malpractice if the doctor performed a procedure other than what you had agreed upon.
An attorney can help you determine whether your case meets the requirements for malpractice. Schedule a consultation by contacting a medical mistake lawyer, like one from Cohen & Cohen, P.C.
Personal Injury Lawyer
You were in a car accident and sustained injuries. Despite the physical and psychological trauma you have endured, the most pressing issue is receiving medical treatment for your injuries. Unfortunately, there is one significant problem: you do not have the money to pay for the hospital car and specialty services you require.
While a lawsuit is promising and a settlement would help you avoid mounting debt, the process is too slow. Your needs are immediate. How can you pay for the treatment you need?
Your situation, unfortunately, is a common one, but it is also manageable. There are several options available to you and others like you.
Car insurance policies often come with personal injury coverage. While the coverage might not be enough to cover all your medical expenses, it can help. The beauty of using auto coverage after an accident is there is little need to convince or negotiate because that is what the policy is for.
Medicare or Medicaid
The governmental health programs, Medicare and Medicaid, will cover the initial costs of your treatment following a car accident. Like personal insurance, you will need to pay the policy back upon receipt of settlement or a favorable verdict. If you meet the qualifying criteria for coverage, each is a good option for receiving the treatment you need.
If you do not have access to an insurance policy, or if your policies do not cover the total costs of your treatment and rehabilitation, you can apply for a personal loan. Some lenders only exist to provide loans for medical needs. The main drawback to using one of these companies is the interest rates on top of the principal loan.
Family, Friends, or Savings
If your case is strong, your family or friends might be willing to lend or gift you some money. While they may not offer enough to cover the total, their generosity might be enough to help you seek and begin treatment.
Additionally, you can dip into your savings. Look at it like taking a loan from yourself. When a verdict or settlement is reached, repay your savings.
Depending on your case, a lawyer can convince a hospital or rehabilitation facility to postpone payment until a settlement or verdict is reached. These agreements are called liens and are common with personal injury claims.
Receiving treatment is crucial to your health and claim. Contact a personal injury lawyer, like Ward & Ward Law Firm, to discuss your next steps.
Medical malpractice cases can be frustrating for everyone involved. First, they can sometimes be difficult to prove. In order to win a personal injury lawsuit, you need to prove that the at-fault party was negligent somehow. With medical cases, you have to prove that whatever went wrong in your case was due to something the doctor did to harm you. Second, medical malpractice cases are typically more emotional because the person who was injured truly trusted the doctor with their health and wellbeing. It is very alarming when your trust is completely broken like this. Finally, medical malpractice cases really depend on the evidence you are able to offer. You should always speak with a medical malpractice lawyer, like one from Wieand Law Firm, LLC, as soon as possible to help you form a case. This can be the most crucial part between winning and losing your case.
Expert Witness Testimonies from Other Medical Professionals
One tactic your medical malpractice lawyer may use to prove that negligence occurred is by taking an expert witness statement to court. Your lawyer may choose to have an expert witness show up for your case, or at the very least bring a statement from a reliable source. This will often involve having another doctor explain how your medical professional was negligent in his or her actions or inactions that led to your injury. This can be incredibly valuable because it offers the judge the perspective of another reasonable medical professional who believes they would have handled your case differently. Medical malpractice cases need to show that whatever injury or pain you sustained was directly due to the doctor either making a mistake or not noticing something glaringly obvious. If you are able to prove this, you have a much greater chance of winning your case, rather than the judge deeming that the illness or injury you sustained was inevitable.
Investigating Medical Records
Another thing your lawyer may do is have another doctor take a look at your medical records. There may be notes or tests in there that show your medical professional was negligent in one way or another. By investigating further, your lawyer will have more information to bring to court and offer as a reason why your injury should never have even occurred. The most important thing in a case like this is to be able to prove that your injury was due to the fact a medical professional was negligent. By having someone review your extensive medical records, you may find the proof you need for your court case.
Contact a Lawyer Right Away
You need a medical malpractice lawyer on your side to help you offer the right proof for your case as well as calculate what the potential damages should be. This will be incredibly helpful and may make an enormous difference in the amount you are able to obtain for your case. Do not wait — you do not want to miss the statute of limitations for filing.
A personal injury lawyer, such as one available at The Law Offices of Daniel E. Stuart, P.A., helps people that have injuries because they were in an accident. A personal injury lawyer’s first focus is going to be to ensure that their client is receiving the financial compensation they deserve. This is important because after you’ve been injured in an accident, you may have lost wages due to not being able to go to work and paying medical bills; even if you are not actually paying your medical bills, that is the debt tied to you and your existence. Sometimes lawyers will try to not only get compensation for medical treatment, lost wages and compensation for injuries that you have suffered, but they may also try to get compensation for your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment in life.
A personal injury attorney is going to specialize in tort law which means that this lawyer deals with all types of civil litigation for injuries or wrongdoings that occur from negligence of any kind. Personal injury lawyers can choose to specialize in a specific type of personal injury or tort law; but many lawyers cover the spectrum.
The Basics of Personal Injury Law
Understanding the basics of personal injury law can better help you understand what your personal injury lawyer does for a living. This lawyer is going to be able to explain your rights, and they are going to be able to explain how this accident in different legal issues are affecting your rights. They are going to know the laws of your state because different states have different laws regarding statute of limitation and comparative negligence and how comparative negligence affects the case.
Filing Your Case on Time
Before you ask, the statute of limitations is a time limit for when the lawsuit has to be filed by. There are many types of statute of limitations in it depending heavily on the type of lawsuit you are filing. Comparative negligence determines whether somebody can sue even if they were partially at fault for the accident, and this law governs whether they can receive money and how much they are allowed to receive if they were in any way at fault for the accident.
Giving Advice Based on Experience
Your personal injury lawyer is going to also be able to provide you advice. You are not a lawyer, and you’ve probably never dealt with a lawyer and you probably never dealt with the kind of legal situations that your lawyer has dealt with. This means that the system could finesse you — you could get lost in the system. And this would be entirely due to ignorance on your part, and that’s why lawyers exist. Lawyers can help you understand legal procedures, medical insurance verbiage, and they can help you do the paperwork that is required for your case.
Representing You in Court
Your lawyer is also going to be able to represent you in court, even though most injury cases do not go to trial because they settle prior to court, you need to have a lawyer that is prepared to go to court if it winds up going to court.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
If you have had to place your elderly loved one in a long-term care facility you probably did all your homework to make sure it was a good one. Sadly, even the best nursing homes can have hidden issues that you may not know about till it is too late. That is when it leads to nursing home abuse and it is a prevalent problem from issues like understaffing, improper training, and burnout.
As many as 1 in 3 older people have been victims of nursing home abuse. What makes this worse is 2 in 3 staff members have claimed they have abused or neglected residents. This is a serious problem but how do you spot the warning signs that this is happening to your loved one?
The Different Warning Signs
There are various types of abuse that range from physical, emotional, sexual, and financial. The worst part is some of the signs of abuse can range from subtle neglect to full-on physical abuse. Not everything is going to be clear and easy to see. However, knowing the signs is the first step in protecting your loved one.
Physical Abuse Warning Signs
Physical signs of abuse are often the first to be recognized, as they are often the easiest to see. However, they can range so here are some signs that physical abuse is happening:
- Bedsores/Pressure ulcers
- Broken bones
- Bruises, burns, or welts on the skin
- Cuts, lacerations, or skin tears
- Fatigue, insomnia, or other sleep disorders
- Head injuries
- Dental injuries
- Illness or infection that will not go away
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
Emotional and Sexual Abuse Warning Signs
The sad part is that often other forms of abuse are harder to notice. They can happen for a long time before the problem is addressed or even noticed. Keeping a close eye on how your loved one behaves is key to noticing the more subtle forms of abuse. Here are signs to look for:
- Anxiety and depression
- Lowered confidence
- Unexplained aggressive or violent behavior
- Substance abuse
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Bruises or welts around the genitals
- Inappropriate physical contact with staff members
- Unexplained STDs
- Fear around a particular staff member
- Refusing to talk around a staff member
Emotional and sexual abuse are some of the hardest to catch as they are easier to hide. If your loved one has a drastic behavior change then you need to start investigating. While change can bring on emotions if it is drastic or lasts longer than an adjustment period. Don’t hesitate to talk to your loved ones if you notice something is wrong.
If you suspect your elderly loved one is suffering from any kind of nursing home abuse it is in your best interest to talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer. Lawyers, like the dedicated team at Davis & Brusca, LLC, are here to help you and your family members get the help you deserve during times like this.
When you go into the hospital or a doctor’s office to get a procedure completed, you may have certain expectations in mind. Perhaps you are hoping that everything will go according to plan and that you will heal shortly from the procedure. While this can happen, it is also possible that things will not go the way you were hoping. If this happens, does this mean that a medical mistake—or medical malpractice—occurred? Not necessarily. If you have your suspicions that a medical procedure did not go well and you are suffering from an injury or illness due to medical malpractice, you should speak with a lawyer right away.
What will a lawyer look for with medical malpractice?
When you work with a lawyer, like a medical mistake lawyer from a law firm like Cohen & Cohen, P.C., your lawyer will be looking for certain elements that will be present when malpractice has occurred.
- A standard of care. Your doctor will owe you a standard of care, which means they understood your symptoms and problems and attempted to treat you accordingly.
- There was a breach of this standard. The next element will be a breach in the standard of care. This means that your medical provider either did something or did not do something that another medical provider in the same position would have done.
- You were injured. Third, you must have been injured in some way because of the breach. It could be that you were given the wrong medication and it made your illness worse or that a doctor failed to diagnose an injury or illness and it became worse or life-threatening.
- You suffered damages. Simply stated, you must have suffered from damages as a result of the injury, whether it is high medical bills or being unable to return to work and losing your job.
Your lawyer will want to bring one or more medical experts in on your claim to show that other reasonable doctors in the same situation would have acted differently than your medical provider did.
Depending on the state you live in, you may need to serve your medical provider with written notice that you intend to file a lawsuit. If this is the case in your state, your lawyer can help you with this. Do you need legal help after a medical mistake was made? Reach out to a local attorney you can trust when proceeding with your case.