Medical Malpractice

We get a lot of calls from people who want to bring a medical malpractice suit.  We don’t bring these suits unless liability is pretty clear and damages are serious.  Every successful malpractice case has what we call an “Oh, my God!” moment — that point where, when you are telling the story, the listener says, “Oh, my God!”  Like the man whose leg had to be amputated after the doctor sent him home with no discernible pulse in his foot… or the man who was being sued by the doctor for the medical bills involved when the doctor had to operate a second time to take out things that he had accidentally left in the man’s abdomen the first time … or the man whose abdominal injury had been improperly diagnosed, so that his own stomach enzymes ate a hole in his body so that when he drank some orange soda, an orange stain appeared on his shirt — from the inside…

Just because you had bad luck with a medical procedure does not mean that there was malpractice. Malpractice, by definition, is negligence by a professional.  If the doctor did what a reasonable, prudent doctor would have done, and things just turned out badly without there being anything in particular that the doctor did wrong, there is no malpractice.  For example, in one case that we turned down, a woman went in for laparoscopic surgery to remove her gall stones.  During the surgery, a small hole was created in the bowel.  We were surprised to find that every surgeon we talked to said, in essence, “Yes — that happens to the best of us.  Just because there was a hole in the bowel doesn’t mean that the surgeon actually did anything wrong.”  To us lay people, that seemed pretty surprising, but that was the unanimous view of the surgeons we spoke with.  We had to turn down the case, because we could not prove that there was negligence — just bad luck.

So the first step here is always to get an opinion from an expert in the field; if we can find a medical expert who will say that there was negligence, you may have a case.   We have experience with these claims, and if you think you have a case, we’d like to talk with you.  Call us at 434-293-8185.