We trust doctors, nurses, and hospitals with our lives, but even experienced medical providers can make a preventable mistake that ends up being life-changing. When things go wrong during medical treatment it can result in serious injuries or, worse, the death of a loved one. Those who make avoidable errors should be held accountable when patients are needlessly hurt. If medical negligence has caused serious harm to you or a loved one, contact the lawyers at Gray Ritter Graham for help.
Medical Malpractice Cases Include, But Are Not Limited To…
- Surgical errors
- Emergency room errors
- Birth injuries, labor complications
- Hospital negligence
- Medication errors
- Nursing home deaths, abuse, neglect
Getting to the Truth in Medical Negligence Cases
We have represented clients in medical negligence claims against some of the most prominent names in the Missouri health care system. It is rare for caregivers and their insurance companies to admit error, even when liability appears to be obvious. Getting to the truth in a medical malpractice case requires a law firm that has a strong medical background and decades of experience, such as Gray Ritter Graham.
Our lawyers have represented physicians and hospitals, thereby gaining a valuable understanding of their perspectives and strategies. However, we made a decision many years ago to focus our efforts on the plaintiffs’ side and represent injured people and their families. We put our unique insight to work for those in St. Louis who are innocent victims of someone else’s medical negligence.
Any type of medical professional may commit medical negligence. This includes doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists, anesthesiologists, and hospitals. However, just because a patient did not receive the outcome they wanted from their medical treatment does not automatically mean that medical malpractice was committed. In most states, in order for a medical negligence lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff must be able to prove the following four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
- Duty: Health care provider had a medical professional-patient relationship with the plaintiff and owed the patient a legal duty of care.
- Breach of duty: Health care provider failed to meet the standard duty of care.
- Causation: Health care provider’s breach of duty was the reason that the patient suffered harm.
- Damages: As a result of of these elements, the health care provider’s misconduct resulted in economic and non-economic damages (including items such as additional medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, disfigurement and pain and suffering).
Medical experts are often the key to establishing and explaining many of the required elements in a medical malpractice case.
Causes of Medical Errors - Tired Doctors, Miscommunication, and More
Medical malpractice is a result of human error. A few examples include misdiagnosing patient symptoms, lab results are misread, patients are neglected, administering the wrong dosage of medicine, or catastrophic mistakes made during surgery. Human error can arise from working long hours typically demanded at a hospital, leading to doctor fatigue and burnout.
Doctor Burnout and Medical Error Statistics:
- More than half of American doctors are burned out. Of the 6,695 medical professionals screened, 55 percent reported symptoms of burnout, which can subsequently lead to medical errors.
- More than 10 percent of those screened said they had committed at least one significant medical mistake in the three months leading up to the survey.
- Investigators concluded that those suffering from burnout were twice as likely to make a medical error.
- Nurses working more than 12.5 consecutive hours are up to three times more likely to make an error.
- Hospital residents (doctors in training) who work 24-hour shifts made 36 percent more serious medical mistakes than those working 16 hours.
- Residents working 24-hour shifts made five times as many errors in diagnosis and three times more fatal medical errors than those working 16 hours.
- For more information, go to our blog “Tired Doctors and Medical Errors.”
Additionally, poor communication between doctors and the rest of the care team can lead to medical error. Hospitals may sometimes fail to put the necessary procedures in place to ensure every member of the care team has the information they need for the proper handling of the patient’s condition.
Avoidable patient harm also stems from: failure to maintain a clean environment (leading to dangerous infections), failure to maintain medical equipment, or failure to adequately train doctors and other staff members.
The experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Gray Ritter Graham can determine the cause of the medical error, and who is responsible, to build a strong case for just compensation.
How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
Medical malpractice cases can be extremely complex, which is why it is critical that you have strong legal representation on your side. When you choose Gray Ritter Graham, our attorneys will immediately get to work on investigating all the elements surrounding your unique situation. We have a nurse paralegal on staff who reviews medical records. Our firm works with a strong network of medical professionals and financial experts to determine the true impact of a mistake when seeking financial compensation for those who have been harmed. We pride ourselves on bridging the gap between law and medicine while always putting you, the client, first!
Contact Our Team of Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Damages can be significant in medical malpractice cases. Those who have been injured by the error of a medical professional deserve compensation from the responsible doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals.
Contact us as soon as possible so that we can preserve the evidence and begin our investigation. We represent clients in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and the surrounding region.
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