Cranston Medical Malpractice Lawyers
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a form of professional negligence that occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide the appropriate standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient. Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. It can also involve a wide range of healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals.
At Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C., we understand the many challenges you are facing if you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice. Our Cranston medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you fight for the justice and fair recovery you are owed. We have been serving the needs of injured individuals and their families for over four decades, and we have a proven track record of success in even the most complex medical malpractice cases.
What are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can occur in virtually any healthcare setting and can involve a wide range of healthcare providers. However, some types of medical malpractice are more common than others.
- Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: Failure to diagnose a medical condition or disease in a timely manner can lead to delayed treatment and worsened outcomes. Misdiagnosis involves an incorrect diagnosis, which may lead to unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments.
- Surgical Errors: Surgical malpractice can occur during surgery or other invasive procedures. This includes errors such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient, or performing unnecessary surgery.
- Medication Errors: Mistakes in prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications can lead to serious harm. This may include giving the wrong dosage, prescribing the wrong medication, or failing to consider a patient's allergies.
- Birth Injuries: Birth-related medical malpractice cases can involve harm to the baby or mother during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. This may include errors in monitoring, failure to perform a timely cesarean section, or improper use of delivery tools.
- Anesthesia Errors: Administering anesthesia requires precision, and errors in dosage or monitoring can lead to serious complications, including brain damage or death.
- Hospital-Acquired Infections: Patients may develop infections during hospital stays, and if proper sanitation and hygiene protocols are not followed, the hospital or healthcare provider may be held responsible.
- Failure to Obtain Informed Consent: Patients have the right to be informed about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a medical procedure before giving their consent. Failure to provide this information can lead to a malpractice claim.
- Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse: Negligence or abuse in nursing homes can result in physical or emotional harm to residents. This can include neglecting basic needs, inadequate medical care, or intentional harm.
- Radiology Errors: Mistakes in interpreting medical images, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans, can lead to misdiagnosis and improper treatment.
In Rhode Island, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is three years from the date of the injury or one year from the date the injury was discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered, whichever comes first.
How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
At Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C., we strive to identify and pursue only those cases which have merit. Meritorious cases must be distinguished from incidents where patients suffer injuries or death as a result of unfortunate, but unpreventable circumstances.
For example, patients who undergo surgery sometimes contract an infection even though they receive excellent care. In contrast, infections are sometimes caused by negligent care (e.g., unsterile environments or instruments). Although the injury is the same in these two scenarios, one is probably actionable, and one is probably not.
Similarly, some patients who undergo lifesaving and invasive procedures, such as open-heart surgery, will not survive despite receiving excellent care. In contrast, surgeons sometimes incorrectly perform surgeries, thereby causing patients to die. The latter scenario is probably actionable.
The elements of a successful medical malpractice claim are negligence, causation, and damages.
With regard to negligence, the law requires physicians to exercise the standard of care of a reasonably competent physician in the field of medicine that he or she practices in. It might come as a surprise that we are not entitled to the most highly skilled doctor; only one that is reasonably competent. However, negligence is present when a physician does not exercise reasonable care.
For example, a reasonably competent physician will review, understand, and act upon blood lab results. Similarly, a reasonably competent physician will understand that he or she must consider and rule out a heart attack in a patient who presents to the emergency department with chest pain radiating into the jaw and down the left arm. Failure to do so constitutes negligence in almost all circumstances.
These are just a few examples, as the factual patterns are limitless.
With regard to causation, the law requires that a physician’s negligence must be a proximate cause of the patient’s injuries or death.
For example, some lawsuits involve a physician’s delay in diagnosing a patient’s cancer. A delay in diagnosing cancer for several months or years, which allows a patient’s cancer to progress from stage I to stage IV terminal cancer, will likely satisfy the causation element. In other words, but for the delay, the patient would have been diagnosed at stage I or II and likely cured with treatment.
Finally, plaintiffs who bring medical malpractice lawsuits must prove their damages. Types of damages include wrongful death, and lost earning capacity and future medical expenses for a patient who is not fatally injured.
Reasons to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Nothing is more important than good health. It can be devastating when a person’s health has been compromised or damaged due to a negligent or reckless healthcare provider. When that happens, Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn is here to help.
Here are a few important reasons why experienced representation is crucial for your medical malpractice case:
Your healthcare providers have their own formidable attorneys.
Medical professionals know the day may come when they will be taken to task for a medical mistake, and they therefore carry insurance. The insurance company or large healthcare corporation behind the doctor will hire its own team of tough lawyers. You need representation with a consistent record of outdoing the competition and fiercely advocating for malpractice victims.
You will be offered a smaller settlement than you deserve.
You may be tempted to negotiate a deal with healthcare providers or their insurance companies in order to avoid a court battle, but chances are that the other side is hiding something. Having a strong attorney at your side substantially increases the chances that the award for your medical malpractice claim will be in line with what your injury truly merits.
Medical lawsuits should be undertaken only by experienced professionals.
With over 35 years of experience and having collected multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients, our attorneys at Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn have the knowledge and skill to handle detailed and demanding cases. The medical field is highly technical and constantly changing, which is why it is our full-time priority to keep up with it.
Why Choose Us?
At Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C., we have been serving the needs of injured individuals and their families for over four decades. We have a proven track record of success in even the most complex medical malpractice cases, and we are prepared to fight for you.
Our Cranston medical malpractice lawyers have the resources, experience, and skill to handle all types of medical malpractice claims, from those involving diagnostic errors to those involving surgical errors, medication errors, and more. We understand the many challenges you are facing, and we are here to provide the compassionate, personalized legal guidance you need and the aggressive advocacy you deserve.