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Medical Malpractice Archives - The Law Office of WT Johnson Blog

Medical Malpractice Injuries that May Cause Paralysis

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on August 9, 2016

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Although any type of injury that results from medical malpractice is unfortunate, paralysis is among the most serious and tragic that can occur. This is usually the result of damage to the spine or brain that can occur due a number of different situations that arise during a medical procedure. Since paralysis has serious, long-term consequences, it is important to work with a skilled lawyer to identify the cause of the paralysis and if it is the result of medical malpractice, then legal action should be taken to hold those responsible accountable. Read the rest »

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

IVC Filter Injuries on the Rise in Texas (And Nationwide)

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on January 26, 2016

For years, surgeons have been using a tool called the inferior vena cava filter (IVC). The IVC is a wire device implanted into the largest vein in the body to catch blood clots. It’s prescribed for use for patients who are unable to use anticoagulants (blood thinners). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received hundreds of complaints about the filters. The most common problems people reported were punctured organs, punctured blood vessels, and the filter moving to different parts of the body. Read the rest »

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

5 Causes of Surgery-Related Medical Malpractice Cases

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on June 2, 2014

We go through surgery because we have a medical problem to address, or to generally feel and look better. However, there are rare yet dangerous cases when a surgery ends up worsening the condition.

Inside the operating room, the possibilities of disaster are just limitless. While we do know our doctors and nurses to be well-trained and armed, one negligent act could spell the difference between a success and a disaster. Considering that you are unconscious during the surgery, any mishaps won’t be known until you are already awake. If you ever are victimized by negligence, the Dallas medical malpractice lawyers of The Law Office of WT Johnson are experts in dealing with these kinds of cases and have been wining them for clients whose lives were placed in danger by the very people tasked to protect it.

Common Mistakes That Happen During Surgery

Here are some of the common mistakes that happen during surgery, and result in a medical malpractice lawsuit:

Infections

Post-surgery, infections are a silent danger. 1 in 20 patients in a hospital are likely to develop an infection during their stay, and such infections have claimed almost 100,000 lives annually. The most common cause of infections is poor hygiene on the part of the medical professionals.

Retained foreign objects

According to studies, there are about 4,000 patients around the country who end up having a medical instrument left inside their bodies after the surgery. The instruments can be a scalpel, a clamp, and scissors – which are highly dangerous and can cause internal bleeding. In the majority of the cases though, the retained item is a surgical sponge.

Medication errors

Negative reactions with drugs account for nearly 100,000 hospitalizations in the country for those aged over 65. It could come from a wrong prescription, wrong doses of the right medicine, or lack the knowledge of the patient’s medical background and prescribe a brand that he or she has adverse reactions with.

Falls

There are also instances when patients are not properly secured in the operating table, resulting in falls and injuries even when he or she is already asleep. Remember that hospital staff moves your body around as the surgery is being done, and unconsciously, you may also shift. Hence, strapping you to the operating table is important to ensure safety.

Surgery on the wrong site, or on the wrong patient

Indeed, this really happens. At times, doctors mix up one patient to another, and end up performing the wrong procedure on the wrong patient. Surgeons have days of continuous operations and are only have little time to review a case before starting. Even if they have the right person, they still could end up doing the wrong procedure to him or her.

When medical malpractices occur, we sometimes end up suffering much more than what we came to the hospital for. We place our trust on our doctors and believe that they know what they are doing all the time. But they are human too, and sometimes prone to moments of negligence. But know that this is not an excuse, especially if lives are affected. Contact The Law Office of WT Johnson if you have a complaint and are considering filing a personal injury claim in Dallas.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Risperdal (Bi-Polar Medication)

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on June 2, 2014

You have probably heard a lot on commercials about Risperdal, a medication that is usually injected every two weeks to help control Bi-Polar and some schizophrenia conditions.
You may also have heard of the condition known as gynecomastia, a condition in which young boys may develop male breasts, another side effect of gynecomastia is nipple pain or discharge.

Gynecomastia is caused by increased levels of prolactin. Now prolactin is a hormone which stimulates breasts growth in women. It has been alleged that Risperdal may increase the levels or proactin which then can lead to Gynecomastia.

A study published in 2006 in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology states that risperidone (the generic of Risperdal) “administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia.” Because the long-term effects of Risperdal are not well-documented in regards to growth, the drug should be prescribed with caution to children and young adolescents.

If you or a loved one as suffered from gynecomastia after taking Risperdal please give us a call at (800) 738-4046, and tell us about it. As always your first consultation is absolutely free of charge.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Types of Medical Malpractice

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on May 22, 2014

When a medical mishap occurs as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, it is referred to as a medical malpractice. While there are only a very few cases of such, the cases are rather serious and have debilitating effects to the victims. However, it is important to note that it is not a simple case of a doctor making a mistake and the patient feeling dissatisfied. There are legal boundaries that need to be drawn and proven to build a case. Here are the three common types of medical malpractices.

Late diagnoses and misdiagnoses

This is the most common type of medical malpractice. It occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a condition which resulted in the patient missing out on the opportunity to have the condition treated – that could have prevented it from worsening or even from death.  mriscan

To build a case, the victim needs to be able to prove that another doctor of the same specialization could have diagnosed the condition correctly and timely. If it is found that a competent and reasonably skillful doctor who, under the same circumstances as the misdiagnosing doctor, did not make such error – then treating physician is liable for medical malpractice.

Childbirth injuries

There are several injuries that both the baby and the mother can sustain during and after the pregnancy. As such, both physicians and obstetricians can be found liable for medical malpractice with the following:

Negligence during pregnancy

  •  The doctor is unable to diagnose medical conditions of the mother that could potentially endanger her and her baby, such as anemia, hypoglycemia, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia
  •  The doctor is unable to identify any birth defects
  •  The doctor is unable to identify ectopic pregnancies
  •  The doctor fails to diagnose a disease that could be infectious to the developing fetus, such as neonatal lupus or genital herpes

Negligence during childbirth

  •  The doctor fails to anticipate any complications during childbirth, which can be caused by the large size of the baby, or the tangling of the umbilical cord
  •  The doctor fails to recognize and respond to signs of the baby’s distress
  •  The doctor does not execute a caesarian operation when it is obviously appropriate
  •  The doctor is unable to properly use a vacuum extractor or forceps

Medication errors

Doctors can sometimes make the error of prescribing the wrong medicine or the wrong dosage to their patients, in which the condition persists or ends up worse. Further, they may be cases when the right drug might be given to the hands of the wrong patient.
In some cases, the administration of the drug can also be the cause of the malpractice, such as the case when the nurse or another medical professional administers the incorrect amount. Furthermore, a medical malpractice case can also be filed if it was found that hospital equipment was found to be defective or malfunctioning.

Anesthesia errors

Anesthesiologists are highly trained specialists because of the extreme delicateness of the role that they play. As such, the failure to properly investigate and examine the patient’s medical history that could otherwise cause a reaction to the anesthesia could be grounds for medical malpractice. It can also occur during surgery, in which the incorrect amount is delivered to the patient, which could cause long term effects and concerns.

We place our trust in our doctors and nurses because we know that they are competent and trained for the job. However, if you find yourself suffering from the effects of medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of W.T Johnson so we can right the wrongs that were done to you.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Proving Medical Malpractice Through Misdiagnosis

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on May 13, 2014

Medical malpractice can leave patients with serious injuries or even result in death. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured by a doctor or other medical staff who fail to perform their medical duties. A number of doctors’ errors have occurred as a result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. This can lead to patients receiving incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, no treatment at all, or a patient’s condition can become much worse. While misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis can result in negative consequences for the patient, a mistake in diagnosis itself is not enough to prove medical malpractice.

Proving Medical Malpractice

  • To claim medical malpractice has occurred, you must be able to prove the following:
  • A doctor-patient relationship occurred. You must be able to prove you have a relationship with the physician you are accusing of medical malpractice. Meaning, you hired this doctor and they agreed to be hired.
  • The doctor was negligent. You just prove that the doctor was negligent, meaning they were not reasonably skillful and careful. Not being happy with your treatment or results doesn’t mean the doctor was negligent. You must be able to prove that the doctor caused you harm in a way that any other reasonable doctor wouldn’t have.
  • The doctor’s negligence caused your injury. You must prove that your injury was a direct result of the doctor’s negligence. This can often be difficult to determine, especially if you were previously diagnosed with an illness or have a previously sustained injury.

When claiming medical malpractice based on diagnosis errors, you must be able to prove the doctor was negligent in your diagnosis. It is possible that a fully trained, skillful doctor made an error in your diagnosis. What must be determined is that the doctor made a competent decision, meaning he/she knew what they did and didn’t do to arrive at their diagnosis.

A patient must also prove that any other doctor practicing the same specialty, and under the same circumstances wouldn’t have made the same misdiagnosis. Basically, a patient must prove one of two things:

1. The doctor didn’t include the correct diagnosis on the differential diagnosis list, when a competent doctor under the same circumstances would have.
2. The doctor included the correct diagnosis on the differential diagnosis list, but failed to perform the correct test or procedure.

Occasionally, the reason for a misdiagnosis is because the doctor received inaccurate results back from a medical lab. This can be due to faulty lab equipment or human error. The doctor may not be liable for medical malpractice in this situation, however, the lab technician could be.

Lastly, the patient must prove that the misdiagnosis harmed them personally, or the delayed diagnosis caused the patient’s injury or condition to progress beyond where it normally would have.

As you can see, medical malpractice is highly regulated with a set of rules, that vary from state to state. If you or your loved one have suffered injury or death due to medical malpractice, contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of WT Johnson for legal assistance. Many states have a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. Don’t lose your opportunity to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us today.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Malpractice Warnings With Allergy Season Arriving

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on April 22, 2014

Allergy season has everyone sniffling, sneezing, and heading to the doctor’s office in hopes of getting some relief. This time of year can be very difficult for many because of the runny noses and puffy eyes, however it can be even more difficult for those who happen to get ahold of allergy medicines that are wrong for them.

Over the counter allergy medicines are widely available for many people as a go-to solution for quick relief. There are several over the counter allergy medicines out now that started out as prescription only and have progressed into being readily available at a local drug store. However, many people often feel that these allergy reliefs don’t work well and are looking for something stronger and more reliable.  allergies

A Doctor’s Diagnosis

When a patient is experiencing symptoms of discomfort that is causing their everyday life to become difficult, a doctor can help diagnose and alleviate certain issues. Many times in allergy season, patients will seek help from a professional allergist to identify which pollens and particles they are most allergic too and how to deal with them.

Despite the experience and years of education regarding allergen identification and reaction, doctors can easily make a mistake. Overlooking very simple steps in the diagnosis process can quickly result in the prescription of a drug or anti-allergen that could cause a serious reaction and need for immediate medical attention.

In extreme cases, doctors are actually urged by their practices or pharmaceutical representatives to prescribe a particular set of drugs. It is when these unfortunate biases come into play regarding a patient’s health that mistakes can happen. Sometimes an allergist could be testing for natural allergens and in turn overlook a drug allergy that a patient may have.

Medical Malpractice Attorney

Our firm is proud to defend our client’s rights and chance for just compensation when they are victims of medical malpractice. Should a medical professional make a mistake, even a simple overlook, that could jeopardize a patient’s well being, they should be held accountable for their actions. To schedule your case evaluation today contact The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

How To Fight A Misdiagnosis

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on February 25, 2014

Many malpractice lawsuits stem from a case involving misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. These lawsuits are very difficult for a patient to win because the law does not hold doctors legally responsible for all diagnostic errors. Patients have to prove three things in order to successfully win a malpractice lawsuit that involves misdiagnosis.  

Patient Must Prove

  • a doctor-patient relationship existed between the patient and the doctor in question

  • said doctor acted negligently and did not provide treatment in a competent and skillful manner

  • the doctor’s negligence caused actual injury or further harm to the patient

The first point is very easy for a person seeking a malpractice lawsuit to prove, while the other two are seemingly more difficult for a person to prove. This is due to the fact that misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis alone are not automatically medical malpractice or negligence. In order to prove such things, a full evaluation of medical records and the diagnostic timeline must be completed by an experienced attorney along with several medical professionals. This evaluation is crucial in the attempted proving of medical malpractice because it will bring to light what the doctor did or did not do when trying to arrive at a diagnosis.

This evaluation must prove that the doctor in question, under other circumstances, would not have misdiagnosed the illness. This can be done in two ways. For example:

  • the doctor did not include the correct diagnosis in his/her complied list of potential diagnoses’ that they were about to test for

  • the doctor had the correct diagnosis on their compiled list of potential diagnoses’ but did not test to see if the correct diagnosis was even a possibility

If the test or lab results that a doctor is basing their diagnostic decision off of are incorrect, the doctor is not liable for the misdiagnosis. However, someone else may be liable, such as the lab technician.

Proving Injury

If one is able to prove that the doctor acted in a negligent manner, they must then prove that the doctors actions proved further injury to the patient or that the patient’s illness progressed farther than it normally would have.  An example of this would be a disease such as cancer progressed to a more severe stage and required more intense treatment, at the fault of the doctors misdiagnosis. Injury can also be considered: stress, anxiety, medical issues, medical bills, or anything else that could possibly come from a doctor misdiagnosing a patient with a severe and expensive to treat illness that they do not infact have.

If you or someone that you know has been misdiagnosed or received a delayed diagnosis and feel as if you suffered enough to consider a medical malpractice lawsuit, contact The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today! The Law Offices of W.T. Johnson is an experienced personal injury firm that is located in Dallas, Texas. The office can be reached at the toll free number of (800) 738-4046 or the local number of (214) 231-0544. Call today to discuss your case and to set up an appointment!

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Elder Abuse

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on January 20, 2014

Causes of Nursing Home AbuseBedsores may not seem to be a serious condition, but they can be fatal. Bedsores, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers can happen very easily in elderly or disabled people. They are caused by too much pressure being put on the skin for a long period. However, they are preventable so when they develop; it is a sign that the person has not had enough attention paid to their health and comfort. Bedsores are elder abuse.

The most common causes of bedsores are:

  • Immobility
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Unchanged diapers
  • Wet clothing (including sheets)

Many elderly or disabled have problems with mobility, and might even be bedridden, so it is important they be turned regularly, their diapers are changed frequently, and they are given proper nutrition. It is the responsibility of the nursing home or hospital staff to make sure they are being attentive to the needs of those in their care.

The most common places for bedsores to appear are those areas that have the most pressure on them, such as, the tailbone, shoulder blades, heels, and elbows. Modern medical advances have produced many products that are available for relieving these pressure points. Air mattresses and air cushions can be very beneficial to anyone at risk of developing bedsores. Those with little or no mobility must also be turned at least every two hours to take the pressure off these vulnerable areas of the body.

However, recent medical advances are worthless if the caregivers do not use them or do not adhere to proper standards of care that the elderly and disabled require.There are individuals who suffer from other conditions that might make bedsore prevention nearly impossible, but that is not the case for the majority of bedsores that developed. Most bedsores are a result of lack of care and concern by the staff, which has a duty to care.

What Can A Family Do When Bedsore Injuries Happen?

Of course, the best scenario is to prevent bedsores from developing. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many elderly, disabled, and their families. All too often, elderly and disabled people lose their ability to be heard. They are entrusted to the care of a nursing home or hospital when the family cannot provide the specialized care they need. There are things the family can do to make sure their loved one is properly cared for, being proactive is the most important. Here are several things to watch for and report to the persons in charge:

  1. Know and document the skin condition of the person before they went into the nursing home or hospital.
  2. Note all current medical conditions the person has.
  3. .
  4. Note any or all-medical devices that are used to assist the person, such as air mattresses and padding.
  5. Note if clothes are generally clean and dry.
  6. Note if diapers are changed regularly.
  7. Note when bedsores develop: how long after the person was admitted, what is being done to help them or prevent them from becoming worse.

If you suspect your loved one is not receiving the quality care they deserve, contact the attorneys at W.T. Johnson today to set up a consultation.

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on December 20, 2013

With about eight years of schooling under their belt, it’s not uncommon to expect the best from our doctors. After all, they’re paid for their knowledge and expertise, so we usually trust their solutions for how to take care of any illness or injury.

But doctors are humans, and like all humans, they make mistakes. In other professions, mistakes usually mean missing a deadline or sending an email too soon. But in the medical field? Well, one “small” mistake could cost a victim their life and/or a whole unnecessary pile of extra medical bills. Medical professionals have little to no room to make any mistakes, particularly when it comes to treating a patient.

Were you a victim of medical malpractice? Did you get stuck with more medical expenses than you can afford for procedures that were ineffective or unnecessary, or maybe even harmed you? Before consulting a lawyer and filing a claim, make sure your case meets all the criteria for a valid medical malpractice claim.

What is the criteria for medical malpractice?

When you consult with a skilled medical malpractice attorney for a consultation of your claim, you will review your case as a whole to make sure the basic qualifications of a malpractice case exist.

  • A formal relationship between doctor and patient existed.
    This is an easy qualification to prove. A formal relationship means that the patient saw the doctor in a professional setting for advice and treatment. For example, if your neighbor, who is a doctor, made a guess as to why you were getting migraines each night that turned out to be incorrect, you would lack evidence of an official doctor/patient relationship, and the malpractice claim would prove invalid.

  • The doctor was negligent.
    Negligence can be more difficult to prove, and this requirement is often what blurs the line between what is and is not malpractice. If your doctor was negligent, it means he or she did (or did not) do something that any competent, skilled doctor would have done differently. Just because you experienced a bad side effect from a medication or a treatment didn’t work for you, you do not automatically have a malpractice case.

    How can you prove negligence? If you were treated by another professional who could properly identify your condition and correct treatments, then you can use this person as a medical testimony in court.

  • The negligence was the cause of your harm.
    Aside from negligence, you need to prove it was the direct cause of your damages. This requirement is also challenging to prove, since an appointment with a doctor means something was already wrong. This can be a problem if the damages and illness/injury mimic each other. For example, if a chemo patient underwent an unnecessary procedure that resulted in further nausea, the physical damages may be buffered by the fact that nausea was already experienced.

    Just like proving the doctor was negligent, the easiest way to prove this is by consulting with a medical professional who can give a testimony on how the negligence caused direct harm, and what could have been done to prevent it.

  • The harm resulted in damages.
    How did you suffer from the negligence? This part of the case may serve as the most important requirements, as it’s the root of why you are suing the medical practice. Damages aren’t limited to physical repercussions. Mental anguish, unnecessary medical bills and lost time that could have been spent working or earning money all qualify for damages from medical malpractice.

Now that you have read through the basic components to malpractice cases, it’s time to identify exactly how the doctor mistreated you. There are three most common causes of medical malpractice that you likely will be suing for.

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice

There are typically three popular cases for medical malpractice.

  • Misdiagnosis
    An incorrect diagnosis probably ranks as the number one cause of medical malpractice, likely because it’s unfortunately the easiest mistake to make. However, a misdiagnosis can be costly, both physically and and financially. If another doctor can explain how a misdiagnosis was negligent, and that another competent doctor could have made the correct diagnosis, you have enough evidence to earn compensation for your damages.

  • Improper Treatment
    Perhaps the diagnosis was correct, but the treatment procedures were ineffective, unnecessary or harmful. Improper treatment also means administering the treatment procedure incorrectly, even if the treatment itself was correct. It also encompasses an incorrect prescription order, particularly one that caused further illness or injury.

  • Failure to Warn Patient of Risks
    Doctors understand they have a duty to explain all risks involved with treatments and procedures. Explaining these risks thoroughly is crucial, because patients may want to opt out of the procedure beforehand after knowing the risks. Without identifying these risks, patients lose that right and can become injured without any warning.

Are you able to pinpoint one of these causes as the root of your damages? Call a skilled medical malpractice attorney immediately for a solid legal representation that will provide you with the compensation you deserve. Be aware of the additional requirements of medical malpractice cases to best succeed in your case.

Extra Requirements

  • Malpractice cases must be brought to court fairly quickly.
    These cases come with an expiration date before becoming invalid, usually ranging from six months to two years.

  • Possible review by a panel necessary in some states.
    Many states require that the patient present their case to a panel before going to court. The panel will determine if the plaintiff actually has a valid case based off the arguments, evidence, medical testimonies, etc. While presenting your case to a panel is not an alternative to filing an official lawsuit, it is an obstacle many states make the patient go through to prevent invalid claims from going to court.

  • Special notice of malpractice claim given to doctor may be necessary. In addition to a review panel, some states require that the patient presents a notice to the doctor or office stating that he or she is suing for malpractice with a basic description.

  • A limit on damage compensation can be set. Depending on the state the case occurs in, there may a state limit on the amount awarded to patients.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

If you would like to discuss your claim with a member of our team, don’t hesitate to call us at (214) 231-0544. We’re ready to help you, and won’t rest until you receive the settlement you deserve.

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