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Archive for November, 2012

If you followed our earlier blog posts, you should know what constitutes medical malpractice and whether you were a victim. If you think you have a legitimate complaint, the next blog posts will tell you how to assert your legal rights and obtain compensation for medical malpractice.

Compensatory Damages

If you have been injured by someone’s negligence, the law gives you the right to compensation. Bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or a hospital is not being vindictive but simply seeking what is legally and rightfully yours for the injury you have suffered. In fact, the law calls awards for malpractice Compensatory Damages, which means just what it says. They are meant to compensate you for the losses you suffered through a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence.

Loss Allocation

Before 1949 many workers, who were injured on the job, received nothing to compensate them for their injuries. If a worker suffered an injury that made it impossible to work, his or her family was reduced to poverty. After 1949 all states had workers’ compensation laws. Employers in each state paid into a fund that took care of injured workers. It paid their medical expenses, rehabilitated them, and paid a pension if they were permanently disabled. The employer pays contributions, as a cost of doing business, whether his employees are injured or not. It is a way to help people, who have been injured through no fault of their own. It is what lawmakers and lawyers call Loss Allocation.

Today, medical malpractice insurance is considered a Loss Allocation like workers’ compensation. It is no more an insult to ask a doctor for compensation for medical malpractice than to ask your employer’s workers’ compensation to compensate you for injuries you receive on the job. A doctors’ textbook on medical malpractice defense advises them to carry adequate malpractice insurance because: “Accidents do happen, and patients do get injured. So it is only humane that funds be available to compensate the victim of your mistake.”

Thousands of patients suffer, due to malpractice, and do not get the compensation they deserve. If you are malpractice victim, or your client is a malpractice victim, contact JD.MD, Inc., today at 800-225-5363. We can provide you with a Comprehensive Screening Report, an initial case evaluation, by a qualified medical reviewer.

Hospitals are responsible for their employees, contractors, and staff. A hospital has the same obligation as any commercial enterprise to protect people, who enter its premises, whether they are patients or not. Here are some examples of medica

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alpractice cases that challenged a hospital’s liability.

1. The hospital must maintain its buildings and equipment in good operating condition.

In Wisconsin, a woman went to visit her mother in a hospital and left her children outside. When they climbed onto a ledge to look in their grandmother’s window, one child fell off the ledge and suffered a head injury. The hospital said it was not liable. The child was not allowed inside as a visitor because of its age, and the hospital had no control over the child’s actions outside the building. The court disagreed and said the hospital had a duty to make its premises safe for everyone, inside and out.

2. Patients must be protected from dangerous conditions and self harm, especially if they are confused, drugged, suicidal, mentally or physically impaired.

In a Kentucky case, a hospital patient tried to walk down a flight of stairs while under sedation. She fell and was killed. The court held that the hospital was negligent in failing to keep her restrained in bed, when she was mentally confused.

3. Patients must be protected from harm or invasion of privacy by other patients or intruders.

In Massachusetts, a reporter disguised as a doctor sneaked into the delivery room. When his story appeared in a newspaper, the patient sued the reporter and the hospital for invasion of privacy and emotional distress.

The hospital said it was not responsible, since the reporter had gotten in without anyone’s knowledge. The doctors and nurses in the delivery room thought he was a new hospital orderly. But, the court said the hospital was liable, because it failed to give the patient the protection she had the right to expect.

4. Patients must be protected from hospital-acquired infections.

These are infections that patients contract from other patients or hospital personnel. It was thought, these infections were the result of germs passing from one patient to another. But, with sterilization techniques and antibiotics, chances are a hospital-acquired infection is due to some negligence on the part of the nurses or doctors.

Important Exception

It is difficult to sue a hospital, if you are injured by normal hospital conditions and practices. People who slip and fall on highly-polished floors will often waste a lot of money and effort trying to sue the hospital as if it were a department store. This is a non-starter, because hospitals are supposed to have highly-polished floors. A Mississippi man fell and suffered a concussion while waiting outside the operating room, where his wife was undergoing surgery. He claimed that he was overcome by chemical odors from the operating room. The court said the odors were normal in a hospital and dismissed his lawsuit.

Thousands of patients suffer, due to malpractice, and do not get the compensation they deserve. If you are a malpractice victim, or your client is a malpractice victim, contact JD.MD, Inc., today at 800-225-5363. We can provide you with a Comprehensive Screening Report, an initial case evaluation, of your medical malpractice cases.

     
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