Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Denver Helping You Get the Compensation You Need
Medical malpractice is not just a health problem; it is a violation of trust. When you have an illness or an injury, you turn to your trusted doctors or other medical professionals for help. Sometimes, though, negligence on the part of a medical professional can make your condition worse instead of better. Physicians take an oath to “do no harm” to their patients, and if their actions do cause harm, you have the right to fair compensation for the suffering they have caused you. If a physician’s or other medical professional’s poor judgment has impacted your ability to work, your mental health, your family relationships, and your ability to live pain-free, you deserve financial compensation that gives you the support you need to heal and get back on track.
Call Greer Law Group at our Denver office today at 303-331-6460 to speak to a medical malpractice attorney and explore your options.
What Are Some Common Kinds of Medical Malpractice?
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is not as rare as you might think. Medical professionals are not gods, and they can and do make mistakes. Here are 10 common instances of malpractice in the United States:
- Failure to Diagnose: Often, recovery from an illness or injury depends upon a quick, accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment. If your doctor fails to recognize what is wrong and does not prescribe correct treatment right away, your condition may worsen or even become irreversible.
- Surgical Errors: There are always risks inherent in any surgery, but sometimes it is an error on the part of a surgeon, nurse, anesthesiologist, or other surgical professional that can cause surgery to go awry. Common surgical mistakes include operating on the wrong body part, failing to maintain sterile conditions resulting in infection, or even leaving a foreign object behind in the body.
- Incorrect Treatment: It is a doctor’s duty to know or to research the best and most appropriate treatments for any malady their patients present them with. If your doctor prescribed the wrong course of treatment and your condition failed to improve or got worse, that might be medical malpractice.
- Medication Errors: Even when the correct medication has been prescribed, it must be administered in the proper way at the proper dosage to be effective. If you are in a hospital or a long-term care facility, you are no longer in charge of your own medication routine. If a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional gives you the wrong medication, the wrong dose, or gives the medication at the wrong time or in the wrong way, your condition may worsen. It is even possible for a medication mistake to cause a new illness or injury that you did not have previously.
- Birth Injuries: During the birthing process, there are many points at which things can go wrong. If a medical professional fails, for example, to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels, cerebral palsy can result. If a Caesarean section is not performed in time, the lives of both the mother and the baby may be in jeopardy. Any error in the delivery room has the potential to lead to dire consequences.
- Neglect Leading to Bedsores: Particularly in long-term care facilities, patients must be attended to with great care, as they are often unable to perform even the most basic tasks for themselves, such as rolling over in bed. Bedsores are one common sign of neglect in bedridden patients. Other issues of neglect may include dehydration, malnutrition, or lack of adequate hygiene for the patient.
- Anesthesia Errors: Administering anesthesia is another process in which great care is necessary. If an anesthesiologist administers the wrong anesthesia, or the wrong dose, fails to pay attention to the patient’s medical history, or does not monitor vital signs while the patient is anesthetized, terrible consequences such as brain damage or even death can occur.
- Cancer Misdiagnosis: Cancer is a disease that requires the earliest possible intervention. If a doctor misses the signs and does not diagnose your cancer early enough, a disease that may have been treatable or even curable may become fatal.
- Dental Mistakes: Dentists are doctors, too, and errors on their part can be catastrophic. Your teeth are very close to your brain, and any infection or injury in the mouth can quickly migrate. Eating is also vital to survival, and problems with teeth can make eating normally very difficult, if not impossible, impacting daily life in a significant way.
- Failure to Prevent or Treat Infections: Sadly, hospitals are hotbeds of infections including staph, strep, C.Diff, MRSA, and other infections, many of which are antibiotic-resistant. About 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many of which could have been prevented.
Which Medical Professionals Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice?
While we generally associate cases of medical malpractice with medical doctors (MDs), many other kinds of medical professionals can be subject to malpractice claims. Healthcare workers such as nurses, nursing assistants, dentists, chiropractors, therapists, pharmacists, osteopaths, anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists, and even lab technicians can be sued for malpractice, among others.
In addition to individual practitioners, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device companies, and other corporations or their owners or administrators can be held liable for medical malpractice.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Colorado?
When considering filing a medical malpractice claim in Colorado, it is very important to understand that you do not have an unlimited period of time to do so. In Colorado, you must file your medical malpractice claim within two years of the time when “both the injury and its cause are known or should have been known by the exercise of reasonable diligence.” Therefore, if you have an injury caused by malpractice that you did not discover right away, you may have more than two years from the incident of malpractice, but will have only two years from the time of discovery. Colorado law states that the outside limit for filing a malpractice claim is three years, unless one of the following exceptions applies:
- the defendant purposefully concealed or lied about the alleged negligence
- a foreign object was left in the body after surgery
- the physical injury and its cause could not be reasonably discovered
- the plaintiff is a minor or legally incompetent
- the defendant is hiding out of state and cannot be served with papers on the suit
What is a “Certificate of Review”?
In medical malpractice cases, Colorado requires that within 60 days of filing a medical malpractice complaint, your medical malpractice attorney must sign and file a certificate of review stating that the lawyer has consulted with a qualified expert who has reviewed the facts of the case including the medical records, and that this expert has found the case to be justified—in other words, that the case is not frivolous and without legal merit.
The expert must have the education, training, knowledge, and experience to judge the alleged negligence in your case. If you are suing a doctor, the expert must be a licensed physician practicing the same specialty as the defendant.
The goal of this requirement is to prevent the courts and medical professionals from being tied up in medical malpractice lawsuits that are not justified or that have no legal merit. In certain cases, the judge may grant an extension of the 60-day requirement, but if you do not provide the certificate or it does not meet the legal requirements, your case will be dismissed.
How Much Compensation Can I Get in my Colorado Medical Malpractice Case?
There are basically two kinds of compensation you can get in a medical malpractice case. Economic (or pecuniary) damages are the direct costs of the injury caused by malpractice, including such things as medical bills, lost wages, and the costs of required over-the-counter medications or medical devices, among other things. Non-economic (non-pecuniary damages) include intangible losses caused by the malpractice, including pain and suffering, emotional or mental trauma, loss of activities you previously enjoyed, or changes in important relationships, to name just a few.
Colorado has two caps on the amount a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice case. The first is called an “umbrella cap,” which limits the total of all damages paid to a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case to $1 million. The other cap limits the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded to $300,000.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help in My Case?
When you file a claim against a medical professional, you are usually dealing with their insurance company. Insurance companies generally have whole teams of aggressive lawyers whose task is to protect the company from having to pay claims. Trying to fight these lawyers on your own would not be likely to have the best result for you, as a successful outcome depends on education, knowledge, and experience in the law. If you are suing a hospital, pharmaceutical company, or nursing home system, the task can be even more daunting, as these are likely to be even larger corporations than their insurance companies, and you could end up fighting two different huge companies at the same time
Proving medical malpractice can be difficult, and if you have been harmed at the hands of a medical practitioner, it is unlikely that you have the strength, the stamina, or the time to fight for the compensation you deserve. A skilled medical malpractice attorney will conduct a thorough investigation by interviewing witnesses, taking statements, doing medical research, hiring professionals in the medical field for their expert opinions, and looking back at the prior record of the medical practitioner or facility in question, among other things. Trying to do these things yourself while you are trying to heal would be an impossible burden.
In addition to investigating the case, your medical malpractice attorney from Greer Law Group will file all necessary legal paperwork, meet all deadlines and requirements, and administer the existing laws in the ways most likely to benefit you. We know the law, and we know the court system. Let us use our knowledge and experience to get you the help you need.
If you or a loved one suffer harm caused by a medical professional or facility, you need fair compensation. You cannot afford to risk your physical health, your financial health, or your peace of mind by struggling on alone. You need to get the care you need, take care of your family, and get your life back to as normal a routine as possible. If you are disabled, missing work, and trying to get the rest you need to heal, you cannot possibly take on the legal battle yourself. The knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Greer Law Group will take your side against these monster corporations and stand up for you when you may not be able to stand up for yourself. You will have the peace of mind of knowing that your case is in skilled and professional hands, leaving you time to rest and recuperate so that life can go on. You don’t have to do it alone. We are here to help.
The personal injury attorneys at Greer Law Group have the right combination of compassion and toughness to stand by your side and fight for what’s right. You need us on your side, and we will be there, every step of the way. Our attorneys are here to help. 303-331-6460