Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys’

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Caution That Claims Can Be Barred By Wrongful Conduct

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Healthcare professionals have a duty to treat their patients with reasonable care. What happens if the doctor prescribes painkilling medication that leads to an opiate addiction? Is the doctor responsible? With the opiate crisis in the United States reaching pandemic proportion as a result of over-prescribing prescription drugs, medical malpractice lawsuits present an alternative for a grieving family to redress their loss. The opiate crisis serves to put healthcare professionals on notice that over-prescribing painkillers can lead to addiction and death from overdose. On the other hand, possession of narcotics such and heroin and fentanyl without a prescription is a crime. Does the healthcare industry have a viable defense based on the wrongful conduct of the addict against malpractice claims?

A recent Mississippi court ruling illustrates the complexity of the question. The healthcare professionals in the case were a physician and an inpatient drug rehabilitation facility.  The young man stole Suboxone from the physician’s unlocked office. The young man died from an overdose of Suboxone. The young man’s parents sued the physician and the facility for medical malpractice. The healthcare professionals defended the malpractice suit by arguing that the young man’s illegal conduct prevents his family from claiming the physician and his staff committed malpractice.  But, the Suboxone to which the young man gained access was unlawfully stored in the physician’s office.

Mississippi has a long-standing rule of the law that has its origins in England that prevents a person from suing for injuries caused by their illegal conduct. The rule is called the “wrongful conduct rule.” The wrongful conduct rule states that courts will not allow a person to sue for injuries occurring while the injured person engaged in unlawful or immoral acts.  The wrongful conduct rule prevented a plaintiff from successfully claiming that his Oxycontin addiction was the fault of healthcare professionals.  The plaintiff sued several doctors and pharmacies saying it was their fault he was addicted to the drug because of they should have known he was an addict. The plaintiff lost because he committed fraud by obtaining Oxycontin prescriptions from several doctors and filled them at multiple pharmacies in three different cities.

The rule is limited. The defense will not work simply because the defendant says the plaintiff was doing something illegal when the plaintiff was hurt.  The defense is viable only if the injuries are the result of the illegal conduct. If the illegal conduct is not the direct cause of the injuries, then the plaintiff can recover damages. The wrongful conduct rule has another limitation as well. If both parties committed illegal acts, then the plaintiff can recover for injuries if the defendant’s illegal acts were greater than the plaintiff’s.

In the recent ruling, the court looked at the duty a hospital owes to people who are inpatients. The hospital must use reasonable care to protect the patient from a known or foreseeable danger and, if necessary, protect the patient from harming himself. It is foreseeable that a drug addict, seeking medical care for addiction, would try to steal and take drugs found on the premises. It is also foreseeable that an addict may overdose on narcotics as well. The unfortunate young man discussed in the case was struggling mightily in his battle with addiction. He was hospitalized to fight the addiction. It makes sense that the medical facility must take every precaution to make certain narcotics do not fall into the wrong hands.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Lawyers Ready to Help

If a hospital or other medical treatment center failed to protect you or a loved one, call the experienced Mississippi Medical Malpractice Lawyers from Giddens Law Firm, P.A. at 601-355-2022. The lawyers at Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are passionate about helping victims win the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Misdiagnosis of Cancer Patients

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Former Jacksonville basketball legend Rex Morgan recently died of oral cancer. His widow has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against his doctor and against Quest Diagnostics, alleging that they failed to identify the cancer before it was too late for it to be treated. It is her hope that this lawsuit will generate awareness of misdiagnosis in cancer patients, so that other families might be spared the tragic and untimely loss of a loved one from a disease that, if detected and treated early enough and thoroughly enough, could possibly be successfully treated.

Morgan had been diagnosed with tonsil cancer in 2010, and he underwent treatment for it. In 2011, an employee of Quest Diagnostics conducted a biopsy of his tongue and told him that the biopsy showed no signs of cancer. Based upon that information, Morgan believed that his initial treatment had been successful. Two years later, another biopsy showed cancer in Morgan’s tongue. At that time, he asked another doctor to examine the samples that had been taken during the 2011 biopsy. According to that doctor, the samples from the 2011 biopsy had contained cancer.

Unfortunately, Rex Morgan lost valuable time when he stopped cancer treatment after being told in 2011 that he did not have cancer. As soon as he became aware that he still had cancer, he began intensive treatment. By the time Rex Morgan started treatment again, the disease had developed past the point where treatment could have been successful. He died at the age of sixty seven.

When medical professionals misinterpret diagnostic tests like a biopsy and then misinform patients about the status of their health based upon their incorrect analysis, the consequences can be serious and even fatal. Cancer is an aggressive disease, and a patient’s chance of survival depends largely upon early detection and prompt treatment. Whether a misdiagnosis occurs before a patient becomes aware that they have cancer or a misdiagnosis of being cancer -free occurs after undergoing treatment for cancer, the end result is often a delay in treatment or a disruption in treatment that can reduce or eliminate the patient’s chance at successful treatment of the disease. While medical malpractice lawsuits for incorrect diagnoses or missed diagnoses can occur for all kinds of illnesses, those that are associated with cancer often involve patients who ultimately die as the result of the mistakes that were made.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Supporting Mississippi Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs

Missed diagnoses are an all too common cause of medical malpractice lawsuits. If you have been injured or someone that you love has died as the result of a missed diagnosis, you may have a claim for medical malpractice against one or more of the medical professionals who were involved in the missed diagnosis. A successful medical malpractice lawsuit could help you to focus on pursuing what treatment you can for yourself or on healing from the loss of your loved one. If you have questions about medical malpractice, the Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you.  Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Common Reasons for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

A 2015 survey conducted by Medscape reveals the most common causes of medical malpractice. Nearly four thousand primary care physicians and specialists participated in the survey. Survey participants were fairly evenly distributed among age groups, but there were a much larger number of male participants (70%) than female participants (30%). One of the things that this study revealed is the percentage of doctors who are sued for malpractice, which is just under sixty percent. The study also shows that over half of the time, it is not a single doctor who is named as a party in a medical malpractice suit, but rather a group of doctors and other parties.

The two most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits are equally common, with thirty one percent of lawsuits being related to failures to diagnose and thirty one percent of lawsuits being associated with abnormal injuries. Some of the specific types of claims that were made in those categories are failure to diagnose cardiac emergency and late or missed cancer diagnosis. Other common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits include failure to treat, medication errors, poor documentation, lack of informed consent, and failure to follow safety procedures. Some of the specific types of cases that are included in the aforementioned categories are postoperative infections, birth defects, hospital room falls, and injury or death during surgery.

An interesting outcome of the Medscape study is that it sheds some light on how long medical malpractice cases typically take from start to finish. Just under twenty percent of the doctors involved in the study reported that their medical malpractice cases took less than a year. Over thirty percent of the cases were resolved in between one and two years’ time. Approximately the same amount of cases lasted for three to five years, and a few doctors reported that their medical malpractice cases lasted longer than five years.

One of the things that doctors talked about during their participation in the Medscape study is whether they planned to take any action to change the way that they practiced medicine in order to serve their patients better and avoid future medical malpractice lawsuits. Many of the doctors involved in the survey said that they planned to be more meticulous about documentation. Others plan to improve the ways in which they communicate with patients, including making more time to discuss patients’ questions and concerns.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Helping Mississippi Medical Malpractice Victims

If you were injured or someone that you love was killed as the result of medical malpractice, you are likely to have many questions. Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, but with the right help, you can pursue compensation against the individual or group of individuals who may be responsible for your injury or loss. The Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you find the answers that you need. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Diagnostic Errors

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Most people are familiar with medical diagnostic tests, such as x-rays. These tests are designed to help medical professionals accurately pinpoint the cause of the patient’s suffering so that an appropriate treatment can be implemented quickly. Unfortunately, what most people do not know is that diagnostic errors happen more frequently than you might imagine.

Most diagnostic errors remain unseen to the public, but for some of the individuals and families who are involved, they can be painful, frightening, and even deadly. When diagnostic errors do make headlines, it is sometimes because the situation involves a serious public health threat. For example, a man with Ebola was initially diagnosed as having sinusitis. When he returned to the hospital, he had gotten even sicker, and e eventually died. It is estimated that one in twenty people who seek outpatient care each year experience a diagnostic error. Diagnostic errors are actually the leading type of paid medical malpractice claims, and they are almost twice as likely as other types of claims to have resulted in a patient’s death.

Some of the most powerful diagnostic tools that medical professionals have available to them, like x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs, enable those professionals to see the inside of patients’ bodies. However, the ability to look inside of a patient’s body does not automatically lead to an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. It takes a high level of skill and care to properly interpret the images that the diagnostic tools produce. When these images are not interpreted correctly, inaccurate diagnoses may be made, diagnoses may be missed, or inappropriate treatments may be prescribed. When this happens, patients can become sicker and, in some cases, they can even die.

There are many things that can go wrong while medical professionals are performing or interpreting a diagnostic test. The test could be performed improperly, or it could be done on the wrong part of the body. The test results could be misinterpreted. One example of what can happen when an x-ray is misinterpreted is the case of a woman whose chest x-ray showed a mass on her lung which was not noted in the x-ray interpretation. The woman was a smoker, and she had a family history of lung cancer. Those factors were not taken into account in the x-ray interpretation, and the woman was given a diagnosis of a respiratory infection. She was prescribed antibiotics for treatment. Eighteen months later, she was still experiencing pain and had another chest x-ray done, which revealed advanced lung cancer and a mass that had doubled in size. The woman eventually died of lung cancer. Is it possible that she could have lived longer if she had received lung cancer treatment following the initial chest x-ray?

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Supporting the Victims of Medical Malpractice in Mississippi

Diagnostic errors can cause patients to get even sicker before they receive proper treatment for their illnesses or injuries. Unfortunately, some diagnostic errors are even fatal. If you have been injured or if someone that you love was killed by a medical diagnostic error, the Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Please call our office today at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Share a Big Picture View of Malpractice

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Everyone needs medical care sometimes. When a person needs medical care for any reason, they trust the professionals that they are receiving care from to help them with whatever medical situation they are seeking help for. While most of the time, medical professionals do help those to whom they provide care, sometimes, they do more harm than good. Sometimes, medical professionals make mistakes, or they are not careful enough when they are treating the patients in their care. Some mistakes do not have a negative impact on the patient or their health, but others can have serious adverse health effects and, in some cases, can even result in death. When a mistake is made by one or more medical professionals who owe a duty of care to a patient, and the patient is damaged by the mistake, then medical malpractice or medical negligence has occurred.

There are many ways in which medical malpractice has touched the lives of those who have been affected by it. While each instance of medical malpractice is distinctive and affects the victim and their family in a way that is unique, many people would like to know more about how medical malpractice affects the population as a whole. Statistics on medical malpractice are valuable in that they provide an overview of what kinds of incidents result in medical malpractice, what injuries the victims suffer, and what kind of care the victims were receiving when the malpractice occurred.

There are eight types of medical malpractice claims which correspond to eight types of medical care scenarios. For example, the greatest number of medical malpractice claims arise from situations in which there has been an incorrect diagnosis or a failure to diagnose. The other types of claims arise from surgeries, treatment, obstetrical care, medication errors, anesthesia, and patient monitoring. As with any compilation of statistics, there are incidences of medical malpractice which do not fit neatly into one of the seven aforementioned categories, so the eighth type of medical malpractice claim is that which results from some “other” type of incident.

The victims of medical malpractice experience a range of injuries, and, in approximately a third of instances, death. The other categories of injury that are commonly alleged in medical malpractice claims are permanent injuries, brain damage, quadriplegia, and injuries that will require care for the remainder of the victim’s life.

The medical professionals whose errors give rise to medical malpractice claims are distributed fairly evenly between those who work in an inpatient setting and those who provide care on an outpatient basis. Neurosurgeons and thoracic-cardiovascular surgeons top the list of the types of professionals who are sued for medical malpractice most often.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you have been injured as the result of medical malpractice, Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys can help you to recover financially for the injuries that you have sustained. If you have questions about medical malpractice in Mississippi, please call the Giddens Law Firm, P.A., at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss the Relationship between Communication and Quality of Care

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

The next time you have an appointment with a doctor or other health care professional, you may want to pay close attention to both what they say and how they say it. Of course you need the information that the doctor is giving you, but the context within which it is given is just as important, and it may have implications for the quality of care that you receive, both now and in the future.

When doctors take plenty of time to address all of their patients’ concerns, respond to phone calls and other correspondence promptly, and treat their patients with kindness and respect, their patients are likely to be very satisfied with the care that they receive. Additionally, if a patient has this type of relationship with someone who is providing medical care to them, they are likely to be more forgiving if something goes wrong and attribute whatever harm has occurred to a mistake instead of negligence or intentional wrongdoing.

Unfortunately, not all patients feel this way about those who provide health care services to them. Sometimes, patients do not feel as though they can trust their doctor, and they may wonder whether their doctor truly has their best interest in mind. Other patients may feel as though their doctor treats them rudely, or is dismissive of their concerns. Some patients may even feel like their health care provider does not respect them, and treats them like they are not intelligent enough to understand what is going on with their own bodies. In these types of relationships, when errors are made, patients are much less forgiving and much more likely to accuse the doctor of being negligent or even harming them intentionally.

Some of the communication problems that develop in the relationships between health care providers and their patients develop because there is a trend in the medical profession towards perceiving patients as potential adversaries. The trend has developed because of growing concerns about medical malpractice liability, but it does not help the situation any. In fact, it only makes matters worse because it weakens relationships and creates an atmosphere of low trust.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you feel as though you have been injured by the negligence or intentional wrongdoing of a doctor or other medical professional, get help from another health care provider immediately. Also, when it is possible for you to do so, contact a Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorney. Your attorney can help you file a claim for damages against the person or people who are responsible for your injuries. The Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. work hard to obtain financial recovery for people who have been injured by the negligence of medical professionals. To learn how the Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you, please call us today, at (601) 355-2022, to schedule an initial consultation.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Negligence

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

There are times when a person is injured and amputation of a limb is absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, there are also times when amputation becomes necessary because of negligence in caring for a patient who would not otherwise be in a position to lose a limb. A sixty five year old man was recently awarded a $3.157 million verdict for that very reason.

The man was hospitalized because he felt dizzy and weak, and he suspected that he might have internal bleeding. As part of the care that he received at the hospital, a doctor evaluated his left leg, which was wounded. The doctor put an Unna Boot, a specific type of gauze bandage, on the man’s leg to aid in healing the wounds. After the bandage had been on for five days, it was discovered that some of the tissue on the man’s leg had become necrotic, and amputation was deemed necessary.

Whenever a patient seeks medical care, whether it is at a doctor’s office, a hospital, or in some other health care setting, they bring their past with them. A patient’s medical history is extremely important to the medical professionals who are providing medical care because, among other things, it can help them to identify why a patient may be feeling a particular way or it can help them to know whether specific courses of treatment would be safe and appropriate for that particular patient.

In the case of the man who lost his leg, the Unna Boot bandage was not an appropriate way to treat his wounds because he had an underlying medical condition which reduced blood flow to his legs. The man had a history of peripheral vascular disease in his lower extremities, which means that the arteries in his lower body had narrowed and he had poor circulation in that area. According to the patient’s lawyers, the Unna Boot was not a proper way to treat wounds for a patient who has reduced blood flow. Additionally, no attempt was made to improve blood flow in the man’s leg prior to treating the wounds. The doctor had also failed to seek assistance from a vascular surgeon, which arguably could have helped the doctor find a way to treat the wounds without causing tissue necrosis in the area with reduced blood flow.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Your medical history is tremendously important to doctors and others who provide you with medical care because it helps them to determine how they can best care for you. When doctors fail to provide care in a manner that addresses underlying conditions in a patient’s medical history the results can be tragic. If you have been injured by negligent medical care, protect your rights and get help from Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys as soon as you can. The Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you to pursue the financial recovery that you deserve as you focus on your physical recovery. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Malpractice by Chiropractors

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

When you think of medical malpractice, you probably think of doctors who practice in a traditional physician’s office or hospital setting. Many people receive medical care from doctors and health care providers who practice outside of those settings. These medical professionals are also potentially liable to their clients if the care that they provide is not given in accordance with the applicable standard of care.

Chiropractors are one type of medical care provider who can be held liable for medical malpractice. A chiropractor in South Carolina was found to have committed malpractice after a patient ended up in the hospital with a ruptured disk in her back after receiving two chiropractic treatments. The injured woman now experiences chronic pain, and her injury requires ongoing physical therapy and medical attention. In her malpractice lawsuit, the woman alleged that the chiropractor had not conducted a proper physical exam, nor had he fully evaluated her medical history or taken proper x-rays before performing either of the two chiropractic treatments. She also alleged that the chiropractor had falsified her medical records so that they gave an incorrect account of the care that he had provided to her. Plaintiffs in other, similar cases have also brought successful medical malpractice claims against chiropractors who either performed a chiropractic manipulation negligently or failed to diagnose a medical condition which required medical care from another provider, such as a primary care physician or a hospital.

Fewer medical malpractice cases are brought against chiropractors than against other types of doctors. This may be because many of the injuries that are caused by improper chiropractic care do not rise to the level of severity that would indicate medical malpractice. However, there are cases involving severe injuries resulting from improper chiropractic care or a failure to diagnose a medical condition which requires additional medical treatment in which a chiropractor’s actions do constitute malpractice because they do fall outside of the applicable standard of care. The standard of care that applies to chiropractors is that any chiropractor must use the same degree of care and competence as other ordinary, prudent chiropractors.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Chiropractic care can provide relief from many types of pain. The safest way to receive chiropractic care is upon the advice of your primary care physician, who can work with your chiropractor to suggest a course of treatment that is appropriate for your condition. If you have experienced an injury due to an improperly performed chiropractic adjustment, or if you were injured when your chiropractor failed to diagnose a medical condition which required additional care, it is important that you speak to a Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorney right away. A Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorney can help you to pursue the financial recovery that you deserve as you focus on your physical recovery. To learn more about how the attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. can help you, please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.

Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss the Frequency of Malpractice

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Many of us have heard disturbing tales of wrong site surgeries, medication errors, misdiagnoses, and the like. These stories are concerning on their own, but perhaps even more concerning are the statistics which show just how often incidents of medical malpractice occur. Medical malpractice cases involve many different scenarios, from foreign objects left inside of the body after surgery, wrong body part surgeries, incorrect surgeries, medication errors, misdiagnoses and failures to diagnose. Medical malpractice occurs whenever a health care provider’s actions deviate from the established standard of care and cause harm to a patient. Two years ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a study that examined how frequently incidents of medical malpractice, which are often called “never events”, actually happen.

A “never event” is something that medical professionals agree should never happen during surgery. All “never events” are deviations from the standards of care which medical professionals are supposed to adhere to in providing care to their patients. Things like surgical sponges being left inside of patients, incorrect body part surgery, and incorrect surgery on the right body part are all “never events”. Approximately 4,044 never events occur annually in the United States. As part of the study, the “never events” were categorized, and the researchers found that each week, twenty incorrect surgeries were performed.  Also, twenty patients per week reported surgery on the wrong body part and another thirty nine patients per week reported that a surgical implement was left inside of their body.

The researchers who did the Johns Hopkins study think that their estimate of the number of “never events” is much lower than the actual occurrence of such events because the estimates were based upon medical malpractice cases that were actually filed, and which were voluntarily reported by hospitals. As few as fifteen percent of medical malpractice claims are voluntarily reported by hospitals, so the numbers that are reported in the study may just be the tip of the iceberg. Additionally, some “never events” cause very little damage to the patient before they are discovered and therefore, they do not result in medical malpractice claims. Another reason that the “never events” estimates in the Johns Hopkins study may be rather low is that some “never events” are never even discovered.

Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Medical malpractice can have a long lasting impact on both the victims and their families. If you have been injured or someone that you love has been killed as the result of the negligent actions of a health care provider, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.  At the Giddens Law Firm, P.A., our team of Mississippi Medical Malpractice Attorneys can help you to pursue a claim for damages that will adequately compensate you and your family for the pain, suffering, and other adverse effects that they have experienced. To learn more about how we can help you to recover from medical malpractice, please call the attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A., at (601) 355-2022.