The Queenan Law Firm
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Dallas Medical Malpractice Lawyer
We trust doctors to diagnose and treat us because we know they have undergone years of special training. Unfortunately, despite this training, many doctors still lack the skill and experience necessary to properly diagnose an illness, or safely perform a medical procedure. When a doctor, nurse, surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other healthcare professional makes a mistake, the patient can be seriously injured, suffer from undiagnosed terminal illness, or even succumb to wrongful death. In fact, hospital errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, surpassed only by cancer and cardiovascular disease.
If you or one of your family members was injured or became ill due to medical negligence at a clinic or hospital in Dallas, you are urged to contact the Queenan Law Firm, P.C. for a free and confidential consultation. If your physician acted with negligence, and you were harmed as a result, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. To discuss your malpractice claim in a free and private legal consultation with a Dallas medical malpractice attorney, call Queenan Law as soon as possible at (817) 476-1797.
Grounds for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Dallas
Unfortunately, even talented doctors are sometimes unsuccessful in their efforts. However, a doctor’s failure to successfully treat a patient does not necessarily give rise to a cause of action. If a doctor performs all actions in an appropriate, timely, and competent fashion, he or she has not committed malpractice, even if the patient has a poor outcome. Malpractice occurs when a doctor acts with negligence or carelessness, leading to a serious mistake or problem that would have been avoided by a different doctor.
Four elements must be present in order for the victim to have grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. These elements are:
- Duty of care. A duty of care is created when there is a formal doctor-patient relationship. Taking casual medical advice from a friend, for example, does not create this relationship.
- Breach of duty. The duty of care is violated. Any number of errors may constitute a breach of duty. Some examples of medical errors and hospital errors are listed in the next section.
- Causation. The illness or injury results from the actions of the doctor, such as the failure to sterilize a piece of equipment properly. In many cases, it is not the doctor’s actions, but the lack thereof – for example, the failure to order a lab test – that leads to tragedy.
- Damages. The patient is harmed as a result of the doctor’s actions, or failures to act. In some cases, this involves an existing illness or infection that goes undetected and therefore untreated. In other cases, the doctor’s actions create a new injury or health problem that did not formerly exist.
If all four of these factors are present, the patient may have a cause of action. Our Dallas medical malpractice lawyers can determine whether you may have a case when you contact us for your free consultation.
Common Hospital Errors and Medical Mistakes that Cause Injury
Many people equate medical malpractice with catastrophic surgical errors, such as performing surgery on the wrong limb or wrong side of the body. However, a doctor’s failures do not have to be that extreme in order for the victim to have a malpractice case. There are numerous ways in which doctors commit malpractice, and only some involve surgical procedures. Many forms of malpractice involve medication errors, diagnostic errors, or other failures. Some examples of errors that could constitute malpractice include:
- Delaying an operation without a legitimate medical purpose for the delay.
- Diagnosing an illness in a patient who is actually healthy.
- Discharging a patient prematurely.
- Failing to check a patient’s medical background for risks, complications, or dangerous drug interactions.
- Failing to diagnose an illness that is detectable.
- Failing to follow up with a patient.
- Failing to interpret lab results correctly.
- Failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs while he or she is under anesthesia or sedation.
- Failing to order lab tests.
- Forgetting an object inside of a surgical patient’s body. These objects, such as gauze or surgical instruments, are called “unintended retained foreign objects” (URFO).
- Giving a patient too large a dose of medication, leading to overdose.
- Misdiagnosing an illness as the wrong condition, such as misdiagnosing lung cancer as pneumonia.
- Misusing medical equipment or surgical tools, which can cause nerve damage, hemorrhaging, or other serious, potentially life-threatening events.
- Performing unnecessary surgery.
Some malpractice lawsuits do not involve medical mistakes, but rather, the predatory victimization of a patient who is being examined, who is under anesthesia, or who is under sedation. The rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual abuse of a patient, such as unnecessary touching during a physical exam, can give rise to a malpractice action.
Dallas Medical Malpractice Lawyers Representing Injured Patients
When the person you trusted to heal you causes you harm instead, the sense of shock, loss, and betrayal is overwhelming. However, you do not have to go through this struggle alone. The Dallas medical malpractice attorneys of Queenan Law will stand by your side to help you pursue compensation and justice for the wrongful acts that led to your illness or injury. We are not afraid to aggressively challenge powerful malpractice insurance companies, and will fight tirelessly to hold your doctor accountable for his or her careless, devastating actions.
Doctor negligence is an extremely complex area of personal injury law, so it is in your best interests to be represented by an accomplished attorney who has experience handling malpractice lawsuits in Texas. To talk about your claim in a free legal consultation, call the Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797.