Archives for : July2015

A Doctor Failed to Diagnose my Son’s Appendicitis: Can I Recover Damages?

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix fills with bacteria, causing inflammation and pain. If identified at an early stage, appendicitis can be treated by prompt removal of the appendix. Though patients with diagnosed appendicitis generally make a full recovery, the condition is treated as a medical emergency because of the serious complications that may occur if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion. If left undiagnosed, appendicitis can cause the appendix to rupture and bacteria can leak into the abdomen. Rupture often leads to blood poisoning and infections and can be fatal if not immediately treated. Patients who suffer a ruptured appendix often require extensive medical treatment and hospitalization and may experience many complications.

Because of the risks of a ruptured appendix, it is imperative that a doctor correctly diagnoses appendicitis when a patient comes into the emergency room. If you or your child is showing any of the symptoms of appendicitis, an ER doctor should do the following:

  • Perform a thorough physical examination
  • Blood tests
  • Urine test to rule out other conditions such as a urinary tract infection
  • X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT scans

Doctors should also thoroughly question a patient regarding when the pain started, the severity of pain, and any other symptoms they may be experiencing such as nausea or fever.

Recovering for a failure to diagnose

If you took your son to the ER, the doctor sent you home with a misdiagnosis of a less serious condition, and your son’s appendix later burst, California law gives you the right to receive proper compensation for the losses you and your son experienced. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to meet the required legal duty of care and causes injury. If a doctor did not perform the proper tests or examinations and, therefore, your son suffered serious complications because of a ruptured appendix, that doctor should be held accountable for his or her actions. By filing a medical malpractice claim, your son may recover for:

  • Additional medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Any other relevant losses

Contact an experienced Sacramento medical malpractice attorney for help

Medical malpractice claims for failure to diagnose appendicitis can be complicated, so you always want to have a highly experienced medical malpractice attorney handling your case. There are strict time limits on filing this type of claim against a medical professional, so do not delay in calling the Teal Law Group at 916-448-1010 for a free consultation today.

What if I was the Victim of a Serious Surgical Error?

In the medical field, a “never event” refers to a shockingly egregious medical error that should never happen in a professional setting. The term was introduced in 2001 by the CEO of the National Quality Forum, a non-profit organization that works to improve healthcare quality through collecting data and reporting its findings to the public. One of the most serious types of “never event” that continues to occur in California hospitals is performing the wrong surgical procedure on the wrong patient. When this occurs, victims can be permanently affected and may require significant additional surgery in order to even partially correct the error. As a result, victims can often recover significant compensation when these kinds of errors occur.

Wrong-patient surgery can have devastating consequences

Imagine going into a surgery to have a failing kidney replaced, only to wake to discover the surgeon and his or her staff has mixed up you and your kidney donor. Rather than having one functional kidney, the likely result of this mistake would be that you and your donor would be left with one bad kidney, as opposed to the intended result of both of you having one good kidney. Obviously, this could lead to extremely serious consequences, including:

  • Serious health problems
  • Additional surgical procedures
  • Dialysis
  • Emotional issues, including anxiety, depression, mental anguish, and PTSD
  • The time, expense, and stress associated with trying to find a new donor

These kinds of accidents should never happen. In many cases, the medical professional or institution liable for never events simply concedes liability, meaning that the only issue left to be resolved is the amount of compensation victims will receive. Unless you have experience appraising medical malpractice claims, you should not try to negotiate a settlement amount without the assistance of an attorney. In many cases, insurance companies offer unrepresented parties seemingly high settlement offers hoping they will simply accept them when, in reality, their claim is worth significantly more.

Contact a Sacramento medical malpractice attorney today to schedule a free case evaluation

When people are injured by the negligence or carelessness of medical professionals, they are often entitled to significant compensation. The attorneys of the Teal Law Group have been representing the legal rights of injured victims since 1975 and are respected as one of California’s leading medical malpractice law firms. To discuss your case with one of our Sacramento medical malpractice lawyers, call our office today at 916-448-1010.

Anesthesia Allergies can Cause Serious Injury

Local anesthesia is a fundamental part of modern medicine, allowing patients to be relatively comfortable during procedures that would otherwise be extremely painful. It is used to numb part of the body and is generally employed in minor surgeries, certain exploratory procedures, caesarean sections, and oral procedures, just to name a few. While allergies to common local anesthetic agents are rare, they do exist, and physicians and anesthesiologists should always ask a patient whether they are aware of any allergies and carefully observe a patient to determine whether any signs of an allergic reaction are occurring. When these reactions are caught early, they can often be stopped without any long-term damage. When they are not, they could potentially leave victims with serious medical complications. Consequently, anyone who has been injured by an anesthesia allergy should have their claim reviewed by an experienced lawyer immediately.

What to do if have an allergic reaction to anesthesia

If you are undergoing a medical procedure, it is important to communicate openly with the medical professionals that are treating you. While you may be embarrassed or hesitant to discuss your anxieties or discomfort, it could very well prevent serious injury from occurring. If you suspect that you may be having an allergic reaction to local anesthesia:

  • Tell your doctor – If something does not feel “right,” tell your physician immediately. Chances are it is a normal side-effect, but your physician should be aware of how the anesthetic is affecting you.
  • Request a copy of your medical records – As a patient, you have a right to your medical record. If you believe you have had an allergic reaction, request a copy of these records. They will contain detailed information about your treatment and may help your lawyer determine whether you have a claim.
  • Talk to a lawyer – If you believe that you have a claim, you should talk to a lawyer familiar with handling California medical malpractice claims. He or she will evaluate the strength of your case and ensure that you receive fair compensation if you have a valid legal claim.

Contact a Sacramento medical malpractice attorney today to schedule a free case evaluation

Anesthesiologists and other medical professionals have a duty to inquire regarding medical allergies and to be aware of and looking for signs of allergies should they occur. People who have suffered harm because of a known or unknown allergy to anesthesia are often entitled to significant financial compensation. For 40 years, the lawyers of the Teal Law Group have been representing the legal rights of individuals injured by the negligence of medical professionals. To discuss your case with an experienced Sacramento medical malpractice lawyer, call our office today at 916-448-1010 or send us an email through our online contact form.

What happens when a Doctor Performs a Procedure without your Informed Consent?

Almost every type of surgery or other medical procedure comes with a wide variety of risks. Some risks and complications can lead to injuries more severe than the original underlying condition. Medical professionals are required to provide patients with information regarding procedures including possible risks that may cause the patient to refuse the treatment. Not every possible risk must be disclosed, however, California doctors are required to inform patients of any information that would be material to a patient making a decision whether to proceed. Agreeing to a procedure after knowing the relevant risks and information is referred to as “informed consent.”

If a doctor fails to properly inform a patient of the risks of surgery or other procedures and the patient suffers serious injury as a result, the patient may be entitled to significant compensation.

The doctor told me the procedure was necessary to save my life

Informed consent cases may become complicated if the procedure is necessary to save a patient’s life. For example, in an emergency situation, a patient may need surgery or other treatment immediately or else they may die. In such cases, there is no time to discuss the risks of the procedure and get the dying patient’s signature on a consent form. For this reason, doctors are not held liable for failing to get informed consent in emergencies.

Additionally, if a doctor knows that you need a particular surgery to survive and suspects that, due to an emotionally fragile state, you would be too afraid to agree to the surgery, the doctor may sometimes be intentionally vague about the risks. For example, imagine that a patient needs spinal surgery to remove a large tumor and avoid imminent death, but there was a risk of nerve damage and paralysis. If the patient is mentally or emotionally fragile, knowing the risks would likely cause too much anxiety and lead to a preventable death.

The above examples demonstrate that not every failure to obtain informed consent rises to the level of medical malpractice. It is important to discuss your particular situation with an experienced attorney who can advise you whether you have a valid legal claim.

Discuss your situation with a Sacramento medical malpractice lawyer today

At the Teal Law Group in Sacramento, our attorneys have extensive experience standing up for the rights of patients injured by various forms of medical malpractice. If you believe that your doctor has wrongfully caused you injury, call us today at 916-448-1010 or contact us online for a free consultation.