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When you pursue compensation for a personal injury you’ve suffered at the fault of another person, you are seeking recompense for many facets of your injury. These damages can be separated into two main categories of compensation: economic and non-economic damages. Keep reading to learn the distinction between these two types and how they affect your ability to recover under personal injury law.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to objectively ascertainable losses. These include property damage, past and future medical expenses, the loss of income (both present and future), and other considerations, such as the loss of the ability to use your property or the loss of a business opportunity.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to more subjective facets of an injury. Some examples of these would be the pain and suffering experienced as a result of the injury, emotional distress, damage to reputation, a reduction in the quality and enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium in the event that a spouse is killed as a result of the accident.

Economic damages are much easier to assign a value to in a personal injury case due to their objective values. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, require more extensive investigating and greater effort in arriving at a fair value. Both of these types of damages are recoverable in a personal injury case, and in fact, the non-economic damages often represent a greater amount in a settlement or judgment than economic damages.

After you’ve been injured in an accident, your first priority should be focused on making as whole and complete of a recovery as possible. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you can recover the compensation you need and deserve is also a very important consideration. If you would like to discuss your case with an attorney with extensive experience in the field of personal injury law, call The Rich Firm at 1-888- RICH-LAW (742-4529). We advocate on our client’s behalf aggressively and diligently. Learn more on our website today!

 

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4 Examples of Heath Care Provider Negligence

By pursuing a career in health care, doctors and nurses commit themselves to a high standard of care for all their patients. While medical professionals are allowed to make mistakes every once in a while, deliberate recklessness is unacceptable, and should be punished by a medical malpractice suit. Here are a few quick examples of health care provider negligence.

Failure to diagnose

Medical professional go through years of training in order to learn how to spot and diagnose well-known ailments. If your doctor fails to diagnose an ailment that any other doctor could identify, he is liable for the consequences of his negligence. An obvious misdiagnosis is another form of neglect that can lead to unnecessary medical bills or even death.

Birth injury

Though doctors are not responsible for the presence of birth defects, they are responsible for unnecessary injuries that occur during the birthing process. If an attending physician’s actions result in oxygen deprivation, for example, the infant could end up with cerebral palsy—a lifetime condition that affects the child’s motor skills. Continue reading →

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Can I Still Recover Damages if I Signed a Consent Form?

Surgeries are performed on thousands of patients across the country every day. While many of these surgeries are successful, enabling the patient to live a more comfortable, productive life, there are times when the doctors and nurses in charge of these operations go outside of the accepted and appropriate methods and procedures for these surgeries, causing pain and suffering to their patients and curtailing their chances of a full recovery. While medical success is rarely guaranteed, going outside the established standards of procedure or beyond the consent given by the patient can cause unnecessary harm and risk to the patient and can give rise to a case of medical malpractice.

What is a consent form?consent form

Most hospitals and doctors provide their patients with a consent form, obtaining approval from the patient for the operation they are about to perform, as well as any other operation that may become necessary. Before signing, the doctor should provide the patient with a detailed description of the operation, the risks it involves, and the risks involved with not undergoing the procedure. This puts the patient in a position to provide informed consent about whether or not he or she wants to allow the doctor to operate. In fact, the only time a doctor is allowed to operate without consent is in an emergency situation or when it would be overly harmful to a patient not to operate.

Can I recover even if I signed a valid consent form?

Under certain circumstances, you can recover damages even if you signed a consent form. For example, if you can show that your doctor inadequately informed you of the risks and benefits of an operation or that they misrepresented material aspects of the operation, you may make a case for compensation. In these circumstances, you may still need to prove that had the doctor adequately informed you, a reasonable person in your situation would not have elected to undergo the operation.

Even with a valid consent form, you can still recover compensation under a theory of medical malpractice. The law does not excuse a doctor from liability, even with consent, if the doctor deviates from the established standards and practices of the profession during your operation. This represents reckless or negligent behavior on the part of the doctor, even if their intentions were in your best interest. You may also be able to prove that the physician went beyond your consent in performing the operation.

You place an enormous amount of trust in those responsible for your health and well-being. When this trust is violated, the resulting injuries can be devastating. If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorney, call The Rich Firm at 1-888- RICH-LAW (742-4529). We build relationships on trust, integrity, and truthfulness, and we advocate for our clients aggressively and diligently. Call today to learn how we can help.

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Get the Facts Behind Medical Malpractice Resulting in Wrongful Death

Medical professionals are specially trained to keep people alive—that’s why it’s especially shocking when a loved one dies as a direct result of medical care. Though a doctor’s job is far from easy, doctors are held to a certain standard of performance. When a violation of this standard results in death, the victim’s family is entitled to compensation. Here’s a brief overview of medical malpractice resulting in wrongful death:

  • Surgical Error

Though every kind of surgery is inherently risky, surgeons are still expected to perform to the best of their abilities. If a patient dies and it can be proven that the operating surgeon acted in a way that was inappropriate for a medical professional, the family may choose to sue for medical malpractice.

  • Misdiagnosis

Since the body is tremendously complex, misdiagnoses happen all the time. However, certain diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, are well-documented and easily diagnosable. If a medical professional somehow fails to diagnose an ailment that any other doctor would have recognized, the negligent doctor is in a lot of trouble—particularly if the misdiagnosis results in the patient’s death. Continue reading →

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Personal Injury Law: Defining Negligence

If you have been harmed by someone else’s wrongdoing, you may be able to hold the at-fault party accountable in a court of law, thus enabling you to receive compensation for the injuries and lost wages you suffered as a result of the wrongdoing. The legal doctrine of tort law allows you to sue someone for negligence if you suffered personal injury as a result of his or her conduct. Here are the four steps to proving negligence in a personal injury case:

You Were Owed a Duty of Care

The first step to defining negligence is showing that the person who wronged you owed reasonable a duty of care now to harm you. This means the duty to not do something that a reasonably prudent person would not do. For example, a doctor owes a duty of care to his patient and can be held responsible for providing subpar care or for acting in a reckless or careless manner.

The Duty Was Breached

Once you show that the at-fault party had a duty to keep you safe, you must have proof that the duty was breached. In medical malpractice cases, for instance, this can be shown through evidence of surgical errors or other mix-ups.

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Each year, about 4 million babies are born in the United States. However, 24,000 of them suffer from birth injury. What accounts for birth injury? And how to recognize birth injury? The Rich Firm will explain them to you.

birth

   Leading Causes of Birth Injuries

A birth injury is defined as any type of damage or trauma sustained by an infant just before, during, or after birth. This includes a broad spectrum of injuries, including anything from lacerations or bruising caused by trauma during the birth to nerve or brain damages caused by complications such as breech births or oxygen deprivation. Birth injuries can result as the product of natural factors, but unfortunately, medical malpractice is a large contributor. In many cases, the infant will fully recover within weeks, though damage incurred during birth may be permanent or even fatal. These are some of the leading causes of birth injuries.

Infant Size

When a baby is either very large or very small (especially in the case of premature births), injuries become more likely to both child and mother. In the case of large babies, common injuries include bruising or scarring due to the use of forceps and partial paralysis in the shoulder or face due to pressure on the nerves of the child during birth. Continue reading →

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Though many doctors are brilliant, they’re still human. Even the most prestigious medical professionals are prone to all of the same mistakes as anyone else–only their mistakes cost lives. Though you shouldn’t hesitate to visit a skilled medical professional whenever you get sick, you shouldn’t trust them blindly, either. Here are a few tips for protecting yourself or loved ones from medical errors and a look at how a medical malpractice attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve in the event that an error occurs.

Visit a reputable provider
Before you set up a medical appointment, you should make sure that your health care provider has a good reputation. If a particular hospital or clinic is notorious for botched surgeries or frequent misdiagnoses, you should move on. HealthGrades.com is an excellent resource that can help you find a skilled doctor.

Double and triple check
Many people assume that their doctors know best. Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you shouldn’t hesitate to remind your doctor about any allergies or pre-existing conditions that may complicate your treatment. It is also a good idea to get second and third opinions when the diagnosis is severe or when a radical treatment is suggested.

Always ask questions
As your doctor explains a diagnosis or goes over a surgery plan, you’ll probably have dozens of questions racing through your head. Instead of assuming that your doctor has thought of everything, you should never hesitate to ask these questions, no matter how silly they seem. One of your questions could bring a potentially life-saving matter to your doctor’s attention.

Hire a lawyer
Unfortunately, every conceivable precaution isn’t always enough to prevent a costly medical mistake. Still, you can protect yourself from extreme medical bills by hiring a skilled medical malpractice attorney. Together, you and your attorney can investigate a medical error and pursue a lawsuit that will hopefully end with a substantial settlement.

Continue reading →

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Birth is the most important moment in a person’s life. Not only is it the beginning, but it’s an extremely delicate process that requires utmost care on the part of the attending medical professionals. If a doctor mishandles a child during the birthing process, that child may end up with a serious condition that plagues him throughout his entire life. Cerebral palsy is one such condition. Here’s a brief look at cerebral palsy and its effects.

Causes
Most cases of cerebral palsy occur when a child’s brain is deprived of oxygen before, during, or shortly after childbirth. Children who are born prematurely make up nearly half of all cerebral palsy cases–mainly because their lungs aren’t fully developed. However, some cases of cerebral palsy are caused by negligence on the part of an attending physician.

Types
There are three main types of cerebral palsy: spastic, ataxic, and athetoid. Spastic cerebral palsy occurs in the vast majority of cases, and is due to a neuron lesion in the brain. Ataxia and athetoid cerebral palsy are less common but have more severe effects on sufferers’ motor skills.

Effects
Cerebral palsy compromises connections between the cortex and other parts of the brain. As a result, the sufferer often experiences problems moving certain parts of his body. Cerebral palsy also affects communication, sight problems, memory problems, and a number of other functions of the mind and body.

Treatment
Though it is impossible to cure cerebral palsy, the right treatment can make the symptoms bearable. Unlike other cognitive ailments, cerebral palsy is not progressive, and the effects can become manageable through several types of therapy. For example, a person with cerebral palsy may learn to talk through speech therapy.

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The Prevalence of Medical Malpractice and What You Can Do if Affected by It
Medical malpractice exacts a heavy toll on the patient who suffers from it. Many times that individual cannot recover from a health care provider mistake, and their loved ones are left to grieve and seek damages with the help of a wrongful death lawyer. To learn more about medical malpractice and wrongful death claims, visit the following resources from around the Web:

• The elderly are often at risk of medical negligence and suffer the most because of their existing poor state of health. ABC News discusses on one such case wherein the older hospital patient died as a result of incorrect medication.

Nursing home abuse also continues to grow in this country. CBS News explains this unfortunate and common circumstance.

• Though no amount of money can make up for a loved one’s untimely death, judges and juries are beginning to recognize the widespread nature of medical negligence and punishing these careless health care providers accordingly.

• Medical malpractice is growing to dangerous proportions. Citizen.org lists key medical malpractice facts.

• A medical misdiagnosis can severely impact a patient’s ability to recover from their ailment or disease. Science Daily reports on the significant negative affect this circumstance has on individuals.

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Mistakes made by those in the medical field often have serious and life-altering repercussions. Instances of medical malpractice are surprisingly common and issues can arise from what would otherwise be a normal procedure. Learn more about surgical errors and birth injuries with these informative links.

• As The New York Times reports, surgical errors are on the rise in the United States.

• Medical News Today details how medical facilities are trying to lessen the number of retained surgical instrument cases.

• The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains Erb’s palsy, a detrimental condition that often results from injury during birth.

• The Mayo Clinic describes cerebral palsy, which can result from medical negligence.

Birth injuries constitute a common cause of medical malpractice. Right Diagnosis details how they often occur.

Continue reading →