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Ann Arbor Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Victim losing speech due to doctor's failure to diagnose cancer

There is a tragic fact underlying many misdiagnosis cases here in Ann Arbor and across the United States. That is that some victims do not live long enough to hold a negligent physician accountable for failing to live up to the standards of the profession. However, a victim in one recent case is working with her legal counsel to try to tell her side of the story while she still can.

The case comes from the southern part of the country. The victim is a woman who is in the late stages of throat cancer; the disease has affected her speech and is expected to deprive her of that ability altogether. She is preparing to sue her doctor for his failure to diagnose cancer in her case.

Common types of medical malpractice in Michigan

Michigan residents often rely on medical professionals to help keep them healthy. This is especially true as cold and flu season approaches. However, all too often, doctors, nurses and even hospitals make mistakes that put people's lives at risk.

According to The Joint Commission, a number of unexpected events -- or sentinel events -- can happen in a medical setting. Some of these events occur through chance, but others are caused by a lack of doctor oversight or negligence. In these cases, it is likely that the doctor committed medical malpractice and, as a result, people can be seriously injured or killed.

Take steps to avoid becoming a medical malpractice victim

Whether their treatments are for preventative care or to deal with unexpected ailments and illnesses, Michigan residents tend to seek out medical care in order to preserve their overall quality of living. Unfortunately, not all patients leave medical facilities in better condition than when they went in.

Negligence in the practice of medicine is one of the top three causes of death in the United States. Michigan residents suffer when their doctors make mistakes. Patients should do what they can to stay abreast of the conditions and procedures their doctors diagnose and prescribe. Understanding your own health can be invaluable when doctors forget or miss facts in your chart. Additionally, patients can always speak up for themselves if they do not understand why they are being subjected to a particular treatment or drug. Asking questions and verifying medical actions can prevent individuals from suffering.

Rehabilitation for brain injury victims in California

Accidents could cause various injuries to the head. Brain injury, also known as traumatic brain injury, may be defined as any injury caused to the head or brain due to a hit, jolt or bolt. It does not, however, include congenital brain defects or injuries. Many brain injury victims have reportedly got their injuries in car accidents and sport accidents. Severe falls and other factors may also cause brain injuries.

Brain injury victims may suffer from various severe ailments. A brain injury victim may suffer from partial or even total physical impairment. Motor nerves may also be adversely affected. Under California law, a brain injury victim may be compensated from a negligent party. Such compensation may be especially helpful to brain injury victims since the medical costs incurred for many victims may be exorbitant.

New study looks at connection between early brain injury, autism

According to a recent study published in the medical Journal Neuron, the part of the brain called the cerebellum may hold a key to understanding the development of autism spectrum disorder. One of the primary roles of the cerebellum is to coordinate motor functioning, but the cerebellum may actually have a more important role in developing brain function than was previously though.

The bottom line of the theory is that damage to the cerebellum at an early stage can lead to improper development later on. Injuries to the cerebellum at birth could therefore give rise to increase risk of developing autism. 

Department of Defense to address risky military hospitals

Not all hospitals are created equal. This is fairly obvious reality in health care. Hospitals which have money and whose services are in high demand are able to hire highly skilled practitioners and health care providers as well as invest in technology which improves the quality of care for patients. Hospitals which don’t have the investment are often less capable of successfully treating patients.

Small military hospitals, in particular, are known for the risks they present to patients. Geared to providing care for soldiers harmed in service, many of these hospitals usually provide much more ordinary care. Last year, two-thirds of such hospitals served 30 or less patients per day. The reasons for this are largely that such hospitals are often small enough and see so few patients that staff providers are not always capable of diagnosing and treating illnesses and conditions outside the basic. 

Have your medical negligence case evaluated by an experienced attorney

Medical error is not as uncommon as many people might think it is. Though studies vary regarding the rate of medical error in the United States, medical error is said to be among the leading causes of death. Not all medical errors are created equal, though. Some are more serious than others and have more of an impact on the patient than others.

When it comes to seeking compensation for medical error, therefore, it is important for patients to understand that not every medical error can become the basis for a viable medical malpractice claim. A medical malpractice claim must meet certain legal requirements, one of which is that the mistake must constitute a breach of an established standard of medical care. Establishing the relevant standard of care is not easy in every case, and sometimes involves battles between medical experts. 

To whom should I report elder abuse?

Elder abuse is a serious problem, and given the increasing population of elderly Americans, is likely to be a growing problem in years to come. The variety of actions which constitute elder abuse is wide, and includes harm or threats of physical or mental harm; neglect in the provision of medical care, food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities; and exploitation of an elderly person’s money or property.

Elder abuse is a serious issue that deserves a response at all levels at which it is possible to respond. With respect to harm done to the victim, civil litigation can allow victims and their families to obtain damages for any losses and injuries suffered. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the losses and damages could be financial, emotional, or medical. In some cases it could even mean loss of life, which could involve wrongful death litigation. 

Filing a complaint against a Michigan health care professional

When a patient is harmed by a medical professional, it isn’t always possible to pursue medical malpractice litigation. In some cases the issue may be that the case is unlikely to be successful and it is too risky to take it to trial. In other cases, the case may have strong merits but the payoff may not be promising. In such cases, is an injured patient unable to do anything? Not exactly.

One possible avenue for justice in such cases is to file a complaint against a health professional with the Health Professions Licensing Division of the Bureau of Health Care Services. This agency regulates and disciplines numerous health care professionals by working with specific regulatory boards, such as the Board of Nursing, Board of Osteopathy, Board of Psychology and the Board of Medicine. 

Noneconomic damages caps in medical malpractice cases

In medical malpractice cases, noneconomic damages are an important but controversial issue. Such damages encompass losses that cannot be directly monetized, such as loss of a limb, trauma, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship. In tort reform, noneconomic damages are often capped so that juries don’t give excessive awards. A recent medical malpractice case out of Wisconsin highlights how jury awards can exceed the cap.

The case involves a 53-year-old married wife and mother who had her limbs amputated after contracting a Strep A infection which went unnoticed and resulted in septic shock. In total, the woman and her husband were awarded a total of $25.3 million; $15 million of the award was for pain and suffering while $1.5 million was for the husband’s loss of companionship.

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