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Ann Arbor Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Surgical error leaves woman with need for life-long dialysis

When a patient is required to undergo surgery, there are many concerns, such as mistakes being made. Most, if not all, surgical errors are preventable. As a result, many experts refer to these instances as "never events." Yet, the sad truth is that these errors occur with much more frequency than they should. Tired, careless and otherwise negligent medical professionals make mistakes that leave patients at risk of suffering serious harm. Those who are injured by a surgical error and are lucky enough to survive the ordeal can be left with extensive damages, as one recently filed medical malpractice lawsuit attests.

There, a woman has filed a claim against a hospital and the doctors who performed an operation that was supposed to address a problem with her kidney. According to her claim, the women went to the hospital complaining of pain in her side and a fever. It was subsequently recommended that a mesh tube be inserted in her left kidney with the intent of it running through her urinary system and into her bladder to prevent collapse. However, the woman alleges that doctors, while performing the correct procedure, conducted it on the wrong kidney and the wrong side of her body. As a result of this error, the woman claims to have suffered extensive damage to her urinary tract system, requiring life-long dialysis and an additional surgery to correctly place the tubing.

Injured in an accident? Consider if vicarious liability applies

Semi-trucks seem to be a constant presence on most of Michigan's roadways. Even roads that appear to be out of the way can be utilized by these big rigs to avoid traffic delays and cut time off of their trips. Delivery trucks must also visit businesses even in the smallest communities. This isn't an issue when these trucks are safely driven, but when a driver acts negligently while behind the wheel of one of these vehicles, he or she could cause a truck accident that leaves a victim with extensive damages.

As previously discussed on this blog, a personal injury lawsuit may help these victims recover compensation for their losses. Yet, in many cases, the negligent driver in question is unable to pay the full extent of the damages inflicted. So what is a victim to do? Well, if the trucker was performing his or her job duties at the time of the accident in question, then vicarious liability may apply. This means that his or her employer may also be held accountable for the victim's losses.

Investigation shows medical malpractice during birth common

The birthing process should be one that is filled with joyous anticipation. While this is the case for many Michigan residents, in some instances medical errors result in serious injuries and death. Although the reasons for these errors are sometimes obvious, in a significant number of cases, there is a lack of clarity. Many times, medical professionals claim that pre-existing medical conditions or poor overall health led to complications, but these claims may be veiling the truth.

USA Today conducted a recent study where seven million billing statements were reviewed to identify complications related to the birthing process. The findings were stunning. According to the study, 120 hospitals in 13 states were identified as having nearly double the risk of injury, likely related to medical errors like misdiagnosis. Women at these hospitals have suffered seizures, strokes and heart attacks, and they've even had to undergo hysterectomies due to birthing complications.

Legislators propose bills to curtail distracted driving

There's no doubt that distracted driving continues to pose a threat to Michigan's motorists. Oftentimes, this distraction is perpetrated by cell phone use, including texting. Michigan enacted a law in 2010 that banned texting and driving, but the law has proven difficult to enforce, and the deterrent effect hasn't seemed to curtail distracted driving-related accidents much. In fact, 2017 alone saw more than 5,000 accidents attributable to individuals who were using electronic devices behind the wheel. More than 20 of those wrecks proved fatal, with another 1,500 resulting in injuries.

Recognizing the continuing problem, the state legislature is now considering a number of bills that seek to further penalize cell phone usage while driving, including one bill that seeks to make illegal the mere act of holding a cell phone while driving. Legislatures believe that expanding the current ban on texting and driving to include social media posting, as well as increasing fines for first-time offenses, could help curtail distracted driving. Other legislators would like to see motorists rely on hands-free options and have thus suggested outlawing holding a cell phone while driving.

What family members should know about wrongful death claims

When the loss of a loved one occurs due to the negligence of another party, the family naturally wants to seek justice. A wrongful death claim may help family members to receive compensation in addition to holding the negligent person accountable.

Here are some facts about wrongful death claims that may help a family understand this type of lawsuit.

Failure to diagnose leads to advanced cancer

At some point in our lives, all of us will experience symptoms that are consistent with one medical condition or another. The job of medical professionals is to further assess those symptoms so that accurate diagnoses can be made and effective courses of treatment can be prescribed. The challenge, though, is that there are 200 symptoms and more than 10,000 diseases, which means that a symptom could potentially be one of 50 medical conditions. This is why doctors need to be diligent in their search for what ails an individual.

Those medical professionals who fall short in this regard can cause unthinkable harm. In one instance, for example, a woman went to various doctors for more than two years seeking treatment for her sickness. However, during that time, she was only given treatment that caused minor relief of her symptoms. It wasn't until after those two years had passed that she was diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer. Had the disease been caught earlier, the woman may have had a significant chance of long-term survival. Now, though, the only thing doctors can do for her is help manage her pain.

Michigan firm aggressively standing for car accident victims

Recently, this blog discussed a recent pedestrian accident that left a local woman with serious injuries. Sadly, these types of tragic accidents occur all the time. Victims of these wrecks are often left with significant damages, including physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as financial losses in the form of lost wages, medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. Such a sudden jolt to one's physical, emotional and financial well-being can leave victims stunned, stressed and utterly overwhelmed.

This whirlwind of emotion shouldn't paralyze them into inaction, though. Quite the opposite should occur, actually. Car accident victims who have been harmed in a wreck that was caused by the recklessness or negligence of another should consider taking legal action. By doing so, these victims may be able to impose liability which can give them a sense that justice has been served and blame has been placed where it is deserved. In addition, succeeding on a personal injury lawsuit oftentimes means recovering compensation for damages suffered.

Pedestrian accident leaves student in critical condition

Walking near Ann Arbor's roads can be devastatingly dangerous. In the blink of an eye, an errant driver can veer onto a sidewalk, or motorists fail to yield to pedestrians when they are legally crossing the street. The results of these instances are nothing short of tragic. Victims of pedestrian accidents can suffer serious injuries that can have life-long consequences. Many of these victims are left with permanent disability or disfigurement, and the emotional trauma imposed upon them is significant. Their financial losses can be severe, too, quickly amassing from medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and even lost wages.

Sadly, one University of Michigan student may find himself in this position after being struck while in the crosswalk between Ingalls Street and Thayer Street. Police say a 17-year-old motorist failed to yield to the man while he was in the crosswalk, causing the vehicle to slam into the 21-year-old victim. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. He is listed in critical condition.

Study shows stress contributes to surgical errors

Most Michigan residents trust their doctors. However, they may not realize that medical errors cause up to 440,000 deaths a year, with a number of them occurring during medical procedures. While some of these deaths and other injuries are caused by egregious errors, such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving surgical instruments inside of a patient, a recent study found that even short-term stress can significantly increase the risk of a surgical error that could leave a patient seriously harmed or dead.

The study was conducted by utilizing a smart shirt that collected a surgeon's physiological data, including those pertaining to his heart's electrical impulses during operations. A researcher then sat in on those operations to identify distractions and surgical errors. The results found that the surgeon was 66 percent more likely to commit a surgical error when under short-term stress.

Yearly car-crash TBI statistics may be higher than reported

A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury that frequently results from a car crash. However, TBI is known as a silent condition; people wrongly think of it as separate from a concussion. Additionally, because symptoms may not be evident right after a crash, many of these types of events go unreported.  

According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicle accidents and falls account for most of the traumatic brain injuries Americans sustain. The numbers indicate that car crashes are responsible for about 286,000 TBI cases annually. This low number does not tell the whole story.

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