Many medical procedures require the use of anesthesia, which are drugs used to dull pain sensations. They also keep patients sedated when they must be unconscious for the treatment they require. There are various forms of anesthesia, and all of them require careful application to avoid injury to the patient. Additionally, medical treatment providers must carefully review a patient’s medical history before providing anesthesia to verify that the patient does not have any allergies to the anesthesia or any conflicts with their current prescription medications.
Unfortunately, anesthesia errors can and do occur, often resulting in devastating injuries to affected patients. While medicine is an inherently uncertain field and honest mistakes can happen, there is a distinct difference between an honest mistake and medical malpractice. If you have recently suffered an anesthesia injury that occurred due to negligent application of anesthesia, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC is a team of experienced attorneys providing legal counsel to victims of anesthesia errors in Grand Rapids, MI, and surrounding areas. We have successfully represented many clients in past cases and understand the challenges facing victims of anesthesia errors. Medical malpractice claims are more challenging than general personal injury claims in various ways, but our team has the resources and experience necessary to guide you through your claim proceedings with confidence.
If a specific anesthesiologist or other medical provider is clearly to blame for your recent anesthesia injury, you might assume that fault for the incident is obvious. However, the reality is that a medical malpractice claim is very different from a standard personal injury claim in many ways. The average person with minimal experience in civil law is unlikely to meet the strict procedural requirements of their case unassisted.
Additionally, if you were to attempt to handle your case on your own, you would need to manage the aftermath of your anesthesia injury at the same time you attempt to handle all of the court proceedings your case entails. Even if you succeed, you could face the risk of unintentionally settling for less compensation than you legally deserved due to a lack of awareness of your rights.
Working with an experienced Grand Rapids anesthesia injury attorney makes it much easier for you and your family to meet your case’s legal demands. It also increases your chances of successfully obtaining compensation for your damages. Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC provides client-focused legal counsel in every case we accept. This means we get to know you, learn as much as we can about your experience, and review the effects the anesthesia injury has had on your life. Our goal is to help you maximize your recovery to the fullest extent possible under Michigan law.
Medical malpractice is a legal term used to define any incident in which a medical provider fails to meet the standard of care a patient required, resulting in harm to the patient. Doctors and other medical professionals take professional oaths to do no harm to their patients, and they are legally required to adhere to the standard of care for every patient they treat. A medical provider may only deviate from the accepted standard of care when a patient’s unique situation calls for unconventional treatment. In most cases, any deviation from the standard of care that results in patient harm is medical malpractice.
To succeed with a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff and their attorney usually must consult with outside medical experts who can testify as expert witnesses on behalf of the victim. Most medical malpractice claims require a certificate of merit initially.This certificate must be signed by a medical professional who holds similar experience and credentials to the defendant named in the case. This expert witness must report that the defendant’s acts were a clear violation of the standard of care the patient required.
If you are unsure whether you have a medical malpractice claim in Michigan, it is crucial that you connect with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Grand Rapids anesthesia injury attorney can review your claim, determine whether you have grounds to file your lawsuit and guide you through the initial procedural requirements your case entails.
Anesthesia injuries can result in a wide range of medical complications for the victim, some of which entail long-term or permanent effects. Improper application of anesthesia can potentially cause heart problems for the patient, catalyze a stroke, or cause irreversible brain damage. Depending on the type of anesthesia used, a spinal cord injury is also possible, as are asphyxia, coma, and death.
Your Grand Rapids anesthesia injury attorney can help you review the medical complications you experienced from the anesthesia error, determining whether these complications are likely to require medical care. In a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff has the right to seek full compensation for any corrective medical treatment they required due to their anesthesia injury. If the injury caused permanent harm, their claimable medical expenses are likely to include long-term treatment costs.
If an anesthesia injury is severe enough, the victim may be unable to work for an extended period until they recover. In this situation, the defendant is liable for the income the plaintiff loses during this time. If the plaintiff develops any permanent disability that prevents them from working at all in the future, the defendant is liable for their lost future income as well. Your Grand Rapids anesthesia injury attorney can help you calculate the future wages you would have likely earned had you not suffered the injury and include this amount as economic damages in your claim.
The plaintiff in a medical malpractice case in Michigan also has the right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering. However, state law limits the number of noneconomic damages a plaintiff can include in a medical malpractice case based on the consumer price index, adjusted annually. As of 2021, plaintiffs could seek up to $476,000 in noneconomic damages, increased to $851,000 if the injury in question resulted in a permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or permanent reproductive harm.
Before you can proceed with a medical malpractice claim in Michigan, you must issue a Notice of Intent to the defendant you intend to sue for your anesthesia injury. In most cases, you must do so at least 180 days before filing your complaint. Your Grand Rapids anesthesia injury attorney can help you meet the other procedural requirements of your case, such as obtaining a certificate of merit from a qualified medical expert to support your claim and calculating the full range of your claimable damages.
Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC can provide the ongoing support and professional legal guidance you need to approach your anesthesia injury case with confidence. We understand that your experience has likely caused both short and long-term complications for you and your family, and our goal is to help you recover as fully as possible from your anesthesia injury. We can provide the answers you need to your most pressing legal questions in this difficult situation.
A: The statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims in Michigan is two years from the date an injury occurs. However, if the effects of medical malpractice are not immediately recognizable, this statute of limitations may toll or pause until the harm is discovered. When the discovery rule applies, the victim has six months from the date of discovery to file their claim.
A: Dental injuries are the most commonly reported minor injuries associated with application of anesthesia, but respiratory complications are the most commonly cited serious injuries caused by negligent use of anesthesia. Failure to monitor a patient’s vital signs, account for their unique medical history or ensure appropriate dosing can all lead to anesthesia injuries.
A: In the event a medical professional causes a fatal anesthesia error, the victim’s family would likely have grounds to file a wrongful death claim for medical malpractice. A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury case in many ways, with several important exceptions. If you intend to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a lost loved one, it is crucial to secure legal counsel you can trust for this challenging case.
A: Most personal injury attorneys offer contingency fee billing to clients — their clients pay nothing upfront for their legal representation and only owe legal fees if they win their case. When you choose Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, to represent you in an anesthesia injury claim, we carefully review our billing policy with you, so there are no surprises concerning the cost of your legal fees.
You probably have many other questions about your impending anesthesia injury case, and the team at Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC is ready to provide the answers you need. Speak with an experienced Grand Rapids anesthesia injury lawyer from Goethel Engelhardt about your case today.
3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103