Aurora Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States. If you or someone you love has been hurt by a negligent medical provider or medical facility, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Medical error can often result in devastating injury or even death, and negligent providers should be held accountable for their mistakes. The experienced team of Aurora medical malpractice attorneys at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., can guide you through the legal process of getting the compensation you need to get you on the road to motional and physical recovery. We have the added advantage of having our very own in-house doctor on staff. Lawyer Eric Steiner has 20 years of experience as a lawyer, and he is also a medical doctor with 17 years of experience as a cardiac anesthesiologist. This unique and rare combination gives our clients a distinct advantage in cases involving personal injury that other firms simply cannot offer. Contact us today.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical malpractice is a legal theory under which you can claim compensation from a negligent healthcare provider. Medical professionals owe patients a reasonable and accepted standard of care that encompasses careful attention to treatment protocols and practices. They must work to ensure patient safety to the best of their ability. The medical professional had to provide substandard care that caused an injury for a patient to claim medical malpractice.
There are risks with virtually all medical treatments and procedures because each person’s body is unique and reacts somewhat differently. That being said, a medical professional should be able to clearly demonstrate that they took every reasonable precaution to ensure the safety of the patient.
Several elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit must be satisfied to have a valid claim.
- You must have an official doctor-patient relationship with the medical provider, which creates a legal duty of care.
- The medical professional must have acted in a way that resulted in injuries and related damages.
- The action must have been outside of the reasonable standard of care.
The medical standard of care is the level of care that a competent, skilled professional with a similar background in the medical community would provide under similar circumstances. So the question becomes, Would a reasonably skilled professional have given me the same or similar level of care or treatment in similar circumstances? When a medical professional operates outside these standards and consequently causes injury, you might have a medical malpractice claim.
Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
There are countless ways that medical errors can occur. Here are just some of the most common errors that can lead to malpractice claims:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis;
- Prescription drug errors;
- Surgical or procedural mistakes;
- Childbirth injuries;
- Chiropractic negligence;
- Failure to treat;
- Lack of follow up care;
- Anesthetic errors; and
- Incompetence in preventing infection.
No reasonable medical professional intends to cause harm. But if a practitioner makes careless mistakes that amount to substandard care, they are responsible for any resultant harm.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for Medical Malpractice?
The party that can be held responsible for a medical error depends on the circumstances surrounding what happened. Medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, anesthetists, pharmacists, physical therapists, emergency medical staff, in-home care providers, and others are all held to a professional standard of care.
Medical organizations may also be held liable in medical malpractice claims, including:
- Hospitals and medical centers;
- Medical clinics;
- Private practices;
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy businesses;
- Medical testing laboratories;
- Nursing homes; and
- Pharmaceutical companies.
Although an institution or organization cannot practice medicine per se, healthcare organizations do have a responsibility to their patients. Such organizations have a duty to ensure that the non-physician medical personnel they hire to care for patients are adequately trained and supervised. If a hospital or other healthcare facility fails to uphold this duty and you are injured as a result, you might be able to hold the facility accountable. Experienced Aurora medical malpractice lawyers can help you determine who the responsible party is, and we can file your medical malpractice lawsuit against the appropriate parties.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a Medical Malpractice Claim?
When you are in the midst of a health crisis, filing a medical malpractice claim may not be the first thing on your mind. Your claim does not have to be filed immediately, but the sooner, the better.
Colorado law states that the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim extends two years from the date the medical error occurred. Claims filed after the two-year expiration date will very likely be dismissed by the court. Experienced Aurora medical malpractice attorneys will help you determine if your case falls within the Colorado statute of limitations filing period.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice
The amount of damages you are entitled to for your medical malpractice claim is highly dependent on the circumstances of the negligent act and the severity of the harm it caused. Every case is unique.
You are generally entitled to economic damages that cover the actual financial costs of the injury. You can also get non-economic damages, which cover mental and emotional damage such as pain and suffering.
Colorado caps total damages for medical malpractice at $1 million in most situations. The cap for non-economic damages is $300,000. However, the court can find that the facts of the case warrant additional compensation beyond these limits. This is most common when future damages are estimated to exceed the cap.
Proving Fault for a Medical Error
One of the biggest components of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit is having the ability to prove who was at fault. Colorado follows the rule of modified comparative negligence. This means that you can be partially responsible for the damage and still receive compensation, as long as you were less than 50% at fault. Your compensation would be reduced by the percentage to which you are found liable for the injury.
For instance, if you failed to follow a doctor’s orders after surgery, which made your injuries worse, the court might assign you a percentage of fault and reduce your award accordingly.
The team at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C. understands the intricacies of medical malpractice law. We know how to get you the compensation you deserve through diligent research and zealous representation. We have decades of trial experience and are not afraid to take your case into the courtroom if that becomes necessary. Most medical practitioners and facilities already have attorneys waiting in the wings for malpractice to occur. We’re here waiting for you. Contact us for your free case consultation.
Our experienced legal team handles other types of cases as well, including: