Mankato Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Americans trust doctors and other health care professionals to provide safe, effective treatment using methods established and accepted by the medical community. When physicians or other health care providers inflict harm on their patients, either intentionally or due to negligence, the injured victims may file medical malpractice lawsuits to recover their losses. Medical errors, delayed or incorrect diagnoses, prescription errors, informed consent violations, and breaches of patient confidentiality can turn into costly lawsuits for physicians and may result in other serious consequences as well.
Understanding Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice lawsuits roughly follow the same framework as any other personal injury lawsuit, with a few exceptions. First, actual harm or loss must have occurred. If a doctor treats a patient in a way that the patient would have refused, but no lasting harm or discomfort occurred, there is no case. Plaintiffs must be able to prove the doctor or other defendant in question caused tangible losses or physical harm. Plaintiffs also need to prove that an official doctor-patient relationship existed, meaning they must show the doctor agreed to treat the plaintiff and the plaintiff agreed to be treated. In addition, in Minnesota it is required that anyone making a claim for medical malpractice must provide an affidavit from a medical expert that in their opinion, medical malpractice has occurred.
TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Medical malpractice can apply to various situations. Some examples include:
- Delayed/incorrect diagnoses. Doctors use a process of elimination to deliver their diagnoses, and it’s crucial for them to be as accurate as possible. While some diseases and conditions mimic the symptoms of others, and it’s understandable that errors sometimes occur, a delayed or incorrect diagnosis is malpractice if a court deems another reasonable, similarly skilled physician would have made a correct diagnosis in the same situation.
- Medication errors. Pharmaceuticals can have dangerous interactions with some substances, and many patients require various medications to heal wounds and overcome illnesses. If a doctor prescribes the wrong medicine or dosage, fails to account for interactions with other medications, or a pharmacy makes an error in dispensing the medication to the plaintiff, the responsible party is liable for malpractice.
- Surgical errors. Surgeons sometimes leave medical devices or surgical tools inside patients. In some situations, a surgeon may operate on the wrong body part or even the wrong patient due to miscommunication or negligence.
- Gross negligence. When a doctor or health care professional commits an error so grievous that even a reasonable, untrained adult in the same situation would have acted differently, this is gross negligence. An extreme example would be reading an x-ray backward and amputating the wrong limb from a patient.
- Birth injuries. A birth injury can occur due to an unavoidable condition developed by the mother or the child. A large baby (weighing over 8 pounds, 13 ounces) is more likely to sustain birth injuries than a smaller baby. Premature babies are also at risk, along with mothers with certain medical conditions. However, many birth injuries can be prevented, and some of the most common injuries that occur during the birthing process are cerebral palsy, cephalohematoma, and spinal damage.
HOW CAN LIABILITY BE ASSUMED?
Often, medical procedures require the cooperation of many people—including surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, radiologists, assistants, etc. Sometimes, an issue can arise relating to equipment in a procedure that involves a medical facility or other parties. In other words, multiple parties may be responsible for your injuries.
Minnesota law stipulates that when multiple parties are liable for accidents, each party is liable for a percentage of damages based on their respective contributions to the accident. However, one party can be held responsible for the total award in the event of deliberate misconduct, also known as an intentional tort. People who contribute more than half of the damages can also be held accountable for the entire amount, as can two or more people who act together to cause harm.
HOW MUCH IS MY CASE WORTH?
The value of your case depends on a variety of factors, including the nature and extent of your injuries and their potential impact on your life. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to receive payments to cover the cost of any medical procedures and treatments you will need, as well as future medical expenses you incur. These additional requirements could hinder your return to work, resulting in loss of income and significantly hurting your future earnings. Damages such as these may be recoverable from medical malpractice claims.
Medical malpractice may also result in psychological harm, diminished quality of life, and can have a significant impact on your relationships. In most states, non-monetary damages are capped, meaning the amount of compensation you can collect is limited. However, in Minnesota, damage caps do not apply, so your lawyer can negotiate to see if you can get the total amount of damages. To learn more about the value of your claim and how Knutson & Casey may be able to assist you in obtaining monetary and emotional compensation, please contact our Mankato medical malpractice firm.
TAKING LEGAL ACTION FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN MINNESOTA
Minnesota has a statute of limitations that sets a deadline for bringing a lawsuit for medical malpractice, so it is advisable to take action as soon as possible. In many cases, the deadline is four years from the date the malpractice action occurs. But the statute of limitations is complex in Minnesota and cannot be fully described in this article. Due to varying deadlines for each claim, we suggest you call our attorneys as soon as your injuries are discovered. If the deadline passes for filing your claim, then you may be barred from collecting compensatory damages.
WINNING YOUR MANKATO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
Medical malpractice cases often result in large awards for damages. Plaintiffs often sue for their medical expenses to repair the damage done by the defendant. In many cases, this can involve several surgical procedures or extensive and expensive treatment plans. Plaintiffs will also typically claim damages for pain and suffering, and a judge will consider the facts of the case and expert witness testimony to decide a fair amount.
If a health care professional’s actions caused you to miss work, you can sue for your lost wages. If an incident of malpractice prevents you from returning to work, you may be able to sue for the future income you would have earned.
If you have suffered losses from medical malpractice, connect with reliable legal counsel who will fight for you in court. Reach out to the team at Knutson & Casey for a free consultation about your medical malpractice case today by completing a contact form or calling (507) 344-8888.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice in Mankato
What damages can I recover from a medical malpractice claim?
In Minnesota, a person injured due to medical malpractice can claim all medical bills due to the malpractice, up to the date of trial, and all future medical bills; all past wage loss, as well as any lost future wages, or loss of earning ability or capacity; past and future pain and emotional distress, disfigurement or scarring, and for disability from the malpractice.
How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case in Mankato, MN?
Medical malpractice cases are complicated and require that another medical doctor verify that malpractice occurred. It is important to talk to an experienced attorney who understands medical malpractice and then to get another doctor’s opinion, if possible.
What is the Statute of Limitation for a medical malpractice?
For most cases in Minnesota, it is 4 years from the time of the malpractice event (when the action accrued) occurred, although there are some limited circumstances where it can be longer if the malpractice was not discovered until some time later.
When should I hire a medical malpractice attorney?
Because the cases are so complex and require another doctor to verify the malpractice, it is important to get an early start and contact a medical malpractice attorney right away.