Don’t Believe the Lies about Runaway Jury Verdicts

Lies about Runaway Jury Verdicts

When there is a big jury verdict in a personal injury case, you hear about it in the news. But what you don’t hear about are the thousands of other cases where victims receive little to no compensation. A $10,000 jury verdict doesn’t have the shock appeal that the news today often seeks. 

Due to this disparity in reporting, it can feel like juries in Georgia personal injury cases are out of control, regularly awarding multi-million dollar verdicts in personal injury cases. This simply isn’t true. In fact, juries sometimes award those injured in personal injury cases far less than they deserve.  Rockdale Hospital v. Evans, a case that was recently decided by the Supreme Court of Georgia, is an example of such a case.

Victim Suffers Catastrophic Injuries After Hospital Discharge

In 2012, Janice Evans awoke in the middle of the night with the worst headache of her life. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea followed. Shaun Evans, her husband, initially believed she was suffering from a bad bout of food poisoning; when the symptoms didn’t subside in almost two days, he took her to the emergency room at Rockdale Hospital.

Mrs. Evans complained of a headache that she rated as an 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. During her entire stay, her systolic blood pressure was over 200. While high blood pressure and headaches can be signs of brain bleeding, no one focused on the root cause of her pain.

After being discharged, Mrs. Evans continued to suffer from nausea, vomiting, and headaches. On January 22, 2012, Mr. Evans called 911 when Mrs. Evans was unable to get up from the couch. It was eventually determined that she had a blood clot in her brain and had suffered several strokes caused by a ruptured aneurysm. She underwent multiple surgeries in subsequent months. 

Unfortunately, Mrs. Evans never recovered. She is now permanently disabled and requires 24-hour care. She utilizes a feeding tube, cannot speak, and has severe cognitive and physical impairments.

Jury Awards $0 For Pain and Suffering

Mr. Evans brought suit against Rockdale Hospital for medical malpractice and loss of consortium. The Hospital defended itself by pointing the finger at the victim for not seeking care early enough and claiming that pre-existing conditions were to blame.

Following trial, the jury awarded $1.2 million for Mrs. Evans’ past medical expenses. However, the jury found that Mrs. Evans was not entitled to any compensation for future medical expenses, future lost wages, or for past or future pain and suffering. The trial court upheld the verdict.

Appellate Court’s Attempt to Do Justice is Thwarted

The jury’s decision to find the hospital liable for Mrs. Evans’ medical expenses, but award no compensation for pain and suffering, makes no sense, particularly given how catastrophic her injuries were. The Evans’ attorneys agreed and appealed the decision. The appellate court also agreed, holding that the award of $0 for pain and suffering was “clearly inadequate.”

Rockdale Hospital appealed the appellate court’s decision to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the Court of Appeals. Relying largely on the text of Georgia Code OCGA § 51-12-12, the Court held that approving the jury verdict was not an abuse of the trial court’s discretion and should be upheld.

The fact that Mrs. Evans will receive no compensation for her pain and suffering is a miscarriage of justice, but her case underscores the importance of bringing a strong medical malpractice case at the trial level. It also serves as a reminder of the people who suffer when juries return unreasonably low verdicts. To learn more about medical malpractice cases in Georgia, you can view this video by attorney Joel Williams, founder of Williams Elleby.

If you have been injured in an accident and think someone else is at fault, the Georgia trial attorneys at Williams Elleby would like to help you understand your situation and options. Call us at 833-LEGALGA to schedule a free consultation.

Bedsores: Can a GA Nursing Home Be Held Liable?

Nursing Home Negligence and Pressure Sores Personal Injury

Bedsores are one of the most common injuries that occur in Georgia nursing homes.  When you place a loved one in a nursing home, it is typically because they can no longer care for themselves and you are not able to provide the care they need. When you choose a nursing home, you are entrusting the nursing home’s administrators and staff with one of the most important duties imaginable: caring for another human being, your loved one.

Finding out that your loved one has developed bedsores can understandably feel like a violation of that trust. In Georgia law, you may have a legal claim against the nursing home and/or some of its staff members for the harm.

Pressure Ulcers and Bedsores

Pressure ulcers and bedsores are two different terms for the same condition of skin sores that develop as a result of limited blood flow to an area. Blood flow is limited when a part of the body is pressed up against something, like a bed or wheelchair, for a long period of time. Bedsores are more likely to develop on the skin atop bony areas such as the hip, ankle, back of head, and tailbone.

Bedsores range in severity from a red, swollen area on the skin’s surface to a deep open wound that may never fully heal. Their severity is identified by stages; stage 1 is the least severe and stage 4 is the most severe. More severe cases can lead to severe complications including sepsis, which is a body-wide infection, and even death.

Causes of Pressure Ulcers

Bedsores are a common problem in nursing facilities, particularly among patients with limited or no independent mobility. These patients are often spending the bulk or all of their days in bed or between a bed and a wheelchair. Being in the same position creates pressure at certain spots, which cuts off blood flow and causes bedsores.

Nursing homes sometimes argue that pressure ulcers and bedsores are unavoidable, but this is deceptive. It is true that even with the best nursing home care, pressure ulcers and bedsores sometimes develop. However, there are ways to significantly reduce the risk of bedsores. In fact, the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center estimates that 95% of all pressures sores are preventable.

Legal Liability for Pressure Ulcers and Bedsores

Two of the most important steps for preventing bedsores in nursing home patients are repositioning the patient frequently and make sure skin is kept dry.   This means nursing home staff must promptly clean up any urine or feces for bedridden patients. Nursing homes are obligated to take these and other steps to prevent pressure sores. They must also provide adequate medical care for any bedsores that do develop. Unfortunately, nursing homes do not always live up to these responsibilities.

Get Legal Help for Nursing Home Malpractice and Negligence

There are far too many cases where a Georgia nursing home resident’s bedsores could have been avoided or complications minimized if the nursing facility provided the care it was ethically and legally required to. Fortunately, nursing homes and their staff can be held liable for their misconduct.  

Proving that pressure ulcers and bedsores are the result of negligent or intentional misconduct by a nursing home or its staff members and not an unavoidable consequence of being largely bedridden, can be difficult. Having counsel experienced in nursing home lawsuits can improve your likelihood of successfully obtaining fair compensation. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby today to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

Georgia Patient Loses Lawsuit Over Broken Medical Implant

lawsuit broken medical implant

Manufacturers and distributors of products have a duty to ensure that what they are putting onto the market is safe for consumers to use. When companies breach this duty, victims of harm have a right to compensation. There are often hundreds or even thousands of victims when defective pharmaceutical products or medical devices are placed onto the market. 

Bellwether Cases 

When there is a large number of similar cases, rather than prepare all of them for trial at once, a select few are sometimes chosen to proceed to trial to serve as an example. These first cases are known as “bellwethers.” The idea is that after attorneys from both sides have seen how a similar claim plays out in court, they will be in a better position to agree to a settlement. 

A recent such bellwether case was decided in favor of a major medical device company, indicating that other plaintiffs bringing similar claims may have an uphill battle. The plaintiff in the case, Doris Jones, was from Savannah, Georgia. Jones was the recipient of a blood clot filter, manufactured by the company Bard Medical. Unfortunately for Jones, the filter fractured and had to be surgically removed. Jones is not alone. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, more than 3,000 other patients have claimed that they were harmed by defective Bard filters. 

On June 4, 2018, a jury in Arizona ruled against Jones. The jury rejected the claim that Bard Medical failed to adequately test the filters before putting them on the market. Although this decision bodes well for Bard Medical, the company lost a similar claim earlier this year and was forced to pay $3.6 million, and there are currently several other bellwether cases going forward against Bard over the same alleged defect. 

Jones’ attorney told reporters that Jones would be appealing the decision on the basis that the judge did not permit the right evidence to be presented to the jury. In particular, Jones sought to introduce evidence showing that the early versions of the Bard IVC Filters were known by Bard to be dangerous and had even caused deaths. However, because Jones was using a newer model with a different design, the judge did not feel the defects of these older versions were relevant. 

Experienced Product Liability Attorneys 

The experienced product liability attorneys at Williams | Elleby, are dedicated to helping victims of defective products get justice. Sometimes medical devices are simply designed improperly. This seems to be the case with the Bard Medical blood-clot filters. In other cases, a manufacturing error causes a product to deviate from its intended design and become defective. It is also possible for a company to be liable under product liability law if it fails to adequately warn about dangerous side effects or risks that accompany the use of a product. 

Williams | Elleby, believes that when companies make billions of dollars each year selling products to the public, they should be expected to pay a fair amount to victims when those products cause harm because of product defects. These types of claims are always complicated, and large companies will expend huge sums of money to avoid liability. It is imperative for victims of defective medical devices to have competent and skilled counsel on their side. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective product, contact Williams Elleby, to schedule a free case evaluation by calling 833-LEGALGA today.

Psychiatric and Mental Health Malpractice in Georgia

psychiatric mental malpractice health Georgia

All medical professionals in Georgia must carry out their work with “a reasonable degree of care and skill.” Psychiatric or other mental health care is viewed just like any other medical care under Georgia law. Therefore, negligence by a psychiatrist is considered a form of medical malpractice.

psychiatric malpractice attorneys Kennesaw GA

Perhaps more than any other professional relationship, psychiatrists and patients have a close relationship of trust. Moreover, patients receiving psychiatric care are often particularly vulnerable. Because of these factors, psychiatrists have a duty to do everything reasonable to care for their patients, to carefully assess patients for risks, and to never abuse their position of power.

If you or a loved one has suffered because of negligent, abusive, or otherwise improper psychiatric care, it may be possible for you to bring a malpractice suit against them. When psychiatrists or other mental health professionals neglect patients or abuse their positions of power, victims of harm are entitled to compensation.

The attorneys at Williams Elleby, are dedicated to helping victims in these types of cases and have deep knowledge of Georgia medical malpractice law. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 833-LEGALGA.

Common Types of Mental Healthcare Malpractice

• Improper or dangerous treatment. Like any other doctors, psychiatrists have a duty to order treatments and prescribe medicines safely. It is all too common for psychiatrists to prescribe a drug that is unsafe for a particular patient. Sometimes this is because of a patient’s condition; in other cases, this is because a patient is taking some other drug already that should not be mixed with what the psychiatrist prescribed.

 Treatment without consent. Patients have a right to make informed decisions about their healthcare, and this right extends to psychiatric care. Psychiatrists have a duty to communicate all viable treatment options to their patients.

 Failure to diagnose or prevent harm. Psychiatrists have a duty to assess and monitor any patients that are at-risk of self-harm or of harming others. This duty means that psychiatrists must be attentive and take reasonable steps prevent harm. When malpractice leads to a patient’s suicide, it may be possible for surviving family members to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

 Abuses of power. Patients often place an enormous amount of trust in their psychiatrist, and unfortunately sometimes psychiatrists abuse this trust. Sexual relationships between psychiatrists and patients are almost always an abuse of power, even if consensual.

• Breach of confidentiality. All information that a psychiatrist learns about a patient is strictly confidential. It can be malpractice if a psychiatrist or any other healthcare professional shares information about a patient’s mental health or treatment without that patient’s consent.

These are just some of the primary types of mental health care malpractice. The journal Psychiatry MMC has identified 20 different ways that psychiatrists can commit malpractice by looking at actual cases. Whatever the facts of a case, the bottom line is that doctors have a duty to treat patients with reasonable care. When this duty isn’t met, victims are entitled to compensation for their harm.

Contact Williams Elleby, to Discuss Your Case Today

If you or a loved one has been the victim of negligent treatment by a psychiatrist or other mental healthcare professional, it is imperative that you contact a qualified Georgia medical malpractice attorney to investigate your case and help you understand your legal rights and options. Williams Elleby, helps victims get the compensation they deserve when medical malpractice has been committed. Call medical malpractice attorneys at Williams Elleby, today to schedule a free consultation at 833-LEGALGA.

Misdiagnoses and Medical Malpractice

medical malpractice attorney misdiagnosis

A recent health study found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Another study found that there are more than 12 million instances of medical misdiagnosis each year. While most Georgia doctors care deeply about their patients and skillfully carry out their jobs, medical errors occur in Georgia every day.

When doctors negligently make a misdiagnosis in Georgia, patients that suffer harm have a right to bring a medical malpractice against them. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Williams Elleby, handle these types of cases throughout the State of Georgia. If you would like to discuss your case, call today to schedule a free consultation at 833-LEGALGA.

Georgia Medical Malpractice Claims

Doctors in Georgia have a duty to exercise a “reasonable degree of care and skill.” This standard of care requires doctors to act with a degree of care and skill that is ordinarily employed by other doctors in Georgia under similar conditions and circumstances. If a doctor fails to meet this standard of care and a patient suffers harm as a result, Georgia law provides that a medical malpractice claim can be made.

Misdiagnosis as the Basis for a Malpractice Claim

Georgia courts have long recognized that a misdiagnosis can be malpractice. Misdiagnosis claims most commonly arise when a doctor fails to uncover or recognize the symptoms of a serious condition. A failure to diagnose a serious progressive disease, like cancer, can be a life-threatening mistake for a doctor to make.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEYS IN KENNESAW, GA

However, although misdiagnoses can have severe consequences for a patient, not all instances of misdiagnoses are considered malpractice. After all, even the best doctors will sometimes fail to make the correct diagnosis. The question is whether the failure to make the correct diagnosis was a direct result of the doctor’s failure to exercise reasonable care and skill. In other words, a plaintiff in these cases must prove that a doctor exercising reasonable care and skill under the circumstances would not have misdiagnosed the patient’s illness or condition.

Every case is different because the particular conditions and circumstances of each case are relevant to determining whether malpractice occurred. For instance, a failure to diagnose cancer could be malpractice in under some circumstances, but would not be malpractice in others. The patient’s symptoms, health history, and age could all be factors. The staff and resources available to the doctor can also be relevant.

In some cases, a misdiagnosis is the result of faulty testing. Laboratory results, radiology films, or x-rays could have inaccuracies that were not the doctor’s fault. As long as the doctor was reasonable in believing that these test results were accurate, he or she cannot likely be found liable for malpractice. However, it may be possible in these cases to bring a claim against a lab technician, some other healthcare provider, or even an equipment manufacturer if they were negligent in producing the erroneous test results.

Medical malpractice cases can be exceedingly complex and difficult to prove. This is especially true when it comes to misdiagnosis cases. Detailed medical evidence and expert testimony are needed in these cases. Despite the fact that these claims can be difficult to win, victims of harm should still understand their legal rights and options. If you or a loved one has been harmed because a doctor failed to properly diagnose an illness, Williams Elleby, can help you understand your potential case and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

To Discuss Your Case, Contact Williams Elleby

Williams Elleby, is dedicated to helping medical malpractice victims get justice. To schedule a free medical malpractice consultation, call 833-LEGALGA today.

Dental Malpractice Lawsuits

dental malpractice lawsuit compensated

Dental Malpractice Lawsuits

Going to the dentist generally isn’t any fun. Getting injured or harmed when you go to the dentist makes things demonstrably worse. Like anyone else, dentists and their staff make mistakes. Anyone injured due to negligent dental work or dental malpractice has a right to be compensated. If you think you have suffered from dental malpractice, you should contact an experienced malpractice plaintiff attorney to assess whether you should file a dental malpractice lawsuit.

Types of Dental Malpractice Claims

There are a number of different injuries that can occur when dental malpractice happens. Here are some of the most common types of mistakes that can give rise to dental malpractice claims:

  • Failing to complete a thorough oral exam, leading to health problems later on
  • Failing to detect an oral disease during an inspection
  • Pulling the wrong tooth
  • Causing injury to the jaw or mouth tissue
  • Causing injury to the sinus cavity during a procedure
  • Causing nerve damage
  • Infecting patients with unsanitary equipment
  • Poorly placed dental bridges, crowns, or implants
  • Failing a root canal procedure
  • Failing to attain informed consent before commencing an operation, procedure, or course of treatment
  • Failing to diagnose a problem
  • Failing to refer a patient to a specialist

Bringing Georgia Dental Malpractice Claims

Malpractice claims against dentists, like claims against other healthcare providers, are governed by the Georgia’s medical malpractice law. This law provides a cause of action if and when dentists or their staff negligently harms a patient. To prove a claim, a plaintiff must prove that he was a patient, that he received negligent care as a patient, and that the negligence caused him actual harm.

Issues of negligence and causation are frequently contested in dental malpractice lawsuits. Because of these issues, to succeed at a malpractice claim, dental records and other medical evidence must be well presented by a plaintiff. Typically, a medical expert testifies on behalf of malpractice plaintiffs. A dental malpractice attorney will know how to collect and present evidence effectively.

Under the Georgia statute of limitations for malpractice actions, dental malpractice claims must be made within two years of the discovery of the injury, or within 5 years of the injury being caused, whichever comes first. Generally speaking, once this time period is over, claims are absolutely barred. It is therefore important to contact an attorney to begin the process of investigating a potential claim as soon as possible.

Hire an Attorney if You Have Suffered from Dental Malpractice

Malpractice claims can be complex. Proving negligence and causation often require expert testimony and carefully constructed arguments. Moreover, it is difficult to maneuver the procedural and evidentiary requirements of a dental malpractice lawsuit without a deep legal knowledge. Hiring an attorney that is experienced in handling malpractice claims will greatly increase your chances of success.

The attorneys at Williams Elleby, work hard to bring justice to victims of malpractice in Georgia. If you would like more information about this issue or would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby at 833 – LEGALGA for a free consultation today.

Insurance in Medical Malpractice Cases

insurance medical malpractice

Insurance in Medical Malpractice Cases

A patient goes to a doctor for a checkup. The doctor tells the patient that he or she needs a certain medical procedure. The doctor counsels the patient and provides various reading material about the procedure. The patient decides to undergo the procedure and signs numerous waivers stating that he or she understands the nature of the procedure and the risk involved.

Shortly after the completion of the procedure, the patient feels that something is wrong. The patient speaks to a medical malpractice lawyer who files a suit against the doctor and the doctor’s insurance company; claiming negligence. In addition, the patient obtains an affidavit from another medical professional who states that the procedure was performed incorrectly and is the cause of the patient’s current problems.

As the case moves into the discovery stage and eventually into trial, the doctor generally has little involvement in the case. Instead, the doctor’s insurance company becomes the primary entity calling the shots. The attorney hired by the doctor’s malpractice insurance company handles the case. This is due to the relationship between the doctor and the insurance company.

Independent Observations

For medical malpractice suits that involve insurance companies, it is imperative to perform independent research. Often, insurance companies claim that there is no cause of action. It supports this claim by hiring other medical professionals to say that the doctor did nothing wrong.  This is sometimes persuasive to a jury even though the hired doctor is being paid to give his or her testimony.  Therefore, it is best to independently evaluate the merits of a case.

Settlement Decisions

Under the Georgia rules of Professional Responsibility, the client makes the decision whether to settle or continue court action. While the lawyer can advise the client regarding what the lawyer believes is the best path for the client, it is ultimately a client decision. During a medical malpractice suit, the party making the decision to settle or continue court action is usually the insurance company. However, some malpractice policies allow the doctor discretion to reject a settlement even if his insurer and attorney recommend otherwise.

Note that the relationship between the doctor and insurance company has a significant impact as to how the parties handle settlements. Insurance contracts between doctors and insurance companies usually have a cap. That is, there is a dollar limit that an insurance company is obliged to pay. The insurance company has no more liability beyond that dollar amount unless it acts in bad faith by refusing to settle and protect the doctor (its insured) from an excess judgement.

For instance, the contract states that the insurance company is only liable up until $2 million per lawsuit. If the patient offers to settle the case for $2 million, the insurance company may reject that offer because it would not have the incentive to settle (i.e. that is the most it could lose in most scenarios). If the case goes to trial and the jury awards the patient more than $2 million, the insurance company would only be liable for $2 million. If the jury awards less, the insurance company would pay less to the patient. As such, when negotiating with an insurance company in a medical malpractice case, it is important to understand the contractual nuances governing the agreement between the doctor and the insurance company. The patient can determine this information by gaining access to the contract during the discovery phase of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Contact Attorney Joel Williams if you are a Victim of Medical Malpractice

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact the personal injury law firm of Joel Williams, a Kennesaw, Georgia lawyer who fights for injury victims. If you have questions or would like to discuss your case, please call our office today at 833 – LEGALGA for a free consultation.

How to Find Complaints Against a Medical Professional (Avoiding Medical Malpractice)

Ga Trial Attorney for Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Case

How to Find Complaints Against a Medical Professional (Avoiding Medical Malpractice)

Daytime television is full of commercials telling people who suffer from injuries how they can sue the party who injured them. These commercials feature law firms that claim to specialize in personal injury and medical malpractice. The message is that the injured person deserves to be compensated and the lawyer will stop at nothing to obtain just compensation.  These mega advertising firms rarely disclose the astronomical number of cases they handle thereby giving an unsuspecting caller the impression that their case will receive specialized attention.

Each case is different and needs careful evaluation to determine the best way of maximizing the recovery.  While a lawsuit is an option, it is not the only option. A patient injured due to medical malpractice can use alternative methods to obtain fair compensation. Often, alternative methods are the best options.

Here, we discuss the following alternatives to medical malpractice suits:

  1. Alternative dispute resolution
  2. Filing an insurance claim
  3. Direct settlement

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, is a process wherein the parties go to an unattached third party to settle the dispute. One ADR method is through the use of a mediator who is knowledgeable in medical malpractice cases. The mediator will meet with the parties, both separately and together, and attempt to come to a settlement. The mediator will stress how a court will likely rule and explain that settling can avoid costly litigation.

Another common ADR method is binding arbitration. Similar to mediation, there is an unattached third party who is knowledgeable in medical malpractice and its nuances. Because it is binding, the parties contractually agree to the arbitrator’s ruling. It’s less formal and less costly than a trial but produces a final outcome. While a court can overturn an arbitrator’s ruling, courts are very unlikely to do so.

Filing an Insurance Claim

In most cases, the entity calling the shots in a medical malpractice case is the doctor’s insurance company, not the doctor. The doctor’s malpractice insurance usually covers these types of lawsuits, even if the doctor is guilty of negligence. As a result, contacting the insurance company and filing a claim may compel the insurance company to try and settle the case. The insurance company may be willing to cut a deal instead of going to litigation. Although a doctor is unlikely to reveal which insurance company provides medical malpractice coverage, a lawyer who conducts a thorough search would likely discover this information.  Although this approach sometimes works in clear liability cases, it rarely works if the doctor or the insurer has a reasonable defense.

Direct Settlement

Under some circumstances, a doctor may be willing to settle a case instead of referring the case to an insurance company. Under Georgia law, a doctor is required to report all medical malpractice claims against him. The insurance companies have access to these reports. As a result of these reports, doctor malpractice insurance premiums increase. As such, a doctor may prefer that the plaintiff not report the claim and instead settle for a cash amount. This helps the doctor avoid reporting the claim and avoid trial; it provides the injured patient with immediate cash and avoids trial risk.

Similarly, doctor malpractice premiums may carry high deductibles, so doctors may be willing to satisfy smaller patient’s claim in lieu of paying the deductible.

Contact Attorney Joel Williams if you are a Victim of Medical Malpractice

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact the personal injury law firm of Joel Williams, a Cobb County, Georgia lawyer who will tailor a plan for you. If you have questions or would like to discuss your case, please call our office today at 833 – LEGALGA for a free consultation.

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice Cases

common malpractice case

Common Causes of Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice arises when a medical professional makes a mistake or does not act in a reasonable manner as someone would with similar training and experience. Unfortunately, these types of errors happen more often than you might think.

In 2005, the latest date that the Bureau of Justice Statistics provides information on this topic, there were 2,449 jury or bench trials related to medical malpractice. This number is enormous considering that the vast majority (often up to 90%) of cases are settled outside of court. When you also consider that most medical malpractice claims are never litigated or even reported, the actual number of medical malpractice situations every year in the U.S. is staggering.

Estimates regarding the amount recovered at trial are interesting. The median award for those at trial in a medical malpractice case is about $425,000. This is 16 times larger than the average award for all personal injury cases ($27,000). This difference could be based on the seriousness of the injuries involved, but it could also be a reflection of society’s desire to hold doctors and other medical professionals to a higher standard than the average person.

What Causes Most Medical Malpractice Claims?

The vast majority of medical malpractice claims are based on failure to diagnose, or misdiagnosis. Diagnosis problems make up roughly 46% of all medical malpractice claims. A research team that compiled results from 34 journal articles in 2013 indicated that most studies specified that missed diagnoses accounted for between 26 and 63 percent of all medical malpractice claims. Frighteningly, the most common consequence related to a missed diagnosis was death—it occurred in 15 to 48 percent of cases.

The most common misdiagnosis problems for adults were related to cancer and heart attacks. Appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, and bone fractures were close behind. In children, meningitis and cancers were the most common conditions to be misdiagnosed.

The second-most common cause of medical malpractice claims relates to drug errors. In the 2013 article study, drug errors made up 6 to 20 percent of all claims. Drug errors occur when the doctor or other medical professional prescribes medication that is not right for you based on your condition or medical history. It may also interact with other medications you are currently taking. Drug errors can also occur at the pharmacist level as well when a pharmacist provides the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a particular drug.

The 2013 study found that drug errors were most commonly associated with steroid preparations, anticoagulants, antidepressants, antibiotics, and antipsychotics.

Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Claims

Doctors and other medical professionals are held to a higher standard than the average person. Patients trust them with their lives, so they expect doctors to be extremely cautious and take extra care to ensure their safety. Physicians and other members of the healthcare field also have specialized training and knowledge that the average person does not, so there is often no real way for the average patient to ensure that what their doctor is doing is correct (short of seeing another doctor for a second opinion).

If you or a loved one has been affected by a medical error, you may have a legal claim. Call Williams Elleby for more information.

Pharmacy Malpractice

pharmacy malpractice injure case

Pharmacy Malpractice

The United States healthcare system is sometimes complex and multi-faceted. Most commonly, people who do not feel well or who have various medical conditions go to a doctor for a check-up. During the check-up, a doctor examines the patient and, based on a diagnosis, prescribes the patient medicine. The patient takes a doctor’s prescription and brings it to the pharmacy. The pharmacy is tasked with verifying the patient, filling the prescription, and determining whether any issues exist with the patient taking the medicine.
Sometimes, however, the pharmacy will commit a serious mistake that can injure the patient. When that occurs, various parties may be held responsible. If you are a victim of pharmacy malpractice, contact a lawyer who will advocate on your behalf.

Duties of the Pharmacy

Doctors prescribe medications that are supposed to be safe. A pharmacy’s job is to dispense medication according to a doctor’s prescription. Often, medication in small quantities can be beneficial whereas the same medication in a larger dose can be harmful. If the pharmacy dispenses an incorrect dosage and harms a patient, the pharmacy committed negligence and can be held liable. In tort law, a pharmacy has an obligation to act under a reasonable standard of care. If a pharmacist dispenses incorrect dosages to patients, he or she breaches that duty of care.
This notion of safe drugs can involve the company that supplies the medication to the pharmacy. If the pharmacy’s supplier does not follow regulatory standards, then those drugs may be harmful. In such an instance, the pharmacy can be liable for negligently dispensing deficient drugs.

Following the Doctor’s Orders

A pharmacy can be liable for negligence even if it followed the doctor’s orders. A pharmacist’s duty is to determine a patient’s reactions to certain medicines, even if that medication has been prescribed. If the pharmacist knows a patient will likely react negatively to a medication, then the pharmacist should not dispense it. Similarly, if the patient is taking a different medication, the pharmacist is tasked with evaluating whether the patient will suffer harm if he or she takes both medications simultaneously. If the pharmacist has a reasonable belief that the two medicines conflict, then the pharmacist should dispense the second medication. If the pharmacist negligently disregards patient risk by dispensing medicine and, as a result, the patient suffers an injury, the patient is a victim of pharmacy malpractice.

Agency Law

If a patient suffers from pharmacy malpractice, he or she can seek a monetary award for damages from different parties. First, the pharmacist can be held liable for negligence because he or she negligently dispensed medication. The same is applicable for others involved in dispensing the medicine, such as pharmacy technicians. Second, the law of agency allows for an injured patient to sue the pharmacy. Agency law is such, that when an individual acts as an agent of the company, it legally places liability on the company. In this instance, the pharmacist and technicians were both agents of the pharmacy because they were acting in an official capacity. Third, the drug manufacturer can be a responsible party if it dispensed a harmful drug.

Contact Attorney Joel Williams if You Have Suffered an Injury Due to Pharmacy Malpractice

If you have been hurt due to a pharmacy’s negligence, contact the personal injury law firm of Joel Williams, a Cobb County, Georgia lawyer who fights for injury victims. If you have questions or would like to discuss your case, please call our office today at 833 – LEGALGA for a free consultation.