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Medical Malpractice

What Is Medical Malpractice? 

Medical negligence, or medical malpractice, is negligence committed by healthcare professionals. Negligence is the failure to live up to a duty of care. That failure causes harm to someone that would not have happened if someone had upheld their duty. Medical malpractice is the failure to uphold a standard of care that is a health professional’s duty to meet when treating patients.

Is Medical Malpractice That Big of a Problem?

While popular culture may have us all thinking that medical malpractice is a rare event but overrepresented in civil courts, consider the following:

  • A recent study by Johns Hopkins Medicine indicates that medical errors rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States.[1] The Johns Hopkins study estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors.[2]
  • The National Institute of Health in a recent study revealed that adverse drug events alone account for more than 3.5 million physician office visits and 1 million emergency department visits each year.[3]
  • It’s estimated that preventable medication errors impact more than 7 million patients and costs almost $21 billion annually.[4]
  • According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, medication mishaps can occur anywhere in the distribution system (prescribing, repackaging, dispensing, administering, labeling, and monitoring).[5] Factors that contribute to the increase in medication mishaps include the decreasing frequency of pill bottle reviews, insufficient patient education, and poor communication between healthcare providers.[6]

Yet, of all cases filed in civil courts across America, less than 5% of them are for medical malpractice.[7]

How Can Medical Negligence Affect Someone?

Medical mistakes can be anything from a minor harm to a catastrophic injury or even death. Here are some of the more common types of medical malpractice and medical mistakes are:

  • Birth injuries;
  • Failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis;
  • Mislabeling or misuse of prescription drugs;
  • Failure to obtain informed consent;
  • A surgical error during an operation.

Is My Injury the Result of Medical Malpractice? 

The short answer to that is it depends. Every injury caused by or due to a medical professional’s or facilities actions is different. Medical malpractice can be difficult to prove and often requires extensive time, research, and expense.

First, it has to be determined whether the medical professional or facility failed to meet the applicable standard of care. The standard of care is what a reasonably prudent physician or medical facility would have done in the circumstances. It may be malpractice if there was a failure meet the standard of care. For example, it’s the standard of care to treat deep lacerations with stitches or glue rather than band-aids.

However, just what is the standard of care for most other procedures is usually proven through testimony from another medical professional that was not present when the injury happened. If you can prove that the medical professional or facility’s treatment fell below the standard of care, you still need to prove that this caused or aggravated your injury or recovery AND that you suffered damages as a result.

For over 30 years, Kidneigh & Kaufman has been handling medical malpractice cases, including trial and appeals. If you, a family member, or a friend have had the misfortune of suffering an injury from a medical mistake or medical malpractice, our lawyers want to help you. The attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman, P.C. are experienced medical malpractice attorneys, know how to prove medical malpractice and obtain compensation for medical malpractice victims. Call Kidneigh & Kaufman 303-393-6666 today to schedule your free consultation.

[1] Vanessa McMains. Johns Hopkins study suggests medical errors are third-leading cause of death in U.S. https://hub.jhu.edu/2016/05/03/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death/. (May 3, 2016).

[2] Id.

[3] Brianna A. da Silva, MD* and Mahesh Krishnamurthy, MD, FACP, SFHM. The alarming reality of medication error: a patient case and review of Pennsylvania and National data. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC5016741/. (Sep. 7, 2016).

[4] Id.

[5] U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Medication Error Reports. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs /DrugSafety/MedicationErrors/ucm080629.htm. (Last updated Aug 2, 2017).

[6] Id.

[7] Court Statistics Project. Caseload Highlights: Medical Malpractice Litigation

In State Courts. http://www.courtstatistics.org/~/media/Microsites/Files/CSP/Highlights /18_1_Medical_Malpractice_In_State_Courts.ashx. Vol. 18:1. Apr 2011.

Testimonials

“I had an excellent experience at Kidneigh and Kaufman. I was in an auto accident and had severe injuries. Kidneigh and Kaufman helped me get the medical treatment I needed, as well as a wonderful settlement with the insurance company. Everyone at Kidneigh and Kaufman was very caring and understanding of my situation, and especially supportive when my husband passed away during the case. Attorney Charlie Crichton was particularly wonderful and I would give him and the Kidneigh and Kaufman firm 5+ stars.”

Grace Collier - Former Client

“After I was injured in a serious auto accident, I was in a lot of pain and didn’t know what to do. Having been involved in her own accident several years earlier and hired Kidneigh & Kaufman to help her, my girlfriend told me I needed to speak with attorney Jennifer Crichton. I’m so glad I did. I had a great experience with Kidneigh & Kaufman and Jenny was there by my side all the way. Kidneigh & Kaufman is definitely a 5 star law firm. I certainly got my money’s worth by going to Kidneigh & Kaufman.”

Joel Fisher - Former Client

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The K&K Difference

  • Over 30 Years in Business

    For over 30 years, Kidneigh & Kaufman has been dedicated to helping personal injury victims, which means we have a proven track record of success.

  • We Only Represent Personal Injury Victims

    Kidneigh & Kaufman only represents injured victims, never insurance companies or corporations. For over 30 years, we have been wholly devoted to helping individuals.

  • Trial Experience

    In 1982, Steve Kaufman had the honor of trying the first Toxic Shock Syndrome case to go to trial in the country against Procter & Gamble and its Rely tampon, obtaining a verdict in favor of a teenage girl who had almost died. Since then, Kidneigh & Kaufman has taken on corporations and insurance companies in courtrooms throughout Colorado as well as the Colorado Court of Appeals, the Colorado Supreme Court, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. All told, the attorneys at Kidneigh & Kaufman have tried nearly 100 cases to verdict.

  • We Only Get Paid if You Get Paid

    Kidneigh & Kaufman handles all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you get paid. We will never ask you for a retainer and you never have to worry about us sending you a bill for our time. You can rest assured knowing that we will do everything to obtain fair compensation since we only get paid when you do.

  • Committed to Our Clients

    Kidneigh & Kaufman is totally devoted to its client. We get back to all clients within 24 hours and our attorneys can even be available by cell phone on nights and weekends when necessary. If you ever want to know what's going on with your case, feel free to just give us a call, send us an email, or text us. We are always available for our clients.

  • We Handle It All

    Kidneigh & Kaufman handles all aspects of your personal injury claim. If you are in a car accident, we can help you with your property damage and medical payments coverage at no additional charge to you. Not only we will negotiate a settlement, but we will also help you with your medical bills and health insurance as part of our representation of you.

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Firm Overview

What to Expect for Your Case

You Are Involved in an Accident

You are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to change and you get rear-ended.

You are walking toward the deli counter at the grocery store, and you slip and fall in the beverage aisle.

Your insurance company denies your claim for the hail damage from the storm in your neighborhood.

What do you do when an accident happens? First, check to see if you are injured. If you are injured, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. You also want to be sure to document everything. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then be sure to take photos, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, and contact the police. If you slip and fall at a grocery store, make sure you complete an incident report, obtain witness information, and take photos. If you have a dispute with your insurance company, make sure you document all of your correspondence and communication.

Contact An Attorney

Be sure to contact an attorney about your accident as soon as possible following your accident.

An attorney can help guide you through the process of making a claim with an insurance company, which is an unfamiliar process for most people. An attorney can makes sure that the correct parties and entities are notified and that your accident and injuries are well documented. Not only can an attorney help you with this process, but hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind knowing that things are being done the right way.

Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

Does it make sense to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit?

You have completed your medical treatment and your attorney has submitted a demand to the insurance company. At this time, the insurance company may be willing to make a settlement offer to resolve the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed with a lawsuit against the opposing party.

Litigation

You filed a lawsuit against the opposing party so what happens now?

When you file a lawsuit against another party, then the litigation process begins. The insurance company will likely hire a well-qualified attorney to represent its Defendant and the case will be assigned to a judge and courtroom. Attorneys will send written discovery, obtain documents, and take depositions. The attorneys are doing everything they can to prepare the case for trial and to find out more about the other side’s case. The parties may still try to resolve the case either informally or with a mediator.

Trial

What happens in a trial?

The parties are unable to resolve the case so they go to trial. The attorneys and the judge pick a jury to decide the case. Then each attorney makes an opening statement. Next, the injured party’s attorney presents his case, which usually includes testimony from the injured party, any witnesses, medical providers, and hired experts. Then the Defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to present his case and call his own witnesses and present his own evidence. After jury instructions, each side makes a closing argument, trying to convince the jury to find for their side. Finally, the jury must agree on a verdict.

  • 1You Are Involved in an Accident

    You Are Involved in an Accident

    You are stopped at a red light, waiting for the light to change and you get rear-ended.

    You are walking toward the deli counter at the grocery store, and you slip and fall in the beverage aisle.

    Your insurance company denies your claim for the hail damage from the storm in your neighborhood.

    What do you do when an accident happens? First, check to see if you are injured. If you are injured, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. You also want to be sure to document everything. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, then be sure to take photos, obtain the other driver’s insurance information, and contact the police. If you slip and fall at a grocery store, make sure you complete an incident report, obtain witness information, and take photos. If you have a dispute with your insurance company, make sure you document all of your correspondence and communication.

  • 2Contact An Attorney

    Contact An Attorney

    Be sure to contact an attorney about your accident as soon as possible following your accident.

    An attorney can help guide you through the process of making a claim with an insurance company, which is an unfamiliar process for most people. An attorney can makes sure that the correct parties and entities are notified and that your accident and injuries are well documented. Not only can an attorney help you with this process, but hiring an attorney gives you the peace of mind knowing that things are being done the right way.

  • 3Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

    Accept a Settlement or Proceed to Litigation

    Does it make sense to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit?

    You have completed your medical treatment and your attorney has submitted a demand to the insurance company. At this time, the insurance company may be willing to make a settlement offer to resolve the case. Your attorney will help you decide whether to accept a settlement or proceed with a lawsuit against the opposing party.

  • 4Litigation

    Litigation

    You filed a lawsuit against the opposing party so what happens now?

    When you file a lawsuit against another party, then the litigation process begins. The insurance company will likely hire a well-qualified attorney to represent its Defendant and the case will be assigned to a judge and courtroom. Attorneys will send written discovery, obtain documents, and take depositions. The attorneys are doing everything they can to prepare the case for trial and to find out more about the other side’s case. The parties may still try to resolve the case either informally or with a mediator.

  • 5Trial

    Trial

    What happens in a trial?

    The parties are unable to resolve the case so they go to trial. The attorneys and the judge pick a jury to decide the case. Then each attorney makes an opening statement. Next, the injured party’s attorney presents his case, which usually includes testimony from the injured party, any witnesses, medical providers, and hired experts. Then the Defendant’s attorney has the opportunity to present his case and call his own witnesses and present his own evidence. After jury instructions, each side makes a closing argument, trying to convince the jury to find for their side. Finally, the jury must agree on a verdict.