Physicians, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals make life-altering decisions every day. We trust these healthcare specialists to make the correct diagnosis, propose treatments, prescribe medication, and make choices that benefit our well-being. However, when these medical experts make an error, the consequences could be severe or even life-threatening.
Medical malpractice litigation is complicated and challenging. However, if you or a loved one was harmed by the carelessness or negligence of a medical professional, you have a right to hold them liable. Our Arkansas medical malpractice attorneys have over twenty years of experience ensuring that surgeons, physicians, and other medical professionals are held to a high standard.
Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, has litigated medical malpractice claims against healthcare providers for inadequate and negligent care ranging from misdiagnosis to surgical errors. Our team of attorneys and staff have the resources and experience to handle the most challenging medical malpractice claims. Call our law offices at (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free consultation.
What Are Common Types of Medical Malpractice in Arkansas
When you see your doctor or step into a hospital or another healthcare facility, you should feel a sense of relief. We trust doctors to treat us with professionalism and provide ethical care from the initial consultation through any treatments or procedures prescribed. However, many people are harmed through medical negligence or carelessness. Below are some types of medical malpractice cases our firm handles.
Medical malpractice occurs when your doctor improperly diagnoses your condition through recklessness or inadequate care. A misdiagnosis could result in more prolonged and painful treatment. If your condition is not accurately diagnosed, the lack of treatment could cause more significant harm or even death.
There is no one specific cause for diagnosis errors. Sometimes a doctor does not review a patient’s entire medical history, a radiologist will misinterpret or administer a diagnostic test improperly, or there could be a miscommunication between medical professionals. No matter the underlying cause, doctors and other medical professionals should be held liable for their unjustifiable mistakes.
Medication and pharmaceutical errors occur when medication is prescribed, administered, or dispensed incorrectly. Typically, these mistakes happen when there is a miscommunication between the doctor prescribing the drug and the nurse who administers it. The wrong medicine or an incorrect dosage could have devastating effects, from severe allergic reactions to death. Depending on the circumstances, our Bentonville medical malpractice attorneys could file a claim against the doctor, nurse, or medical facility.
Every surgery has an element of risk. Patients are required to sign a consent form before any surgical procedure. Nonetheless, when a surgical error occurs, you have the right to bring a medical malpractice claim against the offending surgeon.
Surgical errors include cutting a nerve, removing the wrong organ, operating on the wrong patient, or leaving surgical instruments inside the patient after the procedure. Mistakes are not limited to the surgeon. For instance, an anesthesiologist could administer the incorrect dosage of anesthesia resulting in adverse medical consequences.
Expectant mothers place their trust in medical professionals specializing in childbirth, including obstetricians, gynecologists, and nurses. Unfortunately, some deliveries are difficult and result in birth injuries for the newborn. Many birth injuries are avoidable. When a treating physician or another member of the medical team fails to recognize a problem or makes a careless mistake, it could constitute medical malpractice. Birth injuries could occur because of errors made during prenatal care, delivery, and post-delivery care. For example, an expectant mother could be prescribed medication that harms their developing child or an obstetrician could wait until it is too late to order a caesarian section. Birth injuries impact both the child and their family. Our knowledgeable Sebastian County medical practice attorneys are committed to holding doctors and other healthcare providers accountable for the harm they caused.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice in Arkansas
Medical malpractice lawsuits are more complex and challenging than most other personal injury lawsuits. When someone ignores red light and hits a stopped car, it is generally not that difficult to prove the driver was negligent. However, when it comes to medicine and medical treatment, a positive outcome is never guaranteed. A doctor could do everything correctly and a patient could still experience a negative result. Likewise, even though a surgeon made an error, the patient was going to succumb to their medical condition.
Therefore, under Arkansas law, a medical malpractice lawsuit typically requires a qualified medical expert witness to testify when the defendant’s error lies outside the jury’s common knowledge. This means that the jury is unable to comprehend the extent of the defendant’s mistake without specialized knowledge or experience. To illustrate this concept, a surgeon taking out the wrong organ would lie within a jury’s scope of experience and common knowledge, whereas misinterpreting a sophisticated diagnostic test result would not.
The medical expert providing testimony should come from the same medical field or specialty as the defendant. The testimony should speak to the medical standard of care that the defendant should have provided given the circumstances, providing an opinion on how the defendant failed to perform up to that standard. For instance, if it was common practice to order a specific test when observing certain symptoms, a failure to order that test could be a violation of the standard of care. Additionally, the expert should describe how the sub-standard care was the proximate cause of the patient’s harm.
Our Arkansas Medical Malpractice Attorneys Have the Experience to Handle Your Case
Medical malpractice lawsuits are challenging and complicated. You need a team of experienced Arkansas medical malpractice attorneys who understand the complexities and nuances of medical malpractice litigation. Call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438 to discuss your case.