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Medical Malpractice / Medical Negligence Claims and Lawsuits in Western Mass.
Presented by Attorney Robert W. Shute, Personal Injury Lawyer
Medical malpractice, also called medical negligence, can arise in a wide variety of circumstances. Medical negligence occurs when a doctor fails to exercise the degree of care and skill of the average qualified doctor practicing in the particular field of medicine at the time the incident occurred. The negligence can be in the form of taking an unreasonable action or making an error that should have been avoided. A surgeon leaving a piece of surgical equipment in the body after surgery would be just one example of this kind of mistake. Medical negligence also can involve the failure to act reasonably, such as deciding not to perform a test that might have found a growing cancer in time to save the patient’s life.
Despite astonishing progress in modern medicine – diagnostics, surgeries, arthroscopy, imaging technology, trauma treatment, and much more – human error is still a serious danger in the profession. Not just doctors, but technicians, nurses, radiation specialists are prone to making mistakes, due to poor judgment calls, excessive confidence, improper training, or fatigue. Whether caused by incompetence or indifference, if negligence or other failures result in damage to a patient – that is, permanent injury or disability – then a viable malpractice case can be pursued by the injured party or a loved one such as a spouse, child, sibling, or other family member.
Medical malpractice can occur across a wide variety of specialties and during a huge number of different procedures and practices in offices, hospitals, and other health centers. Birth injuries, for example, is a well-known category, when mistakes cause harm to the mother or the newborn, such as brain damage or cerebral palsy. Malpractice also can involve burn treatment, anesthesia, drug reactions or prescriptions (such as inadequate medication), fractures, heart surgery, infections, delay of treatment, transfer without consent, dental procedures, and numerous other possibilities.
Anyone who thinks they have a malpractice claim to pursue truly needs legal help to guide them through the process. Malpractice cases are very complex and tricky, with a high burden of proof. The discovery process, including depositions, is generally very involved and extensive during a malpractice case, before the suit can proceed to court. Settlements, or negotiations toward that end, are rare before the full preliminary process is performed.
There are various myths surrounding malpractice suits – that people sue at the drop of a hat, and that juries regularly award massive compensation to claimants. In fact, only a small percentage of those victimized by medical malpractice actually sue, and if anything juries are more predisposed to defendants than to plaintiffs. Much of the current flap over “tort reform” obscures the true situation.
If you have questions about whether your circumstances involve issues of medical malpractice, please call me so we can discuss the particulars of your case. At the Law Office of Robert W. Shute, I have over 25 years of experience in Western Massachusetts specifically in personal injury law, including many medical malpractice suits, so I know the fine points that will help you get what you deserve as we engage in settlement negotiation, litigation, or trial. I will work tirelessly to ensure that you are compensated for pain and suffering, medical expenses, living costs, and lost wages if you are no longer able to work. If malpractice resulted in a patient’s death, we pursue the interests of widows and widowers, orphans, and others left behind as they cope with the devastating loss of someone needlessly taken away.
Come in to my office located in downtown Chicopee for a free, no-obligation, and frank evaluation of your case. If your medical condition prevents you from travel, I will gladly go to your home, hospital, or convalescent facility for this discussion. Please contact me via this website or call 413-592-0999.