Archive for the ‘medical malpractice lawyer’ tag

Jaundice in Newborns Can Lead to Catastrophic Brain Injury

January 19th, 2015 at 7:00 am

catastrophic injuries, Connecticut malpractice lawyer, Connecticut medical lawyer, Connecticut medical malpractice attorney, hospital negligence, medical malpractice lawyer, negligence, permanent disabilities, severe brain damage, jaundice in newbornsThe most catastrophic injuries in hospitals are not always the ones seen in an emergency room. In 2010, misdiagnosis, failure to diagnosis, and medical error—generally described as “bad hospital care” by the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services—contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare. Additionally, in 2013, a study published in the Journal of Patient Safety stated that those numbers are much higher—between 210,000 and 440,000 patients annually. 

Brain Injury and Jaundice in Newborns

Kernicterus, a relatively rare yet severe form of jaundice, can cause brain damage in babies if left undiagnosed and untreated. Surprisingly, 60 percent of newborns are diagnosed with jaundice, which is the result of a baby’s liver not adequately removing excess bilirubin.

Bilirubin is a naturally occurring substance in the blood, which is removed by the liver. A low-level build-up of bilirubin is normal in newborns, and can often cause mild jaundice in babies. Additionally, it can sometimes take a few days for a newborn’s liver to function properly to remove the excess bilirubin, which is why mild jaundice is normal. However, if a newborn has jaundice and it is not properly monitored by doctors and hospital staff, it can become a serious problem and lead to severe brain damage for which the hospital would be liable.

Treatment for severe jaundice can include phototherapy, which alters the bilirubin in a baby’s blood from toxic to non-toxic. But in some severe cases, such as those that lead to kernicterus, a more extreme treatment such as a blood exchange transfusion may need to be employed to ensure the safety of the child. Hence, diligent monitoring is essential to help prevent the extreme from occurring.

Contact a Compassionate Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or someone you know had a newborn suffer from misdiagnosed jaundice or kernicterus, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a compassionate Connecticut medical malpractice attorney today to discuss your case and your options.

Medical Malpractice: Statute of Limitations in Connecticut

October 27th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Connecticut attorney, Connecticut malpractice attorney, Connecticut malpractice lawyer, Connecticut medical lawyer, Connecticut medical malpractice, Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer, medical malpractice claim, medical malpractice lawyer, statute of limitationsMedical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Journal of American Medicine and as reported by Forbes. In the U.S., a malpractice payout is made every 43 minutes and amounts to a stunning $3 billion in 2012.

However, according to Forbes, there are several steps a person can take to avoid malpractice suits—the most important of which is to be your own healthcare advocate. Understanding medical malpractice and how to approach it is the most important step to dealing with it and getting your life back on track in the event of a malpractice issue.

To begin, you have the right to file a malpractice claim if “a provider’s negligence causes injury or damages to a patient,” reports Forbes. Negative results from medical care do not always amount to a malpractice claim, however, and there are certain limitations regulated by the state when it comes to what types of incidents can be considered malpractice, as well as the timeframe for which a claim can be filed.

More than 80 percent of all malpractice claims filed in the U.S. every year do not result in payouts to the patients or the survivors of affected patients. In addition, there is a statute of limitations in which the claim can be filed. This varies from state to state. In Connecticut, according to the office of the state’s Chief Attorney, Connecticut state law requires that a medical malpractice suit be filed within two years from the date “when the injury is first sustained or discovered or in the exercise of reasonable care should have been discovered.”

The Chief Attorney’s Office notes, however, that if a patient can prove that the medical professional had a continuing duty to warn him or her about the consequences of malpractice or possible negative effects of procedure, the statute of limitations can be extended. There must be evidence that the doctor failed to fulfill his duty in the period that follows the original wrong, and that duty must be proved to be within the typical standard of care.

If you suspect you have been victim of medical malpractice and have questions regarding the medical malpractice statute of limitations, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact a Westport medical malpractice attorney today.

Types of Insurance for Medical Malpractice in Connecticut

June 13th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Connecticut medical malpractice, Connecticut medical malpractice attorney, medical malpractice, medical malpractice attorney, medical malpractice lawyerConnecticut law requires that all licensed insurance companies report any medical professional liability claims or lawsuits to the state, as an effort to keep track of where medical malpractice occurs, the rates of medical malpractice, and to determine if they are disproportionately reported in one hospital or treatment center.

There are three possible payouts in a medical malpractice case:

  1. Indemnity – the amount of settlement dollars paid by the insurance company;
  2. Defense counsel payments; and
  3. Adjusting and other expenses – commonly the amount incurred by the actual insurance company to settle the claim.

Data collected by the State of Connecticut Insurance Department shows that the frequency of medical malpractice claims has decreased, even as the value of indemnity either awarded or settled has increased. As a whole, the Department reports that “claim values have increased at an average rate of approximately seven percent per year since 1992.”  The Department predicts that the number of cases will continue to increase as the state and the nation continues to recover from the 2008 economic downturn.

This has not led to a great change in the cost of medical malpractice insurance for licensed physicians in Connecticut in any significant way, though Connecticut’s average cost per claim is, according to the state’s Insurance Department, still among the highest in the nation.

There are three different types of insurance underwriters that may insure a medical professional: commercial insurers, excess and surplus lines insurers, ad captives, risk attention groups, and self-insured hospital. The latter accounts for 53 percent of the medical insurance market. No matter what type of insurance your physician or hospital carries, you are eligible for the same rights when it comes to a medical malpractice claim.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of medical malpractice, the most important step is to seek the counsel of a medical malpractice attorney. Contact Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law today for a free initial consultation.

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