Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Protecting Patients Throughout New England
When you seek care from a medical professional, you are trusting them to act with responsibility, attention, and the highest level of ethical concern toward you. Unfortunately, many medical providers fail to administer the quality care that their patients need and deserve. If you were the victim of medical malpractice, the healthcare providers who caused your pain need to be held accountable for their actions.
The Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP have spent years fighting for individuals and families affected by medical malpractice. Our knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers have tried hundreds of cases and obtained millions of dollars for clients across New England, and our founding attorney set a legal record for the largest dental malpractice award in the country. We understand that people rightfully expect the best care possible from physicians, nurses, and hospital staff. When healthcare providers fall short, our lawyers can fight for your right to fair compensation for your losses.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical malpractice is professional negligence, either by act or omission by a medical care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in that field of the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.
Thousands of families are negatively affected by medical malpractice each year. The impact of malpractice injuries can hurt your relationships, ability to work, and financial stability. Even so, many victims of malpractice never come forward because they assume their case is insignificant and not important. In Massachusetts, the numbers tell a different story.
According to the National Practitioner Data Bank, 2016 saw the following:
- 242 medical malpractice payments
- Over 85% of medical malpractice payments were over $50,000
- $149,400,000 awarded to medical malpractice victims
- 11,095 medical malpractice payments nationwide
- 3.65 billion dollars in payments distributed nationwide
These numbers speak for themselves. Although the aftermath of a medical malpractice incident can feel overwhelming and isolating, thousands of people across the country have received compensation for their losses. If you or someone you love was a victim of medical malpractice, you could be entitled to money for your medical bills, insurance payments, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Medical Malpractice Claims We Handle
Although many cases of medical malpractice have similar elements, every situation is unique. At Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, we are dedicated to providing personalized attention and creative solutions to obtain just compensation for victims of malpractice.
Some of the practice areas with which we have experience include the following:
- Birth Injuries: The delivery of a baby should be one of the most exciting moments in the life of a parent. Sadly, thousands of infants are affected by brain and nerve damage every year because of negligent doctors.
- Cancer Diagnosis and Screening: Preventative care is one of the primary reasons we visit physicians. When a doctor fails to diagnose any kind of cancer, they miss the window of opportunity to treat a patient in need.
- Wrongful Death: Losing a close friend or member of your family is a painful experience, but losing them to a preventable cause is even worse. You deserve to be compensated for the pain you feel after the death of a loved one.
- Wrong or Late Diagnosis: We trust doctors to provide timely and correct diagnoses when we are under their care. A late or incorrect diagnosis can cause a treatable injury to become fatal.
- Hospital Negligence: Especially when treating patients in the emergency room, hospital staffers must work as a team to ensure patients receive quality care. When hospitals fall short, they may be liable for their poor treatment.
- Anesthesia Negligence: Anesthesiologists must be as diligent as every other member of the hospital. Failure to correctly administer anesthesia can result in brain injury, blindness, or even death.
- Surgical Errors: Undergoing surgery comes with risks, but we trust surgeons to minimize any potential long-term threats to our health. Surgeons who fail to provide responsible care are at fault for damages.
- Stroke and TIA: Although strokes and mini strokes can be sudden, there are often warning signs that a stroke is going to occur. Physicians who ignore or fail to recognize symptoms of a stroke can cause serious harm to patients.
- Robotic Surgery: This technological advancement can have advantages in the operating room when used correctly. Unfortunately, some doctors who attempt robotic surgery do not have the proper training or skill level.
- Radiology: Tests that use radiology, such as MRIs and CT scans, are useful tools for diagnosing illnesses. When doctors fail to run or misinterpret these tests, their negligence can cause illnesses to worsen.
- Cardiac Surgery: Even slight errors during cardiac surgery poses huge risks for both children and adults, including brain damage or death.
- Emergency Room Treatment: Waiting for treatment in the ER can be stressful and painful. Doctors working in emergency rooms are more likely to act with haste and ignore symptoms, tests, and proper treatment.
- Medication Errors: Prescription drugs can have lifelong consequences when they are issued in the incorrect dose, or patients are given the wrong drug. Doctors and pharmacists can both be held accountable for medication errors.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, our attorneys can help you understand your options in a way that is clear and compassionate.
What Is Informed Consent?
For a patient to be able to provide their informed consent to a medical procedure, there is a range of information they likely need to know.
While this varies depending on the situation, some common details that may be required include:
- Doctor’s qualifications
- Details of patient’s condition
- Details of treatment plan
- Alternative treatment options
- Potential side effects of treatment
- Cost of treatment
- Treatment prognosis
Without knowing about these and other details, a patient may not be able to truly provide their consent to a medical procedure or course of treatment.
Failure by Doctor to Disclose Information
When receiving medical treatment, trust between a doctor and patient is pivotal to ensuring a smooth medical procedure and healthy recovery that has a low risk of surprise complications. It is not uncommon for patients to trust their doctor without hesitation. This makes it confusing and oftentimes painful when a doctor fails to supply vital information that results in a patient’s subsequent suffering.
Types of Misinformation
The American Medical Association’s (AMA) Code of Medical Ethics states that doctors are ethically bound to disclose certain types of information to patients, including the exact nature of their condition, risks associated with their condition, and any medical errors made during operation or procedure.
However, for fear of litigation, doctors may sometimes fail to let patients know if mistakes were made during a procedure or if certain medical steps went awry. Although most doctors believe a patient should be informed immediately when a mistake is made during operation, this disclosure happens less than half of the time when serious incidents occur.
A doctor can fail to properly inform the patient in the following ways:
- Using specific language devoid of certain legal terms when disclosing information to avoid liability
- Withholding types of alternative treatment that may help the patient’s condition
- Failure to disclose risks associated when pre-op instructions are not followed
- Not informing the patient of medical measures taken that deviate from protocol
Although the doctor-patient relationship is often a formal and professional one, it is still fiduciary in nature and must rely on trust and transparency to function.
What If I Didn’t Immediately Know Malpractice Occurred?
The Commonwealth imposes a three-year statute of limitations – or deadline – to file medical malpractice claims from the time the injured party learns, or reasonably should have learned, that he or she has been harmed. There is, however, a bar for initiating those claims, which is no more than seven years. There are exceptions to the seven-year deadline, such as for minors or if the malpractice claim stems from a foreign object left inside the body as a result of surgery. Calling an attorney as soon as possible after you learn that you have been harmed by a medical practitioner will increase your chances to get the outcome you deserve.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Medical malpractice is one of the most complicated areas of law to navigate, so it’s important to reach out to an attorney if you believe that a healthcare provider caused or worsened your injuries. Our firm has the experience and resources necessary to build your case and support you throughout the legal process.
A qualified attorney can work with you for the following services:
- Proving negligence: Demonstrating that your doctor acted negligently is the most important piece of any medical malpractice case. A lawyer can use your testimony and other evidence to prove that the provider failed to act reasonably and skillfully.
- Finding experts to speak for your case: Most medical malpractice cases require some sort of expert testimony to prove that the provider was negligent. Our firm has access to experts who can provide evidence to support your case.
- Negotiating a settlement: Following a painful injury or loss, many individuals decide not to take their case all the way through the trial process. An experienced attorney is still necessary for negotiations with insurance companies or the lawyers for the hospital.
- Taking your case to trial: Some cases need to go to trial to win a necessary verdict. A medical malpractice lawyer can be your advocate and fight for you in and out of the courtroom.
Following an event of medical malpractice, it can be painful to imagine pursuing a lawsuit. Taking legal action takes time and energy that you may not feel you have right now. However, if you believe you are entitled to damages, it is important that you act sooner rather than later because every state has limits on how long individuals can wait before filing a lawsuit. The Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP have the necessary skills to help you obtain the compensation you need after a medical malpractice event. We also maintain a team of full-time nurses who we regularly consult in order to work up each of our cases.
Begin your free case evaluation today by calling us at (617) 404-3417. We look forward to answering your questions and learning more about your case.