Reasons to Work with a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Oklahoma
Hundreds of thousands of people seek medical and surgical relief from hospitals and clinics all over the United States in any given year. And while doctors, nurses and other medical health practitioners are trusted to provide the expected level of care that their profession demands, it is also true that errors and negligence can and do occur in medical settings. In fact, a study by Johns Hopkins University revealed that more than 250,000 patients die annually in the US due to negligence and medical malpractice.
Medical Malpractice in Oklahoma: Where Can It Occur?
Medical malpractice situations can occur in settings where medical or health care is provided, especially as a paid service. This includes settings like:
- Emergency Rooms
- Operating Rooms and Surgical Suites
- Family Medicine Offices
- Outpatient Centers
- Community Health Care Centers
- Birthing Clinics
- Cosmetic Surgery Centers
- Diagnostic Centers
- Orthopedic and Chiropractic Clinics
Types of Medical Malpractice: Most Common Types
Most people associate medical malpractice claims with outrageous mistakes such as wrongly amputating a limb or leaving surgical instruments inside the body of the patient. However, most claims are less outlandish and often subtle, such as giving the wrong dosage of medication, failing to notice signs of medication adverse effects or cross-contamination that led to infection. Other cases of medical malpractice can stem from late or misread diagnoses that caused harm.
- Malpractice errors can be categorized according to several categories, such as:
- Diagnostic Errors
- Improper Treatment
- injuries during birth, labor, and delivery
- Prescription Errors
- Medical Neglect of Elderly or Vulnerable Patients
In the US, surgical errors are the most common malpractice cases for inpatient cases, while errors in diagnoses are the most common for those in outpatient settings.
Legal Remedies Open to Oklahoma Plaintiffs
Plaintiffs can file suits for medical malpractice in the state based on claims of negligence and others. To do this, you must show the following:
- The presence of a provider-patient relationship
- Provider failed to supply care according to the expected standard
- This failure led to an injury suffered by the patient
The plaintiffs must also file claims within two years of the negligent act since the state imposes a 2-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. Beyond this period, claimants lose the right to claim for compensation.
The good thing about Oklahoma laws is that there are no caps on economic damages claimed and awarded. Economic damages refer to losses in future earning capacity, lost wages, past, present and future medical expenses, and the like. This means the effects of negligence to your income and medical bills can be compensated to its fullest extent.
The state has imposed a $350,000 cap on non-economic damages in most cases, which means that this is the maximum amount patients can claim for the emotional suffering experienced as a direct result of the negligent act. Damages arising from mental pain and anguish, effects of disfigurement, and even physical pain and suffering in the present and future are capped. The only exception has been when the plaintiff can prove that the medical professional was grossly negligent, acted with reckless disregard or intentionally acted to injure the claimant. However, on April 23, 2019 the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the state’s $350,000 on recoverable non-economic damages is unconstitutional.
Why Working with Medical Malpractice Lawyers Makes Sense
Medical malpractice claims can be confusing and tricky. Experienced medical malpractice attorneys possess the knowledge needed to unravel the intricate medical and legal aspects of your case so that you can build a solid claim.
Most hospitals and medical care providers are likely to be less than forthcoming when it comes to revealing information that could help patients claim for compensation. With a malpractice attorney, you can get access to independent medical experts who can assess your situation, analyze your medical records so they can determine what really occurred to produce the injury that you suffered.
Working with an Oklahoma medical malpractice attorney also ensures that you can abide by the technical rules governing malpractice lawsuits, especially in states like Oklahoma where the statute of limitations is only two years.
With a successful claim, you can be properly compensated for emotional damages, lost income and future losses of income. Financial compensation can help you recover financially from your medical injury so you can get back on your feet and move on with your life.
Get in touch with your Oklahoma City medical malpractice attorney today. In Oklahoma City contact us at 405-253-4478 or our main office in Ardmore at 580-798-0447. You may also reach us through our contact us form and one of our legal professionals will contact you promptly.