Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won $950,000 for a client in a case involving an infection. Contact them for a free consultation.
Special Laws That Apply to Nursing Malpractice Lawsuits
You should be aware of some special laws that apply:
- Statute of limitations: This is a law that requires commencement of a nurse malpractice case within a specific time period. If the case is not filed within that time period it will be barred regardless of its merit. Because the time period is often very short and exceptions apply, it is very important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
- Expert affidavit: In some states, before commencement of a nurse malpractice case the party bringing the claim must provide a written document signed by a medical expert confirming that malpractice was committed and that it was a direct cause of the claimant’s injuries. The format and timing of the affidavit are critical.
You may be able to receive compensation for your loss. However, you need to know that a nursing malpractice lawsuit can be extremely complicated. The issues could include negligence on the part of any of the nurses or doctors involved. The hospital or nursing home may also be negligent if policies and protocols were not clear or properly enforced.
Causation is also a significant issue. For example, for patients who received a gastric bypass at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, California, who were notified that they are at risk for HIV and hepatitis, even if one or more of the patients test positive for HIV or hepatitis, a malpractice attorney would have to prove that the gastric bypass surgery was the cause of the HIV and/or hepatitis.
The Nursing Shortage
The nursing shortage is causing serious problems in our health care system. A recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article concluded that patients in hospitals where nurses had heavier workloads had a 31% higher risk of dying. An analysis of 1,609 serious errors reported to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) in the last five years involved nurse under-staffing.
Medication errors are one of the most common preventable mistakes that a nurse can make. A recent report in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that one in five doses of medication dispensed at 36 hospitals and nursing homes around the country was either the wrong drug or the wrong dose, or given at the wrong time to the wrong patient.
Some health care professionals simply do not wash their hands enough. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 2 million infections and 90,000 deaths are caused by infections that patients pick up in hospitals every year, and half of these infections could be prevented by proper hand washing.
If you would like a free consultation about your case or any other medical malpractice case, you can call our firm toll-free at 1-888-377-8900 or use our online consultation form. We are a national law firm with clients throughout the United States and offices are in Minneapolis, Minnesota.