Archive for June, 2013

Avoid Missing Proof Of The “Oops” Hidden In Or By The Medical Records: Medical Malpractice

By admin

Friday, June 28th, 2013

You never stop learning. I’ve been investigating and handling medical malpractice claims and suits for a lot of years. You can’t punt and you can’t cut corners. Bad results happen. The key is knowing how to separate the avoidable injury or illness caused by a doctor’s malpractice from the bad result or complication that is not the provable result of negligence.

You have to know what questions are raised and how and where to get the answers. Whether it is an obstetrical problem involving an IUD that migrated, a baby who was sending out signs about the need to be born, or a doctor or nurse who simply stopped hearing the patient until the damage could not be avoided, the search is the same.

You need to know when the information you gather is incomplete, inconsistent, or evidence of inadequate care.

You learn that you must listen to your clients take on what happened, but that it is most often the medical records that contain what you need to prove, either directly or because the absence of information leads to the ability to prove the doctors missed what they should not have and failed to avoid what should have been avoided.

Injuries often cause anger and frustration, especially when a loved one is involved. The medical malpractice lawyer’s job and experience must lead to wading through the understandable emotion so that your client gets truthful answers. As much as you want to cheerlead and find support for a claim, your job is to find and provide what is needed: the truth.

I have learned that the only one who has kept a script or record of what was seen, knowable and acted upon, is the doctor or care provider. I’ve also learned most medical experts will not base their opinion on what the client/patient/victim says or believes. They look to the record, tests and written or imaged documents for answers, measured against their own knowledge and experience.

Regretably, these records are not always clear or complete. They rarely contain the “oops, I made a mistake” statement we so much want to find. The art is in recognizing when something in the chart or testimony of a defending doctor or nurse, might amount to an “oops” type piece of evidence the defendant did not know he or she left behind.

That is where knowing the questions and where to find the answers comes in. That is where the experienced staff comes in.

Our practice is to have a multi-leveled review. It starts with our own analysis, based upon many years of experience and exposure to so many different kinds of malpractice. That is normally followed by a nursing review, to look for the telltale signs of medical error, inconsistency and factors our client would not know about.

If this review is persuasive, it is then on to the necessary medical expert, to tell us if the medical care provider fell below the recognized standards he or she was to follow.

The final question is whether it was the substandard care rather than the original injury or illness, that caused the injury or worsening illness that proper care or diagnosis would have avoided or reduced.