Charlotte Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Representing victims of medical negligence throughout North Carolina
When you are not feeling well, you trust doctors and other medical professionals to correctly diagnose what’s wrong with you and prescribe a course of treatment that will allow you to get back to your family, job, and hobbies with minimum stress and suffering. When a serious medical error occurs, however, the outcome can be something else altogether.
If you or a close relative has suffered harm from negligent medical care in North Carolina, contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Warren & Kallianos, PLLC today. With 58 of combined legal practice, our medical malpractice lawyers have negotiated and won millions of dollars in compensation for victims of negligent medical errors, including:
- $2.5 million settlement for a client whose wife suffered a severe and fatal brain injury when a doctor failed to intubate her properly.
- $1.675 million settlement for a client who suffered catastrophic injuries due to a delayed diagnosis of lymphoma.
- $1.5 million settlement for a client whose infant died due to the negligent removal of the child’s sole functioning kidney.
- $1.225 million settlement for a client whose abscessed tooth infection spread to her brain when the nursing home staff and treating physicians failed to properly treat this condition.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
If a course of treatment doesn’t work, or if the outcome of a procedure is not what you had hoped it would be, that does not mean your doctor committed an act of malpractice. In order to make a successful claim for malpractice, we must be able to prove these things:
- That a doctor-patient relationship existed and, as such, you were owed a duty of care.
- That the doctor breached his/her duty of care.
- That your injuries or illness were caused by the doctor’s negligence.
- That this led to damages.
If a medical mistake crosses the line to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffer or for a relative’s wrongful death. A recent study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that medical errors account for the third leading cause of deaths in the United States – over 250,000 deaths a year.
Generally speaking, you have three years from the date you were injured to file a medical malpractice claim. If your loved one died as a result of malpractice, the statute of limitations is two years. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule:
- If the patient is a minor when the negligence occurred
- If the injuries take longer than the allotted time to appear
- If a surgeon leaves a foreign object in your body during a procedure
Types of Medical Negligence
Our investigations frequently uncover negligent errors such as:
- Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis. Getting the right treatment starts with getting a timely diagnosis that accurately identifies the condition you have. When a condition is missed or you are not told you have it, treatment is delayed, which may make your condition more serious and less easily treated once it is caught. If you are given the wrong diagnosis, you may also receive unnecessary or ineffective treatment that causes harm. Our attorneys can aggressively pursue compensation for the damages you have suffered as a result of a missed or an incorrect diagnosis.
- Medication Errors. Medication errors can occur at many points during the process of prescribing and dispensing medication. A doctor may write the wrong prescription or write it for the wrong dose. A pharmacist may make a mistake in dispensing the prescription, or a nurse may make a mistake in administering the medicine. Medication errors can cause serious injury or even death.
- Surgical Errors. Often referred to as “never events” because they should never occur, serious mistakes often happen in the operating room. Examples include errors during surgery that cause harm to other organs or body parts, operating on the wrong patient, operating on the wrong body part of a patient (for example, performing surgery on the left knee instead of the right knee), or leaving surgical tools and equipment inside the patient’s body. Recovery room and nursing staff may also fail to provide proper care after the surgery, which can result in serious infection or other harm.
- Errors in the ER. Hospital emergency rooms are often where a critically ill patient first encounters the healthcare system. Medical professionals who perform hasty examinations or fail to communicate clearly with each other can cause errors in diagnosis, treatment, or laboratory tests, for example. Some seriously ill patients are mistakenly discharged when they should have been admitted to the hospital for treatment.
- Communication and Charting Errors. Even a seemingly small mistake, such as transposing a patient’s birth date or recording an incorrect weight, can have serious implications. When information such as patient allergies or medications taken are not included in the patient’s chart, any healthcare provider who relies on the chart’s information runs the risk of causing serious harm. Problems may also arise when lab results are improperly communicated. Charting and information errors account for a significant number of the medical mistakes that occur in North Carolina and throughout the United States every year.
- Anesthesia Errors. Though it is a requirement in many surgeries, anesthesia requires proper administration and careful monitoring to prevent patient harm. Potential mistakes include failing to review the patient’s medical history for possible complications, failing to document the patient’s allergies to certain medications, and failing to inform the patient of the need to follow certain pre-operative practices and the risks involved in not doing so. Other common anesthesia errors include administering too much anesthesia, not enough anesthesia, or not monitoring vital signs while the patient is “under.”
- Infections. The risk of infection is a constant source of concern in hospitals and other medical settings. When procedures are not carried out with meticulous attention to cleanliness, infections can result – and they can be life-threatening. Among the most common types of infections found in hospital settings include urinary tract infections from catheter placement and infections of surgical sites and entry sites from central lines inserted in the body to help administer medication.
Choosing the Right Medical Negligence Lawyer for You
Medical care is complex, but many medical errors and the injuries they cause could have been prevented if providers had followed proper procedures. If you believe that you or a close family member has been a victim of medical negligence, how can you choose the right lawyer to protect your legal rights while fighting for the compensation you deserve? Consider the following:
First, it’s important to remember that medical negligence cases are often hotly contested and very complex due to the high stakes. At Warren & Kallianos, our attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and resources to handle these difficult cases. In the most complicated situations, you will need more than one attorney to work on your case. Attorneys Chris Kallianos and Jeff Warren have worked together for decades, building a Charlotte law firm that is recognized for helping clients succeed on a variety of medical malpractice claims. We have also assembled a group of respected medical experts who assist in reviewing medical records and providing expert analysis of the patient’s treatment.
Second, bear in mind that your damages in a medical malpractice case are often more than just what you have suffered with so far. Our client-focused Charlotte medical malpractice lawyers often work with economic experts to calculate the costs of a patient’s current and future needs, including medical care, rehabilitation, in-home assistance, lost wages, and the pain and suffering you have experienced and will continue to face. We will build a case with full and fair compensation in mind.
We have helped victims in a wide variety of medical negligence cases including, among others:
- Failure to properly intubate a patient resulting in severe brain injury and death
- Surgical error resulting in loss of sole functioning kidney, resulting in death
- Failure to diagnose and promptly treat a detached retina resulting in blindness
- Hospital-induced infection resulting in death
- Failure to diagnose and treat a pulmonary embolism resulting in death
- Medication errors resulting in severe injury and death
- Lack of supervision resulting in fall and fractures leading to severe injury and death
- Failure to provide proper nutrition and hydration resulting in death
- Failure to prevent and properly treat bed sores resulting in death
- Failure to remove foreign objects after surgery resulting in severe injury and death
- Failure to diagnose and treat heart blockage resulting in death
- Labor and delivery negligence by hospital staff or medical personnel, resulting in birth injuries
- Post-partum negligence leading to serious injuries and death
How Much Is a Medical Malpractice Case Worth in North Carolina?
There is no set award for medical malpractice; the amount of compensation you are owed will be directly reliant upon the circumstances of your case. There are two types of damages to which you may be entitled:
- Economic. These are your measurable damages: lost wages, medical bills, loss of future earnings, costs associated with your treatments, etc. There is no cap on economic damages.
- Non-economic. These are damages such as pain and suffering, or loss of reputation. North Carolina reevaluates its cap on damages every three years, but as of 2018, these damages are capped at $545,144. The cap does not apply in cases where people are permanently disfigured or injured if “the defendant’s acts or failures, which are the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, were committed in reckless disregard of the rights of others, grossly negligent, fraudulent, intentional or with malice.”
Contact Our Charlotte Medical Malpractice Attorneys
At Warren & Kallianos, we strive to secure maximum compensation for our clients in medical malpractice cases. When you work with our firm, you work directly with one or both of our attorneys as we gather evidence, talk to witnesses, consult with medical and other experts, and prepare to argue on your behalf in settlement negotiations and, if needed, at trial. Contact our Charlotte medical malpractice lawyers today at 704-275-5593, or by filling out our contact form.