Medical malpractice can cause serious patient injuries and lost lives. Medical malpractice is a failure to provide adequate patient care, resulting in preventable patient injuries, illnesses, or deaths. Medical malpractice comes in many forms; all of which can cost the patient severe personal injuries and related expenses.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in Colorado, contact the Denver medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal. We offer free consultations to potential clients in Denver and the surrounding region. Why do clients choose us?
- We do not pass cases off to junior associates. Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal has over 12 years of experience, and personally handles every case the firm takes.
- We have the resources to properly prosecute cases. Going up against large hospitals, well-known physicians, and major insurance corporations are what we do best.
- We do not charge any fees unless we win. Our Denver personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency-fee basis, meaning they only charge fees for their services if they secure compensation.
Medical Malpractice Resources:
- What is medical malpractice?
- What are the different types of malpractice?
- What is a doctor’s duty of care?
- What is the statute of limitations in a Colorado malpractice claim?
- What do I need to file in a medical malpractice claim?
- Who is liable for medical malpractice?
- What damages can I receive in a malpractice suit?
- Why choose Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal?
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to the negligence or omission of a doctor or other healthcare professional, that causes an injury to a patient. Malpractice can refer to almost any violation of the standard of care according to the situation. If a reasonable and prudent healthcare practitioner would not have done the same thing in a similar situation, the action could qualify as malpractice.
In a legal setting, a medical malpractice claim is a civil lawsuit against a negligent or at-fault healthcare professional, in pursuit of damage recovery. An injured patient may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or hospital on the grounds of negligence, seeking financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. A successful lawsuit could hold the responsible physician accountable for his or her professional misconduct.
What Are the Different Types of Medical Malpractice?
Any action or omission that breaches the defendant’s duties of care to the patient, resulting in patient injury, could fulfill the definition of medical malpractice in the state of Colorado. Some types of malpractice, however, are more common than others. If you or a loved one suffered serious personal injuries in any of the following circumstances, contact us about a possible medical malpractice claim.
- Delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose
- Medication prescription or administration errors
- Surgical or anesthesia errors
- Failure to recommend appropriate treatment
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
- Misinterpretation of medical test results
- Birth injury to mother or child
- Medical product liability
Medical malpractice is a serious issue that causes thousands of unnecessary patient injuries and deaths every year. Learning how to identify medical malpractice is a first step toward obtaining compensation as a wrongfully injured patient. Signs of something amiss can include poor staff communication, lack of informed consent to a procedure, wrong-site or wrong-patient surgeries, unsanitary premises, and numerous patient complaints against the same hospital or physician.
What Is a Doctor’s Duty of Care?
The burden of proof an injured patient has during a Colorado medical malpractice lawsuit is to show the defendant owed the patient a duty of care, breached this duty, and caused the injuries in question. A doctor’s duty of care refers to a healthcare professional’s legal duty to assist injured individuals, based on a special relationship with them. A duty of care only exists between a doctor and his or her patient.
A doctor-patient relationship happens when both parties agree to the services. A doctor does not owe duties of care to strangers, only patients. A doctor must voluntarily decide to assist a patient, and a patient must agree to the care. Within the doctor-patient relationship, a doctor owes numerous duties of care to ensure a patient’s reasonable safety and well-being. Breaching any of these duties could result in a lawsuit if it causes injuries to a patient.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Suit in CO?
The statute of limitations is a strict time limit by which a plaintiff must file his or her civil complaint. Missing the statute of limitations almost guarantees a refusal of the court to hear the case. Even if the court will hear the case, the defendant can use a missed statute of limitations as proof of why the courts should dismiss the claim. The statute of limitations, or deadline for filing, is different in every state.
In Colorado, medical malpractice claims have a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. Victims have two years to file their claims, either from the date upon which the defendant inflicted the harm or the date the victim discovered his or her injuries. Regardless of the date of injury discovery, victims only have three years maximum from the date of alleged malpractice to bring a civil claim.
The only exceptions to the state’s three-year statute of repose are cases involving a defendant’s fraud or concealment, a defendant leaving a foreign object inside the patient’s body cavity, or an inability to discover malpractice or injury through reasonable diligence. Since every case is unique, it is important to talk to a Denver medical malpractice lawyer about your individual case’s statute of limitations.
What Do I Need to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in CO?
Each state has different requirements for how to file a medical malpractice claim with the civil courts. The complexity of these lawsuits makes for a complicated filing process. A plaintiff must take steps other types of claims do not involve. A lawyer can take care of the entire filing process on behalf of a client, including bringing a claim within the statute of limitations.
An injured patient must fill out and submit an official medical malpractice claim according to the county court’s directions. This may come with a filing fee. The official claim must have a description of the incident and a list of damages the plaintiff seeks. It should also have the plaintiff and defendant’s contact information. State law requires one main item in addition to the official medical malpractice claim: a certificate of review.
The certificate of review must come within 60 days of serving a defendant a medical malpractice lawsuit. Each healthcare professional or establishment the plaintiff names as a defendant must receive a certificate of review. The certificate must have a signed statement from a medical expert with experience relevant to the case or injury in question.
A certificate of review must state that a medical expert has reviewed the facts of the case, and concluded available evidence justifies the plaintiff’s claim. If the defendant is a doctor, the certificate of review must also declare the medical expert can lawfully offer his or her expert opinion according to state court rules. Failure to file a certificate of review almost always results in case dismissal.
Who Is Liable in a Medical Malpractice Suit?
Liability will come down to the party that created the proximate, or main, cause of the injury. Courts often use the “but for” test to determine the liable party. The plaintiff’s injuries would not have happened but for the actions of the defendant. If this statement is true, the defendant may be legally responsible for causing the plaintiff’s injuries. A medical malpractice lawsuit in Colorado could have many different defendants.
- Physicians are often independent contractors at the hospitals or offices where they work. This means they are technically not employees of the establishment and may be individually liable for damages to a patient. A negligent doctor is one that fails to fulfill the accepted standards of patient care. If this negligence causes a patient’s injury, illness, or death, the doctor could be accountable for damages.
- A hospital, doctor’s office, medical group, surgical center, emergency room, or birth center could be responsible for medical malpractice if it or one of its employees caused the patient’s injuries. Poor employee training, unsanitary or dangerous premises, and lack of equipment maintenance are examples of negligence that could point to facility liability. A facility will also be vicariously responsible for the actions and malpractice of its employees.
- Some medical malpractice claims stem from equipment malfunctions rather than human error. This could be the case if a machine caused a drug overdose, or if a defective piece of equipment malfunctioned during surgery. The patient could have a case against the product manufacturer in these situations, but the medical facility may share liability if it failed to properly maintain the machine.
Identifying the appropriate defendant in your medical malpractice claim may take an investigation from a lawyer or insurance company. If you believe you know who is to blame for your injuries, you will need to gather proof against the person or entity. You or your attorney must establish duty of care, proof of negligence, causation, and damages. Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer can help with every aspect of a medical malpractice claim, from filing to compensation negotiation.
What Damages Can I Recover From a Medical Malpractice Suit?
A successful medical malpractice lawsuit could result in financial recovery to reimburse the patient for all malpractice-related expenses, both past and future. Damages available in a typical Colorado medical malpractice suit include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, physical pain, emotional suffering, lost quality of life, and wrongful death damages. The value of the case will depend on many factors, including the severity of patient injury. Review our law firm’s past case results for an idea of the outcomes our hard work can secure for clients.
Why Should I Contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal?
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal has years of experience handling difficult medical malpractice claims. He and his associates can investigate a case, interview witnesses, consult with experts, and help gather any available evidence of malpractice. Jeremy knows what to look for in these types of cases, as well as how to negotiate better settlements for clients. Contacting LFJR could be the first step toward compensation for your serious injuries. Call (303) 825-2223 to speak to an accident attorney in Denver today, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation in Denver.