It’s a 15-hour drive from Louisiana to North Carolina, a long way home for Teresa Harmony who suffered a tibia fracture in Louisiana during the spring of 2013.
According to Harmony, after a surgery that included an intramedullary rod and screws adjoined to her tibia, she traveled back home to North Carolina. Upon her return, Harmony suffered extreme pain and sought treatment. It was at this time that North Carolina physicians informed Harmony that the rod and screws had been incorrectly placed. Harmony went through several subsequent procedures to correct her previous surgery.
Late in 2016, Harmony filed a complaint against the Louisiana doctor that performed her surgery along with the hospital where the surgery took place.
Harmony is seeking more than $75,000 in damages to cover the cost of medical procedures, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering, all of which, she alleges, occurred after the first surgery in Louisiana.
Medical Malpractice in Louisiana
Medical Malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes harm to a patient as a result of incompetence or negligence. Medical malpractice cases may be filed against doctors not residing in a plaintiff’s home state.
In a case like Harmony’s, it is recommended to attain legal counsel in the state where the medical malpractice occurred—medical malpractice laws, statutes of limitations, and damages, vary on a state-by-state basis.
Medical malpractice lawyers in the state of origin will be the ones most capable of navigating their state’s respective laws and regulations.
Although states differ in how they handle medical malpractice cases, these types of claims are challenging to litigate across the board. Moreover, a patient’s displeasure with the results of a surgery or medical treatment doesn’t inherently translate to medical malpractice.
Nevertheless, Louisiana paid out more in medical malpractice cases than any other state in 2015.
Common Medical Malpractice Cases
Surgical errors are a common type of medical malpractice. Errors during surgery include mistakes during the procedure itself, operating on an unaffected body part, or leaving surgical equipment inside a patient.
Post-surgery mistakes can also result in harm to a patient; this may include prescribing incorrect treatments or medications or failing to give the patient the proper information to ensure their care upon returning home.
More common than surgery errors are medication errors. Medication errors can occur for several reasons including accidentally swapping patient medications in a hospital, poor handwriting on a prescription form, or not knowing how certain medications may interact with others.
It has been estimated that prescription drugs account for more than 200,000 deaths in the United States every year. This number seems high, but not when nearly 70% of Americans are taking at least one kind of prescription medication.
Preparation of a Medical Malpractice Case
If you suspect medical malpractice, there are a couple steps you can take to make assessing a medical malpractice case a little easier.
- Obtain any medical records/bills relating to the injury, information on the medical professional that caused the harm, as well as any records pertaining to treatments, surgeries, or medications that were necessary to correct the harm.
- Make a complete record from your memory. The sooner you write this down the better, as time can erode one’s memory from important details pertaining to the facts of a case.
Medical malpractice can have profound effects on a patient’s quality of life, as well as their lives of their family. This is why it’s important to seek qualified legal representation that understands the sensitivity of these cases as much as the laws that determine the validity of a medical malpractice case.
If you have any questions about medical malpractice or injury caused by a negligent doctor or medical professional, we at the Monroe law office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, want to hear from you.
For a free case review, please fill out the form to the right, or call me directly at (888) 982-1290.