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Impact Law Firm
115 W. 3rd St.
Suite 121
Tulsa, OK 74103
Phone: 918-574-8555


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Medical Negligence FAQs

FAQs for Medical Negligence

  1. What is the definition of medical negligence?
  2. What are some examples of medical negligence?
  3. What damages can I recover in a medical negligence claim?
  4. Are there time limits or statutes of limitations for filing a medical negligence claim?
  5. How long will it take to reach an agreement or settlement for my medical negligence claim?
  6. What can I do to protect my rights if I am not sure that I want to file a claim?
  7. Should I accept a settlement offer prior to consulting with an experienced attorney?

 

1. What is the definition of medical negligence?

Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, can be a personal injury claim against doctors, nurses, nursing homes, hospitals, dentists, pharmacists or pharmacies. Medical negligence is the failure of a healthcare provider to meet minimal, reasonable care in treating, diagnosing or making critical decisions regarding the health and treatment of a patient. Negligence constitutes any act by a healthcare provider that causes injury or illness to the patient.

2. What are some examples of medical negligence?

Examples include:
• Improper diagnosis due to neglect or inattention
• Improper treatment
• Failure or delay of treatment
• Improper follow-up treatment or failure to follow up
• Administering the wrong prescription
• Administering a prescription in an improper way
• Failure to provide complete pertinent information to the patient
• Failure to acquire the consent for a procedure
• Leaving a foreign object in the body such as a surgical tool
• Nurse’s failure to follow a doctor’s treatment plan
• Nurse’s failure to report or delay in a report of a change in the patient’s conditions to the doctor

3. What damages can I recover in a medical negligence claim?

The damages that can be recovered in a medical negligence case vary and can include:
• Past and future medical expenses related to the negligence
• The long-term effects of your injury or illness on your ability to live a normal lifestyle
• Psychological and emotional therapy
• Loss of income
• Loss of ability to earn an income
• Physical scarring or disfigurement compensation
• Medical equipment
• In-home caretakers expenses
• Wrongful death claims from a surviving spouse or child

4. Are there time limits or statutes of limitations for filing a medical negligence claim?

In the state of Oklahoma, there is a two year statute of limitations in filing a medical negligence claim. You should always contact an attorney as soon as possible. A medical negligence claim can be time consuming to investigate and develop, so the sooner you consult with an attorney, the better. Do not wait until you know whether or not you will recover without further medical care. The two year time period begins on the date of the medical negligent act.

5. How long will it take to reach an agreement or settlement for my medical negligence claim?

A medical negligence claim is a very complex area and will require in-depth investigation to develop a sound case. The investigation and interview stage can take up to six months, if not longer. Medical documentations must be obtained, organized and analyzed. Often, consultations with medical experts are necessary. Every effort is made to settle a claim outside of court, but the lawyers at Impact Law Firm will not hesitate to see a medical negligence claim through the court process if necessary. The time it will take to reach an agreement varies with each case.

6. What can I do to protect my rights if I am not sure that I want to file a claim?

It is always best to seek the advice of a medical negligence attorney as soon as you think a negligent act might have occurred. However, if you are not ready to take that step, there are a few things to remember:
• Start a folder to hold copies of all medical bills.
• Include all medical reports from each doctor’s visit.
• If possible, keep photos of the damage, where the negligent act occurred, and any changes that occur after the medical negligence.
• Maintain records of any lost wages and secure a note from your doctor stating that you were unable to work.
• Contact your medical insurance company and establish what is and is not covered.
• Follow all instructions from your doctor and complete all medical care that is recommended by your physician.
• Do not make any recorded statements for any reason as they may be used at trial.

7. Should I accept a settlement offer prior to consulting with an experienced attorney?

If you accept or sign a settlement before you consult with a medical negligence attorney, you will not be able to collect further damages even if you were unaware of the full realm of your injuries or illness at the time you agreed to the settlement. Always have a lawyer review a settlement offer before you sign it; you do not want to be financially devastated in addition to your medical trauma.