Thanks to advances in medical technology, surgeons are often able to successfully repair or replace injured and diseased internal organs. However, while scientific developments are enabling countless patients to enjoy longer and healthier lives, there is always a risk that organ damage could be caused by surgical errors, medication errors, or delays in diagnosis or treatment.
If you, your spouse, or one of your family members suffered organ damage due to a doctor or surgeon’s careless mistake, you should speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, the earnings you lost, the pain and suffering you have endured, and other expenses and hardships you have been burdened with because of the medical error.
The attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook have over 75 years of combined experience representing malpractice victims throughout the Oklahoma City area, including Norman, Moore, Edmond, Shawnee, McLoud, and El Reno. To set up a free legal consultation, call Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040. We will keep your information confidential.
What is Medical Malpractice? What Must the Victim Prove?
In order to be awarded compensation, an Oklahoma victim of medical malpractice must be able to prove that certain elements were in place with regard to the error which occurred. These elements are that:
- The healthcare provider had a duty of care. Doctors, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals are held to high standards for avoiding patient harm.
- The healthcare provider breached that duty of care by acting negligently, which means failing to take reasonable precautions against foreseeable death or injury. An example could be failing to adequately sterilize medical instruments, or failing to recognize and diagnose a condition that other doctors would have recognize and diagnosed under the same set of circumstances.
- The medical error was caused by the healthcare provider’s actions or failures to act — for example, carelessly making an incision too deep, or delaying a diagnosis.
- The victim was harmed by the healthcare provider’s actions or failures to act — for example, sustaining heart damage, liver damage, kidney damage, lung damage, spleen damage, or damage to other organs.
The evidence used to prove that malpractice occurred may include expert testimony from medical professionals, details from the treating physician’s notes and records, medical images like MRI scans, and other types of documents. Our attorneys leave no stone unturned when investigating the causes of an injury. With decades of experience behind us, we are well versed in malpractice claims and know precisely what to look for when probing the causes of patient injury.
Compensation for Doctor Negligence: What Damages Are Recoverable?
There are two means by which a malpractice victim can be compensated: settling out of court after negotiating with attorneys for the surgeon’s insurers, or, less commonly, being awarded compensation by a jury after filing a lawsuit. Oklahoma permits malpractice victims to recover compensation, called “damages,” for both financial (economic) and non-financial (non-economic) harms and losses. Non-economic damages are generally capped at $350,000, with some exceptions.
In cases of extreme misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded in addition to compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate expenses and losses, whereas punitive damages are meant to punish and deter gross negligence. Punitive damages may be capped at $100,000, at $500,000, or not at all, depending on the circumstances under which the patient injury occurred.
Injuries and Complications Caused by Organ Damage
Depending on which organ is injured and to what extent, disabling or potentially life-threatening complications can rapidly develop, leading to wrongful death or severe injury or illness, including organ failure that may necessitate a transplant. Some examples of the medical effects that can be caused by organ failure or damage include:
- Effects of Heart Damage
- Accumulation of fluids, beginning in the feet and moving upward
- Difficulty breathing
- Enlargement of the liver
- Sleep apnea
- Effects of Intestinal/Stomach Damage
- Abdominal compartment syndrome
- Abscess formation
- Bowel obstruction
- Effects of Kidney Damage
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Effects of Liver Damage
- Greater risk of bleeding
- Effects of Lung Damage
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
- Difficulty breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Effects of Spleen Damage
- Vision problems/blurred vision
Contact an Oklahoma City Medical Malpractice Attorney of Hasbrook & Hasbrook if You Sustained an Organ Injury
If you or one of your loved ones sustained an organ injury after receiving substandard medical care, you may have a right to be compensated. Call the malpractice attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040 to set up a free and confidential legal consultation. We make ourselves available around the clock, no matter how late in the evening or how early in the morning.