Medical Malpractice | Denver Colorado | Attorney William Godsman
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates that nearly 15 million instances of medical harm occur in the United States every year. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical patient is injured as a result of the improper action or inaction of a healthcare provider or medical facility. Contrary to popular belief, medical malpractice is not limited to physicians. In many states, including Colorado, other licensed medical professionals may also be sued for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can take many forms including misdiagnosis, infections acquired from hospitals, and medication errors. If you have suffered as a result of medical negligence, it is important to contact a medical malpractice attorney immediately to discuss your case.
Parties that can be held Liable for Medical Malpractice
Medical professionals who can be sued for malpractice vary from state to state, but can include the following: Physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, medical technicians, hospitals, nursing facilities, outpatient facilities, dentists, chiropractors, pharmaceutical companies, psychologists, and therapists.
Types of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
There are many types of medical malpractice lawsuits, including:
- Misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or late diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Hospital-acquired infections
- Hospital errors
- Nurse errors
- Birth injuries
- Wrongful death
- Medication errors
- Drug errors
- Defective medical devices and products
- Defective Knee and Hip Replacements
Burden of Proof in Colorado Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Medical malpractice can be very difficult for plaintiffs to prove. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2005, plaintiffs won in only one-fourth of medical malpractice trials. In medical malpractice lawsuits, the plaintiff is usually the patient or a legal representative for the patient. The plaintiff has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning, more likely than not) that the health care provider owed the plaintiff a duty of care, the healthcare provider breached the level of duty owed to the plaintiff by failing to provide a standard degree of care, and that this failure resulted in injury and harm to the plaintiff. In order to recover the best settlement or verdict, the plaintiff needs an experienced medical malpractice attorney to explain the medical and legal issues to the jury and judge.
Damages that may be Recovered in Colorado Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Plaintiffs may recover compensatory damages, which can include money for injury-related pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning power. In situations where the healthcare provider is found guilty of wanton or reckless conduct, punitive damages may also be recovered. Many states, including Colorado, place a cap on the maximum amount of damages the patient can recover. Because states laws can change, you should consult with a qualified Colorado medical malpractice attorney for more information regarding how much you are eligible to recover and state limitations.
If you are concerned that you have suffered an unneccessary injury or impairment due to medical malpractice, contact Denver personal injury attorney William P. Godsman today. He can provide a free case consultation and discuss with you your legal options for recovery. Call (303) 455-6900.