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If a hospital makes a mistake and the patient suffers a permanent injury as a result, don’t expect the hospital to apologize or admit fault. If something like this happened to you, you need someone to investigate on your behalf.
With the help of an attorney, you can receive compensation to cover medical costs, home modifications, health care, vehicles, and all the other extra costs incurred by a medical error.
Find out if you have a case by scheduling a FREE consult with an attorney today.
In this interview, attorney Michael Warshauer explains a case he handled that ended with a record-setting verdict. Contact him directly by calling 888-981-5602 or by submitting a contact form on this page.
Michael’s client was involved in a car accident that broke both of her ankles. She was taken to a small community hospital, and that was diagnosed to be her main injury. However, this hospital was not equipped to perform a full scan to detect additional injuries, so they outfitted her with a neck brace just in case she had a spinal cord injury. She was then moved to a regional hospital.
When she got to the regional hospital, they failed to detect a problem with her neck on the x-ray. The next day, they discovered that her cervical spine was broken. When they got her out of bed, her neck shifted, which impacted her spinal cord. She is now paralyzed from the ribs down.
The car accident caused the fracture in her neck, but it was the hospital’s failure to diagnose and treat that fracture that caused the paraplegia. Had they known about it, it would have been an easy injury to treat. Both the EMS who responded and the staff at the community hospital knew to treat her neck with care, as she was not paralyzed until she received treatment at the regional hospital.
It’s part of the standard of care: what would a reasonable health care professional do in the same or similar circumstances?
The standard of care here was to clear her neck: take three x-rays from different angles to make sure they didn’t miss a broken bone. Neither the community hospital nor the EMS crew did this because they lacked the resources. However, the more advanced regional hospital should have paid closer attention to these x-rays. It was their job to use their tools to detect any additional injuries. They only focused on her feet and missed the neck injury.
Every major trauma center in America has a protocol that they follow. Every one of them says, at a minimum, take three views of the neck for this accident to ensure there are no problems and this hospital failed to do it.
This woman went from a fully functional active adult to someone who needs others to take care of her. That affects their lives, too. Family members need to become caretakers. They do the best they can, but usually can’t provide for all the needs that someone with paralysis requires.
In this case, the paralyzed woman needed new home modifications that allowed her to get in and out of her house. She needed a new van that was wheelchair accessible.
Often, it’s the lawyers who step up by seeking full, fair, and just compensation to put accident victims back on the right track as best as possible.
Often in personal injury suits like this, the people responsible for caring for the injured victim will be covered as well. They may have to leave their jobs or work reduced hours in order to provide adequate care to the injured victim.
Unfortunately, the injured person usually needs more care as they age, and their caregivers might become too old to provide this advanced level of care. This means it's up to the attorneys to convey the future costs of such an injury to a jury. They might rely on an expert known as a life care planner, who will analyze future costs of vehicles, care, home modifications, etc. The attorney will also consult with an economist to figure out how much this might cost in today’s dollars and inflated dollars in the future.
You need to do your homework. Make sure you find a lawyer who is board-certified, and who has a history of trying (not just settling) cases. You need an attorney with the financial resources to fund this type of case. It also helps to choose a lawyer who has a team with them that can collaborate, pool resources, and fully investigate the case.
At Warshauer Law Group, for example, there are always two lawyers working on every case. They have an in-house physician to provide a medical perspective.
You want someone who you’re comfortable with, who you know cares about you, and who you know has the skillset and experience to help bring your case to a successful outcome.
Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
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