What are the most common causes of medical malpractice cases?
- Surgical errors
During the more than 234 million surgeries each year in the U.S., there are more than 4,000 preventable errors.
Each year, 12 million U.S. adults seeking medical care are misdiagnosed. That’s one (1) of every twenty (20) people who visit their doctor.
- Medication errors
The Institute of Medicine confirms that seemingly innocent mistakes with medication result in about 1.5 million being harmed each year. This includes giving the patient the wrong drug, the wrong dosage or a dangerous combination with other drugs.
How is the value of my medical malpractice case determined?
No two medical malpractice cases are alike, and each is valued on its own individual merits.
While it’s difficult to predetermine exactly how much you could be awarded, your medical malpractice lawyer at the Haymond Law Firm will thoroughly analyze all aspects of your case before deciding upon what’s considered a reasonable amount.
These factors include:
- The costs of medical treatment you’ve already received and the anticipated level of care that will be expected in the future.
- Lost wages you’ve already incurred as well as how the injury has affected your overall loss of future earning potential.
- The impact of the injury on your life.
- The strength of the evidence that establishes a clear link between the malpractice and the sustained injuries.
- Physical pain and suffering you’ve experienced.
For more than 30 years, we’ve fought aggressively to secure compensation – well over $500,000,000 – for those who injured by the negligence of others.
For a free consultation, call us at 1-800-HAYMOND (1-800-429-6663).
Real-life case results
Case 1: Failure to Diagnose Leads To $950K Recovery
Donny Motts had no reason to doubt the doctors when they told him that ear tubes would resolve his son’s inner ear infection. After all, tubes are common for young children and can be inserted in a relatively simple procedure. However, Mr. Motts, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, realized something was wrong when his son’s ear pains persisted even after the tubes were put in.
The incident happened in late 2012. What had started as seemingly normal childhood ear pain has now turned into a persistent condition that sometimes causes numbness, migraines, and even seizures. Earlier this year, the family received a settlement against the doctors and their hospital for their misdiagnosis of their son’s conditions.
Mr. Motts and his wife first took their son to his pediatrician in Bridgeport, who then referred them to osteopathic specialists. The specialist diagnosed the problem quickly and performed the tubal procedure. However, the boy’s pain continued. In several follow-up visits, the specialist’s team reassured them that the tubes would work in time.
However, the issue took a dangerous turn when the boy developed a fever, stiff neck, and severe headaches. A visit to the emergency room showed that he had meningitis, which was caused by a bacterial infection in his ears. Doctors prescribed medication to clear the infection, but it wasn’t in time to prevent some serious and possibly permanent damage. In addition to suffering meningitis, the boy had also suffered cerebral oedema, which causes fluid to leak into the brain. As a result, he now has frequent headaches, fevers, and sometimes seizures.
The family filed suit and The Haymond Law Firm established that the specialists were negligent in their misdiagnosis of the boy’s condition. The evidence showed that the doctor had done only a cursory examination and assumed tubes were needed when, in fact, a more thorough exam would have shown that bacteria were present. The boy and his family were happy to receive the compensation and plan on using it to help him get therapy to control his pain and seizures.
Case 2: Misdiagnosis By Two Doctors Gives Way To $800K Settlement
Miss Elaine Nelson, at age 38, began experiencing persistent headaches and blurred vision. She sought treatment from an optometrist and ophthalmologist. Despite numerous visits and her growing concerns, Miss Nelson was constantly reassured that nothing was wrong…she just needed new glasses.
Unsatisfied with this diagnosis, Miss Nelson consulted with a third doctor who in turn referred her to a doctor of neurology. The neurologist discovered that Miss Nelson’s concerns were justified; in fact, she had a brain tumor compressing the nerve to her right eye.
A Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorney from the Haymond Law Firm sued the optometrist and first ophthalmologist for medical malpractice based on their failure to properly diagnose her symptoms. Mediation on the claim against the optometrist, thanks to the Attorney’s persuasiveness, resulted in a large award to Miss Nelson. The Attorney is still pursuing Miss Nelson’s lawsuit against the ophthalmologist for the delay she caused by not sending Miss Nelson to a neurologist sooner.
Case 3: Multiple Surgeries and 100+ Days in Hospital Result in $3.5M
After Dean Taylor’s appendix ruptured, he required emergency surgery.
The wrong sutures were used, and he consequently needed a second operation. During the second operation, his intestine was punctured, resulting in the need for two additional surgeries. By the end of the last surgery, Mr. Taylor had spent 131 days in the hospital and was left with permanent disfigurement. The doctors repeatedly denied any fault for what happened.
A Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorney from the Haymond Law Firm disagreed and took the matter to trial.
Case 4: Young Girl Suffers Repeated Misdiagnosis, Full Year of School Lost
A young 10-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with seizure-like symptoms, frequent urination, excessive thirst and blurred vision. The doctor treating her ordered several tests, including a complete CBC workup and blood glucose test. The initial tests came back showing the girl’s blood glucose levels were over 300 and that her insulin levels were dramatically lower than normal.
The other tests the doctor ordered were not back from before the doctor rendered a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. While preliminary tests suggested diabetes, the doctor needed the final set of test results to make an accurate and complete diagnosis.
His decision to treat the girl with Type 2 diabetes created extreme fluctuations in her blood glucose levels. After she was finally stabilized, she was sent home with specific instructions to closely monitor her blood glucose levels, watch her diet and begin a treatment plan that included insulin medication in pill form.
Over the next few days, the girl was back in the emergency room several times suffering from seizure-like symptoms. The tests taken during her first visit had arrived and the on-call emergency physician changed the diagnosis from Type 2 to Type 1 or Juvenile onset diabetes. Because of the improper administration of insulin by the previous ER doctor, the current physician could not get the girls’ blood glucose levels to stabilize. She was kept in the hospital for 17 days due to severe complications.
The resulting hospital stay and deterioration of the girls’ overall health caused her to miss almost 33 days of school. There was no way for the work to be made up at such a late date, so the choice was made to hold her back in the 5th grade for the second year. The girl’s total recovery time was over 6 months.
The Haymond Law firm represented the girls’ family from New Haven, CT in court, gaining them money for compensatory damages. Although her injuries were not life-threatening, they did have a dramatic impact on her mental and emotional well-being.
Case 5: Delayed skin cancer diagnosis
Paul S., a 66-year-old retired man from Connecticut, passed away from malignant melanoma. Paul visited his primary care physician for his usual annual physical examination. During the course of the examination, he mentioned to his physician that a small mole, the size of 2 cm x 2 cm had developed on his right forearm. He wasn’t sure if it had always been there but it had become much more noticeable to him in the preceding months. His physician commented that it was either a dermatofibroma or hemangioma, both benign in character. He failed to advise and refer Paul to a dermatologist to seek an opinion from a specialist.
Across the ensuing 4 months, the mole on Paul’s forearm began to change in appearance and he called his physician’s office. One of the physician’s colleagues, who operates in the same practice, met with Paul a few days later. This physician inspected the mole and referred Paul to a surgeon for another consultation and a biopsy. When Paul met with the surgeon, he removed the mole and sent for a thorough analysis. When the results returned, they showed an ulcerating melanoma with downward growth.
A month later, Paul had a lymph node dissection performed which uncovered clear margins and no node involvement. Paul returned for follow-ups every 4 months afterward. On his third follow up visit, a mass was detected in Paul’s liver. It was biopsied and determined to be the result of a metastatic spread of his melanoma. Paul was given a poor prognosis and he passed away within ten months. He left behind a wife and two children.
The Haymond Law Firm’s experts testified that a standard of medical care exists in which it is required that the physician perform a biopsy or make a referral to a dermatologist and a surgeon to evaluate such an atypical mole. The physician’s decision to advise Paul to wait for a full 6 months was substandard and permitted the mole to advance and continue its downward progression. This directly resulted in a negative effect on Paul’s prognosis and his potential to be cured before the skin cancer spread and resulted in his death.
The Haymond Law Firm filed a wrongful death lawsuit due to a delayed skin cancer diagnosis. The insurance company argued with their own medical experts that even had the skin cancer been detected, Paul would have had a term of 6-8 months to live. In addition, it was argued through expert testimony that Paul had a pre-existing heart condition and that he did not have a life expectancy of more than three or four years.
A trial was scheduled but a settlement was reached in the month prior. Thanks to the Haymond Law Firm, Paul’s family has the financial support that has been missing since his unfortunate death.
Case 6: Surgical error results in above-average settlement
Plaintiff Jeremy C. consulted with a surgeon after noticing a growth on the left side of his neck. His surgeon, the defendant, examined Jeremy and determined that he had a benign growth that would require surgical removal. A consulting radiologist stated that an MRI should be performed before surgery in order to better define and study the mass. Unfortunately, the defendant insisted that the surgery proceeds without the MRI. The defendant neglected the advice of the consulting radiologist and proceeded to perform the surgery to remove the growth from Jeremy’s neck.
When the defendant performed the surgery, his operative note did not state that he identified or protected Jeremy’s facial nerve during the course of the surgery. After the surgery, Jeremy suffered from severe left facial droop. The defendant went to great lengths to convince Jeremy and his family that the facial droop was merely the temporary result of the natural swelling that typically results from this type of surgery. The defendant was adamant that Jeremy’s facial droop would resolve itself in a timely manner.
Unfortunately, Jeremy’s facial droop was permanent. His facial nerve didn’t function for months after the surgery. It was at this point that Jeremy consulted with The Haymond Law Firm. Jeremy consulted with the firm as well as a series of doctors to determine the next step. He underwent another surgery so that the facial nerve could be inspected. The surgeon who performed this operation determined that the defendant actually transected Jeremy’s facial nerve during the initial surgery. It was not possible to re-connect the facial nerve. Jeremy suffers from a permanent facial droop and is no longer able to move the corner of his mouth.
The Haymond Law Firm filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant for his egregious surgical error. The firm recruited medical experts who would testify that the defendant had transacted Jeremy’s facial nerve and also acted with negligence in his disregard for the consulting radiologist’s request for an MRI.
Two weeks prior to the trial, the defendant’s attorney agreed to settle the matter. Jeremy credits The Haymond Law Firm’s unique approach for obtaining a settlement of this magnitude.
Case 7: A Breach in Protocol Leads to a Lifetime of Suffering
After a long and difficult birth, Emily Roberts was placed in a hospital’s nursery. Unfortunately, the nurse in charge left for a dinner break without a replacement, resulting in no coverage for a short period of time.
Tragically, during that period of time, baby Emily had trouble breathing and suffered permanent irreversible injuries.
Emily’s family came to their Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorney at the Haymond Law Firm for help. The suit was filed against the nurses and the hospital. A large settlement was obtained for the family.
Case 8: Bridgeport mother awarded money after infant sustained injuries at birth
New mother Joan B. was in labor for hours with signs of distress to the baby. The heart rate dropped numerous times and she even asked for a c-section. Joan’s doctor was not available to come to the hospital so he made her wait. After five hours of the baby and mother being in distress, the doctor finally decided to do the c-section.
When the baby was born he was non-responsive with no heart rate. The medical staff was able to start his heart. Unfortunately, he started having seizures, which happened at the rate of several an hour. The newborn was rushed to the nearest children’s hospital where he spent weeks in the Neonatal ICU. During this time he went through many scares where his heart would stop and the seizures continued.
There was no way to determine the full extent of the damage the child had sustained until he was about three years old. This is when he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy on top of the seizures he has to this day. The lawsuit was not only against the doctor but also the hospital due to the negligent staff.
The Haymond Law Firm’s expert team of medical malpractice lawyers fought for the rights of the mother and child. By providing expert testimony and tireless attention to detail, the Bridgeport mother was awarded a large settlement after her infant sustained injuries at birth.
Sadly, this child will never have a normal life. Doctors say he will never walk and at almost five years old he cannot feed himself or speak. He can barely even hold his head up. He is now in school and is getting more therapy which is helping him learn to move better as well as communicate. This is a problem that occurs all too frequently in this nation and The Haymond Law Firm is proud to be able to help this family get restitution for this little boy.
Case 9: Delayed medical diagnosis leads to a speedy settlement
Thirty-year-old Yuan Lu developed strange symptoms that doctors eventually diagnosed as fluid on the brain. At their advice, she had surgery to put in special tubing to send the fluid into the digestive system.
Soon Yuan developed seizures, headaches, garbled speech and loss of equilibrium. The symptoms lasted almost a year until a doctor finally corrected the problem.
The Haymond Law Firm took the case, even though we knew it would be difficult to find a doctor to testify against other doctors. With an expert’s assistance, Yuan settled her case before trial.
Case 10: Incorrectly diagnosed “virus” leads to death
The parents of a 12-year old boy rushed him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a virus and sent home.
The boy continued to deteriorate and was rushed back to the hospital 18-hours later and it was too late. The boy died.
The family contacted the Connecticut Medical Malpractice Attorneys at the Haymond Law Firm for help. We brought suit against the hospital and a settlement was reached prior to trial a large sum of money.
Case 11: Medical misdiagnosis leads to complications
A 64-year-old man presented to an Urgent Care Facility for a severe sore throat that lasted for more than one week.
The staff failed to check for strep throat, they failed to prescribe an antibiotic and discharged him. Two days later he presented to an emergency room very sick. He was sent to a different hospital and diagnosed with Group A Streptococcus pharyngitis with septic shock, acute kidney injury with complete renal failure requiring hemodialysis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, mediastinitis, and acute delirium. After three weeks in the hospital, he was discharged to a rehabilitation facility.
The Haymond Law Firm took the case, with an expert’s assistance, we settled his case before trial.
Case 12: Failed medical evaluation leading to hospitalization
25-year-old female post-delivery of her daughter presented to an emergency room five times in a four week period with various complaints including fever, cough, body aches, nausea, headaches, vertigo, and a swollen, painful right eye.
The healthcare providers in the emergency room failed to evaluate and diagnose the cerebral empyema and orbital abscess sepsis that was developing over that time period. As a result, the next time she presented to the emergency room several days later, she had to be transported to a different hospital where she remained for nine days after which she was transported to a second hospital for another four-week hospitalization.
The Haymond Law Firm filed a medical malpractice lawsuit & a large settlement was obtained for the family.
Case 13: Pharmacy medication error
65-year old male takes Allopurinol, a medication to treat Gout. He went to the pharmacy for the usual refill and left for his vacation home for the weekend. After taking an Allopurinol, he started feeling very drowsy so he decided to go to bed early. In his bedroom, he became so drowsy that he fell and hit his neck on the night table, sustaining a cervical fracture at C2.
As it turns out, the pharmacy did not just refill the prescription with Allopurinol but also included many Trazodone pills in the bottle. Although Trazodone is prescribed for depression, it is also used to treat insomnia because it can cause drowsiness as a side effect. The man had to undergo surgery to stabilize the fracture and rehabilitation.
The case settled without filing a lawsuit.
Case 14: Improper surgical technique for routine surgery goes wrong
A 43-year old female underwent a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy. As a result of the manner in which the physician performed the surgery, she suffered a significant bile duct injury which resulted in, among other things, pain, and intraabdominal abscess, sepsis, numerous tests, several procedures, and surgeries.
The case settled without filing a lawsuit.
Case 15: Failure to timely diagnose hip dysplasia causes lifetime damage
An infant baby girl was diagnosed with hip dysplasia by a pediatrician in the hospital shortly after birth, a condition easily treatable in infants. The treating pediatrician failed to acknowledge the condition until the child was 9 months old.
Since the dysplasia was not treated in a timely manner, the child had to undergo surgery and casting for an extended period of time and causing avoidable lifetime damage to this young girl.
The case settled prior to trial.