When Is A Malpractice Case A “Slam Dunk?”

Malpractice cases can be messy. Few doctors will want to admit fault when it comes to a million-dollar lawsuit, and the hospital board responsible for ensuring that malpractice cases don’t occur won’t want to admit that their facility had anything to do with an injury or illness left untreated or undiagnosed. So when is a malpractice case a “slam dunk?” The most obvious answer is this: the case is a slam dunk whenever you find a malpractice attorney willing to take it on.

That’s because malpractice falls under the umbrella of “personal injury” and lawyers who take on these cases expect to be paid only if they win. This type of payment plan guarantees that only the cases with the highest chance of gaining ground in or out of court will actually make it that far. It also reduces the chance of a frivolous lawsuit.

That’s one answer, but what is the “best” kind of malpractice case?

Many doctors have bedside manner. They know how to discuss big health problems with patients without the patient feeling panic set in. These doctors are beloved by their patients, who are mostly comfortable speaking with them. And these doctors are just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else. But unfortunately, the first thing a hospital or attorney will do when someone launches a malpractice case against a popular doctor is play up that popularity. That’s what happened when former Helena oncologist Dr. Thomas Weiner was fired for malpractice.

Attorney Bob Meals represents Dr. Weiner. He said, “Dr. Weiner’s work speaks for itself — over 99% of his patients have expressed satisfaction with his care and treatment during the past 24 years when he practiced at St. Peter’s.”

We reiterate, Dr. Weiner was fired. Some of the material evidence suggests that Weiner ordered unnecessary chemotherapy, a dangerous cancer treatment that can sometimes do just as much harm as good. 

The best cases are built against unpopular doctors, sadly, but any case with material evidence can win in court. The real trick is gathering that evidence in a timely fashion when the doctors and hospital administrators will be doing everything in their power to make sure you have trouble obtaining it. Your attorney can help you find what you need.

If you believe that your prognosis was worsened because of a delayed diagnosis, a low standard of care, or even something as crazy as a misplaced instrument in your body during surgery, then you have the right to gather information for a lawsuit. And that’s exactly what you should do. Many hospitals will settle rather than take a case to court, and that’s probably the best outcome for most malpractice lawsuits. Speak with your lawyer about what you want or expect, and your lawyer will be honest about setting realistic goals and expectations for the case you build together.

How Do You Know You’re The Victim Of A Serious Medical Malpractice Mistake?

Medical malpractice is a huge problem in the United States. Part of the blame should be on those who drafted some of the worst laws in the healthcare industry; namely that many of our healthcare providers must work twelve hour shifts for three days one week, and four days the next, or the asinine concept of mandation — that you must work overtime when your employer asks. These laws try to protect the patient, but sometimes all they do is more damage. 

We expect our healthcare providers to help more than they hurt, which is why we need to address this issue through the law. In New York, there are only about 85 medical malpractice claims paid out in the average year, per every million residents. That means people aren’t protecting themselves in court as often as they could, and courts aren’t siding with those who do as often as they should. Sometimes the statute of limitations has passed, but that isn’t always the case. Here are a few of the most common signs of a serious medical malpractice event:

  • Consent. If your doctor decides your life is in serious danger, he may perform a procedure without your consent. But when your doctor fails to obtain consent for a routine procedure performed under non life-threatening conditions, you have a medical malpractice lawsuit whether the operation went flawlessly or not.
  • Post-Op Pain. When you have lasting, atypical pain after a surgical procedure, it may be the result of medical malpractice. Surgeons have been known to leave instruments inside their patients, so it might be time to seek a second opinion!
  • Admission. Not all doctors who make mistakes will try to hide it, and while we give them credit for doing the right thing, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to compensation for whatever mistakes were made. Sit down to a free consultation with a lawyer to decide whether or not you want to pursue a lawsuit.
  • Anesthesia. Many medical malpractice lawsuits are the result of a patient waking up during surgery. This isn’t always worthy of a case, because the anesthesiologist’s job is extremely difficult and requires calculating the right amount of anesthesia for a patient depending on complicated factors like weight, age, prescription drugs or supplements, smoking, and alcoholism. The list goes on. But if you wake up during surgery, the experience can be traumatic.

  • Misdiagnosis. This is a big one, because it can lead to incorrectly prescribed medications as well. First, the undetected disease can become much worse, even life-threatening, while you make repeated trips to the doctors. Second, wrongly prescribed medications can have a detrimental effect on your health or even make your condition worse.

Some Common Birth Injuries

In some cases during the birth process, babies may suffer some physical injuries as a result of the process. Injuries during birth are mainly attributed to the size or position of the baby during the labor and delivery periods. The possible injuries that can occur are of varying implications to the child. Most of them are caused by oversized babies, prematurity during birth, prolonged labor and un proportionality. Below are some common birth injuries;

Caput Succedaneum

This is a significant swelling of the soft and vulnerable tissues on the baby’s scalp that is caused by the process by which the baby traverses through the birth canal. Bruising of the area is common and the implications, which is simply the swelling, may go away after a few days. This injury is prevalent in babies who deliver through the vacuum extraction process.


This is an injury whereby the baby bleeds beneath one of the cranial bones. It is seen a couple of hours after the birth of a baby. It is manifested as a lump on the head of the newborn. After some time, the baby’s body automatically absorbs the bleeding, and the injury goes away. It may take between three weeks and a month for the lump to completely go away. In some severe cases, the baby may have jaundice as a result of excessive bleeding.


This injury is mostly manifested on the face of the newborn baby. It is caused by the trauma suffered by the baby when moving through the birth canal and coming into contact with the pelvic bone of the mother. Forceps used during the delivery process can also lead to bruises or marks on the baby. This kind of injury is common in babies delivered through vacuum extraction.

Facial Paralysis

During the birth process, the nerves on the baby’s face may be damaged due to the pressure applied. This can also be caused by the force applied on the forceps during delivery. This injury is manifested when the baby is seen crying during the delivery process. The implications of this injury are the inability of the baby to move their face and close their eye after birth. If the nerves were bruised, the injury often clears within a few weeks.


Fractures mostly occur on the collarbone of the baby. This bone may break when there is difficulty delivering or during a breech delivery. Fractured clavicles heal quickly, and a baby with such an injury can be identified with lack of activity on the side with a broken clavicle.

If your child has suffered from a birth injury due to a doctor’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation to ensure that they have a long and healthy life. Any vehicle injury lawyer is a good choice in representation.

The Most Common Surgical Errors

Mistakes made in the operating room don’t always involve taking off the wrong limb or slicing into an unintended organ. Many of the errors made can be the smallest acts of confusion, carelessness or even inexperience on the part of the surgeon or his operating crew.

Other times the fault may lie in insufficient resources or defective operating equipment. No matter the fault, however, all of these mishaps are preventable and if procedure and attention had been the priority they would have been.

Following are some of the most common surgical errors in modern hospitals according to many different law firms.

No. 1. — Foreign Objects in the Body.

There are countless instances where foreign objects are inadvertently left in the body of a patient. From gauze and pads to scalpels and clamps, surgeons have left all manner of materials in patients out of sheer negligence. This can result in extreme pain and serious infections. A simple medical checklist can prevent this from happening.

No. 2 — Wrong Patient

This can result from a variety of factors from no preoperative verification protocol to a serious miscommunication between surgeons and other doctors. The miscommunications can result in the removal of perfectly healthy organs and a whole slew of other situations where patients don’t get the treatment they were prescribed.

No. 3 — Wrong Side

While this seems the worst mistake in the book, it actually happens fairly regularly. This often involves surgery being performed on the incorrect lung, kidney or many worse instances. Then there is the poignant case of the man who had the wrong leg removed.

No. 4 — Anesthesia Errors

By far the most detrimental errors involve improper administration of anesthesia. Too much of this powerful drug can deprive the brain of oxygen this can result in rapid brain damage and death. If too little anesthesia is given it can cause the patient to awaken during the procedure and experience tremendous pain.

No. 5 — Nerve Damage

While your doctor is at work addressing a single health condition, it is quite possible to inadvertently cause another through carelessness. A small slip of the wrist and the scalpel’s edge can nick an artery, lung or nerve and lead to serious mishaps in the future.

According to ABC News, surgical errors happen more offten than we think:

While mistakes on the job can happen all the time, those with the lives of others in their hands should be held to much higher standards than most professions. Simple organization and attention to the procedure can avoid any of these common surgery errors.