Las Vegas Medical Malpractice Attorney
At the Cogburn Law Offices, we represent patients injured through negligent or reckless care and gross incompetence by medical professionals. The process of recovering against a doctor or hospital is complicated and can be overwhelming, but we understand this area of law and can help you through the process.
The financial hardships from your injury are crippling enough. With lost wages and medical expenses draining the resources you have, the last thing you need to worry about is the cost of an attorney. At the Cogburn Law Offices, we do not collect any personal injury fees unless we collect on your behalf.
Doctors have a sacred duty to protect the health and well-being of their patients. Most doctors follow their oath without fail, but some doctors put their patients at risk through negligence or poor decisions.
When a doctor harms a patient, the patient may be eligible for compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order for a personal injury attorney to prove malpractice, the plaintiff must show the four elements of malpractice were present for the patient.
- Duty—The doctor was responsible for providing care to the patient. Failure to meet the “standard of care” is a violation of the doctor’s duty, and grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Breach—A breach occurs when the doctor failed to meet the standard of care. There are two ways to show a breach: either the doctor’s actions fell below the acceptable standards, or the doctor deviated from normal treatment procedures.
- Causation—The plaintiff must demonstrate that the doctor’s action, or inaction, caused some type of harm to the patient.
- Damages—Damages must be clearly defined and specific for the patient to claim malpractice.
If the attorney can show all four elements were present in the plaintiff’s situation, the doctor can be held liable for his or her actions.
Types of Malpractice
There are many ways in which a doctor can potentially harm a patient, but there are four very broad categories a personal injury attorney uses when discussing a potential malpractice lawsuit.
- Misdiagnosis—When gross negligence causes a misdiagnosis, there are grounds for a lawsuit. A personal injury attorney must show that a reasonable and competent doctor, with the same set of evidence, would have arrived at a different and appropriate course of treatment for the patient. The attorney must also show that the misdiagnosis caused direct harm or caused the patient to miss an opportunity for treatment.
- Surgical Errors—There are three different ways a patient can claim surgical errors. First, the surgeon made a mistake, like cutting an organ or leaving an instrument inside the body. Second, the surgeon operated with negligence, such as attempting surgery while drunk. Finally, nurses can be held liable for poor post-operative care that leads to complications.
- Birth Injuries—A child is extremely vulnerable during birth, and doctors who do not take the appropriate measure of care can harm the newborn. Brain injuries, nerve damage, and broken bones are the result of rough handling, and can lead to a lifetime of pain.
- Medication Errors—Doctors who prescribe the wrong drug or the wrong dose commit malpractice. Additionally, doctors who fail to get a complete medical history or list of drugs currently taken by the patient may be liable for adverse reactions to the medication.
Most medical malpractice claims will fall into one of the four major categories, but if your injury claim falls outside of these categories, you may still have a malpractice claim.
Going Beyond Doctors
Most doctors are not hospital employees; instead, they work as independent contractors who have staff privileges within a medical institution. For this reason, hospitals typically cannot be held responsible for the actions of the doctor.
In Nevada, there are some exceptions to the rule, that will allow you to pursue damages from both the doctor and the hospital.
- Ostensible Agency—The idea of ostensible agency is that when you went to the hospital, and the hospital assigned a doctor, you reasonably assumed the doctor was an employee of the hospital.
- Negligent Credentialing—Hospitals have the responsibility to vet anyone who practices at their facilities. If an unqualified doctor performs medical services in the hospital, the hospital can be held liable for failure to check the doctor’s credentials.
- Negligence—Doctors with a history of malpractice or substance abuse pose a danger to patients at the hospital. If the hospital knew about the doctor’s history, and still granted privileges, the hospital is responsible for the doctor’s actions.
Contact our office today for a free consultation.