Diagnosing the Highest Standards of Quality Health Care
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose an Illness Correctly
Failure to Prevent Infection
Leaving a Medical Device Implanted after Surgery
Surgery without Informed Consent
Certain Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy
Late Diagnosis Resulting in Diminished Chances of Survival
Medical malpractice is defined as any instance in which a medical professional either fails to perform within the boundaries of a reasonable standard of care, or acts negligently when delivering care. With the many miraculous medical advancements and procedures that have been introduced in recent decades, one might conclude that medical malpractice is largely a problem of the past. This conclusion is not correct.
There are several factors that explain the continuously steady rate of medical malpractice cases. Almost all of these factors stem from the same reasons that the medical field plays such a prominent role in American life today: growth in an aging population, growth in the availability and access to medical treatment, and growth in the variety of techniques and procedures available to effectively care for patients.
America's population is old, and getting older. That means more people are requiring medical treatment and procedures than ever before. Members of the baby boomer generation are now approaching their sixties. It is a fact that the older you are, the more medical treatment you require. With an increasing percentage of Americans becoming elderly, the needs for medical treatment and care are increasing exponentially.
A main reason why Americans continue to live longer is because of the increasing ease with which they can obtain medical care. In an effort to streamline medical treatment for an aging population, many insurance companies have established health services through Health Management Organizations (HMOs) and Patient Provider Organizations (PPOs). Membership in these organizations gives Americans affordable access to regular medical check-ups and visits, establishing a higher degree of preventive health care and health consciousness.
Yet while these health care management systems make it easier and more cost-efficient for insurance companies to administer health care plans, HMOs and PPOs don't often result in optimal health care solutions for ill and injured Americans. Insurance companies tend to consider financial concerns first when establishing their pool of health care providers, with the quality of health care provided often placing a distant second. As a result, errors due to misdiagnosis, miscommunication, inexperience, lack of qualifications or a simple lack of vigilance are rampant in American hospitals and doctor's offices.
When these errors exacerbate to serious collateral health problems, such as organ failure, brain injury, spinal cord injury, mental illness, disfigurement or disability; when the quality of your health is not just disregarded but also grossly jeopardized, this is called medical malpractice. When medical malpractice occurs, Nichols-Zauzig Litigation Group is fully prepared to challenge and punish those who are responsible.
Medical Malpractice and the Nichols-Zauzig Edge
At Nichols-Zauzig, we recognize that the health care process is just that - a process. Many health care professionals can be involved in a medical visit, surgery or procedure. A mistake or error by any one of those professionals at any point in the process can spell disaster for a patient and be cause for a medical malpractice suit. Medical malpractice suits can involve not only the primary physician, but also the nurse, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner, medical technician, and other hospital staff.
Approaching health care as the process that it is, Nichols-Zauzig launches a painstaking examination of your entire case and investigates every factor that led to your worsened condition. We're there for patients and their families in cases of:
- MISDIAGNOSIS OR FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE AN ILLNESS CORRECTLY - Many illnesses have some symptoms in common. An infection of the epiglottis, which can lead to the patient’s total inability to swallow, can easily be mistaken for Strep throat. Viral Meningitis, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus all have symptoms which are similar to Lyme Disease. Quite often, overworked doctors balk at the idea of running expensive tests on uninsured or under-insured patients and simply go with the initial diagnosis.
- ANESTHESIA ERRORS – The anesthesiologist has the crucial role of keeping patients properly sedated during surgery. It is an extraordinary balancing act. If the anesthesia is not administered properly, the patient could either wake up in the middle of surgery or not wake up at all. Patients have died during even the most routine medical procedures as a result of error on the part of the attending anesthesiologist.
- FAILURE TO PREVENT INFECTION – Doctors, nurses and orderlies spend their entire working day around sick people. Something as simple as an orderly forgetting to wash his hands can lead to widespread staph infections. Patients with highly communicable conditions such as tuberculosis could be improperly quarantined, which could prove disastrous for a nearby patient in a fragile state.
- LEAVING A MEDICAL DEVICE IMPLANTED AFTER SURGERY – This seems like a joke, but patients who have suffered and died as a result prove otherwise. Surgical scissors and clamps have been left inside patients. But even an object as small as a piece of gauze or cotton swabbing can result in serious infections.
- SURGERY WITHOUT INFORMED CONSENT – Surgery is not something that should be entered into lightly, and it is a doctor’s duty to thoroughly inform the patient of any and all risks or side effects. Failure to do so, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the risk or side effect may be, is a violation of trust between the doctor and patient.
- CERTAIN BIRTH INJURIES AND CEREBRAL PALSY– While Cerebral Palsy can and does occur when the patient and her baby receive the best possible medical care, it can also result from actions taken by the attending physician. A deprivation of oxygen to the baby can cause severe brain damage, and often this happens due to mistakes during the birthing process. Untreated umbilical cord compression or the placenta being ripped prematurely are two of the most common reasons.
- LATE DIAGNOSIS RESULTING IN DIMINISHED CHANCES FOR SURVIVAL – It is a small consolation to the patient if the doctor diagnoses a condition when it is too far advanced to be treated. Many conditions can be non-fatal if treated early and competently. If a doctor doesn’t diagnose your condition correctly or delays the correct treatment due to bureaucratic red tape until its too late, you have valid legal grounds for a lawsuit.
- SHOULDER DYSTOCIA – This happens when the baby does not go down the birth canal correctly, and is improperly removed with a vacuum extractor or forceps. This can cause sever damage to the mother and the infant. If you or your loved one has suffered damage due to a result of this, a thorough investigation of the process should be initiated to ensure that the birthing procedure was handled correctly.
Staffed with a highly knowledgeable registered nurse, years of medical investigation experience and an unmatched ability to present our findings in simple, honest and powerful terms to a court room jury, the Nichols-Zauzig Litigation Group is an aggressive medical malpractice law firm and experts in exposing medical negligence and wrongdoing.
We are driven to succeed not only by the desire to bring justice and compensation to our medical malpractice clients, but also to progress in our long-term mission of making the vital fields of medicine and health care safer, one case at a time.
Library for Medical Malpractice:
- Is There A Medical Malpractice "Crisis?"
Is there a medical malpractice "crisis?" Not according to the Department of Justice.
- Shoulder Dystocia
The Law Firm of Nichols Zauzig is currently accepting cases involving births in the Commonwealth of Virginia that resulted in incidents of shoulder dystocia. If you or a loved one has suffered this birth injury during delivery, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Nichols Zauzig for a free legal consultation today.
Case Results for Medical Malpractice:
- Child suffers brain injury from bacterial infection
- Forceps Delivery Results in Brain Injury
- Obstetrical-Cerebral Palsy
- Wrongful Death, Medical Malpractice
- Surgery for colon cancer botched in 79-year-old patient
- Unnecessary Surgery, Surgical Scar - Confidential
- Failure to Diagnose Neural Tube Defect
- Necessity for Second Back Surgery - Confidential
- Myocardial infarction w/heart failure - Confidential
Awarded: $2 Million Jury Verdict
Awarded: $ 2.1 Million Settlement
Awarded: $2.75 Million
Awarded: 850,000 Settlement
Awarded: $500,000 Settlement
Awarded: Settlement - Confidential
Awarded: $400,000 Settlement
Awarded: $575,000 Settlement