Individuals who have been in accidents may have intense injuries to the head and neck, and they may require assistance breathing. However, a ventilator could be out of the question, especially if the windpipe is damaged or blocked. Therefore, doctors often intubate to save a patient’s life. However, there may be issues when intubation occurs. If you want to know more about hospital liability for death or injury caused by incorrect intubation, contact our legal group, Normandie Law Firm, for more details. The doctor’s liability can be used in a medical malpractice lawsuit if you were injured.
Intubation is the process of opening a patient’s trachea to allow him to breath. This is essentially done by making a small incision at the throat and having a plastic tube inserted. It is often a lifesaving procedure and can allow patients to freely breathe while doctors focus on other, more pressing damages.
However, there can be a medical mistake during intubation which can lead to death. If the incision is too large or if the trachea is actually obstructed, the patient may not be able to breathe. In a hurry, a doctor can overlook this issue, resulting in complications. Failed intubation or incorrect intubation is potentially life threatening. Intubation should never be performed by new or learning residents, and it should never be done unless necessary.
How to Sue for an Intubation Injury
To file an intubation malpractice lawsuit, you must establish that the doctor, surgeon, nurse, or other professional at the hospital was negligent in some way. This process is quite similar to personal injury claims, in which there are four points of negligence you must prove. In medical malpractice cases, and intubation lawsuits in particular, you must show the following as true:
You were involved in a doctor/patient relationship with the medical professional
The medical professional breached his duty of care in some way
The breach of duty resulted in an incident or instance of malpractice, an error in judgment, or a similar occurrence
The incident led to actual physical injuries
Medical malpractice lawsuits are unique in that they require the presence of another set of medical professionals to testify who will say whether or not the actions of the doctor were justifiable. The collective must agree that they would not have acted in the same manner as the doctor in question if they were in similar circumstances. They would have taken different actions that would not have resulted in malpractice. They may offer what could have been done differently, as well, or may point to other scenarios that did not result in injuries.
To file your intubation malpractice claim, you will need adequate proof on your side in addition to the testimony of these medical professionals. You should get all the medical receipts from the treatment, doctor’s notes, medical charts, test results, MRI results, CT scans, follow-up statements or recommendations for treatment, medication, prescriptions, and more. This will help highlight the degree of your injuries and will illustrate what kind of treatment you were given that warranted being intubated.
You should also make a separate medical appointment with a different doctor to get separate treatments if you were injured at the hands of a surgeon. Do not hesitate too long to go to another doctor; the longer you wait, the more likely it is that your injuries will worsen. It can be difficult to return to the same doctor who hurt you, so a second opinion and a fresh examination can be beneficial. Further, if you wait too long after the initial botched treatment, the follow-up appointment can look suspicious to an insurance agent when you pursue a claim. The agent can claim that you were clearly hurt elsewhere or that you were not that badly injured afterwards if you could afford to wait that long before seeking treatment.
It is important that you take numerous photos of the damages you suffered. This will be beneficial physical evidence, and if you heal quickly, it will show how badly you were hurt right after the malpractice occurred.
There may have been eyewitnesses, nurses, or other patients who can testify that the doctor made an error. You may have family members who can also provide their testimonies that you were noticeably injured after the intubation procedure. You can add their statements to your evidence. It is beneficial to have more people on your side, as it will prevent the case from a situation of two different claims by two parties.
Once you have gathered enough proof, you should reach out to a skilled intubation malpractice attorney who can handle your lawsuit for you. If you have never taken legal action before, you may not be able to proceed very far. It is highly likely that the insurance agent will not be willing to work with you. He will either disregard your claim or give it a cursory review before making you a small offer. You might not be able to counter them or show why you deserve more. Our legal experts will deal with all the necessary details of your case while you focus on recovering from the injuries the doctor caused.
Statute of Limitations to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
In California, there is a statute of limitations of one year or three years to file a claim for medical malpractice. This is slightly different than the statute of limitations present on most personal injury claims. If you discovered the injuries to yourself or a loved one upon leaving the hospital at any point up to one year after the procedure or hospitalization, you must file a claim no later than one year afterward. It is important that you take action as quickly as possible so that all your evidence is intact and nothing is lost or corrupted.
However, if more than one year passed with no knowledge of the injuries, you will then have three years from the date of the damage from the intubation to take action. Essentially, you will have three years from the date that the doctor made an error during surgery, when you were admitted to the hospital, or when the procedure occurred.
If the three year deadline then passes by and you have still not taken action, you will simply not be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. The statute of limitations is in place to ensure that claims are swiftly handled and do not unfairly target defendants after a specific period of time. It would be troublesome if individuals could sue decades after the injuries for accidents, as evidence will be very difficult to bring up. However, it does allow plaintiffs the opportunity to get compensation quickly and within a reasonable amount of time.
In some scenarios, you may be able to have the statute of limitations temporarily suspended or extended beyond the deadline. This may occur if the victim is underage at the time of the incident. These individuals can then wait until they turn legal age at 18 years old before taking action. However, instead of waiting until the victim matures, it is possible for parents or legal guardians to sue on behalf of the minor. This allows medical bills to still get covered in a timely manner, and the evidence will be best preserved. It is also possible that the plaintiff was left in a state of helplessness or incapability, like a coma; this would allow the statute to be on hold until he returns to health and awareness. Further, the doctor may have left the state in an attempt to wait out the statute, which is a common tactic to try and evade punishment. If this occurs, the statute of limitations will not count down until he returns to California.
Many individuals fail to secure the compensation they deserve because they are unaware of the statute of limitations. It is important that you act quickly and ensure that your case is handled on time and on deadline. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your claim will be voided. If you come to our firm, we promise that your intubation malpractice lawsuit will be handled swiftly and on time.
Compensation from an Intubation Malpractice Claim
Our law firm will work hard to ensure that you and your family are sufficiently compensated for your damages and that you are not made to pay excessive amounts of money for expenses that you did not rack up because of your own errors. If the doctor can be blamed for the injuries and subsequent debts, he should be held accountable, or the hospital should be made to pay off the bills. The insurance agent handling the case will look at the extent of the injuries you suffered, how extensive they were, their effect on your life and career, and more. An intubation injury could lead to various complications in the future. It is unlikely that you were partially responsible for the incident, but if the agent feels that you can be blamed, he will try to do so. After measuring these factors, the agent will then make an offer based on his examinations. You could win damages that include the following:
- Medical bills for surgery costs, hospital stay, medication and prescription drugs, specialist fees, X-rays and MRIs, physical therapy or rehabilitation for injuries, future medical expenses from treatments, and more
- Lost income if you were unable to return to work, whether in the past or future, which may include bonuses, commissions, benefits, bonuses, and more
- Property damage if any personal items were damaged or lost in the incident
- Pain and suffering damages for fear, mental scarring, anxiety, PTSD, psychological trauma, and other emotional stresses
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one or family member died due to the doctor’s failure, which can include pre-death medical bills, pre-death pain and suffering, funeral and burial expenses, and much more
- Punitive damages if the responsible party acted with gross negligence or the intent to cause harm, but these damages are often viewed as excessive and are difficult to win, so only a skilled lawyer will be able to secure them for you
In medical malpractice cases, there is a cap on pain and suffering damages. You will only be able to earn up to $250,000 in compensation. There is not a cap on the amount of expenses from medical bills, though, nor any other form of payment. If you need more assistance, feel free to reach out to one of our expert medical malpractice lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group in Los Angeles.
Second Opinion on Medical Malpractice Cases
Sometimes, injured victims will pursue legal help from any source without checking to see if the attorney has a specialty in that area. This results in many clients being dissatisfied with the case results or the treatment. Our law firm offers free second opinions to all individuals who were hurt or want to make sure their current attorney is working in their best interest. You should make sure to speak with an intubation malpractice attorney if you were injured, and we are here to help. Our law firm has serviced numerous clients across the State of California, including those in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Ventura, Fresno, San Francisco, Oakland, the Bay Area, San Jose, and more.
Our Expert Attorneys
Normandie Law Firm has a history of winning medical malpractice cases. Our expert attorneys have years of experience in such claims and we know the law back to front. There is no case too large or small for us, and we promise to work hard to win you every penny you deserve. For a free legal consultation, call our law offices any time- we are available around the clock to help you with your case and answer your questions.
If you wish to hire us for our services, we will give you our zero fee guarantee. This means you pay nothing out of pocket – we will cover all costs ourselves, and if we win, our fees are covered by a portion of the settlement received from the hospital. If we lose, we take no money at all, and you owe us nothing.
To file a lawsuit for intubation malpractice, contact Normandie Law Firm today.