Medical Malpractice Attorney in Baltimore, MD
What are Reasons for Needing a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney?
A malpractice attorney is a lawyer who specializes in representing people if they were injured by the negligence of another. A person has to prove that their injury was caused by the other party’s negligence, and that they were not partly at fault for what happened. Malpractice attorneys are able to investigate cases, collect evidence, negotiate settlements or take them to court.
A malpractice lawyer’s job typically includes reviewing the patient’s file to determine if there was any negligence on behalf of the doctor or nurse that led to harm to the patient. If negligence can be shown, then it is possible for compensation to be sought in a lawsuit against the healthcare provider which caused injury.
If you are in Baltimore, MD, and need a medical malpractice attorney then you should contact the law office of Cohen & Cohen We have been serving clients for years and we will help answer any questions you may have about your case. Our medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore MD understands what it feels like to be worried about receiving quality care from doctors or other healthcare providers and we know how important it is to get advice on how to protect yourself from potential harm. If you want more information, call us today!
What are Reasons for Needing a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney?
It is unfortunately common for people in the Baltimore area to need a medical malpractice attorney Baltimore, MD medical malpractice victims and their families recommend.
Medical malpractice is legally defined as, any omission or act by a medical provider that differs from the acceptable standard of care in the overall medical community and results in harm to the patient. The circumstances behind medical malpractice and omissions change from case to case and it is often best to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation.
Medical malpractice laws do not apply to non-professionals who stop to help during an emergency situation before professionals arrive. Malpractice laws apply only to licensed and trained medical professionals.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice in Baltimore or anyplace in MD, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a reputable medical malpractice attorney.
What are some of the most common reasons a medical malpractice case is filed?
Misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose
Certain medical conditions, like cancer, is diagnosed in stages and may respond better to treatment if discovered in the first stages and many cancers are fatal if not treated before a certain point. Patients trust their doctors to give them the correct diagnosis in a timely manner so they can get treatment sooner and have the best possible survival rate.
When your physician does not diagnose a condition that, according to the medical standard of care they should have been able to do so, they could be considered medical malpractice. If you go on to suffer because of the doctor’s failure, your physician becomes liable for your injuries.
Even though it may be obvious to a medical malpractice victim and their family that a doctor misdiagnosed them, they may still need the help of a good Baltimore, MD medical malpractice attorney to get them the compensation they are entitled to.
Errors During Surgery
Many medical malpractice cases are a result of errors made during surgery. Negligence makes up the majority of the cases. Examples of surgery negligence claims include:
- Improper care during pre-op
- Established procedures were not followed by your surgeon
- You had a pre-existing condition that needed to be addressed prior to surgery
- The physician did not follow proper post-op procedures or did not explain how to take care of yourself after your surgery
Errors from Surgical Complications
- Blood clots
- The wound or surgical incision reopening
- Metabolic issues
If you or someone you love has had any of the above complications as the result of medical malpractice, the sooner you contact a Baltimore, MD attorney, the sooner they may be able to start protecting your rights and seeking the compensation you are entitled to.
Informed Consent Not Given
If the patient is able, they have the right to make their own decisions about health care. You have a right to decide whether you want to have certain procedures done or not. If it is an emergency, the doctor may have more leeway to move forward without your consent. However, any other time, the physician has a responsibility to explain the procedure to you and get consent for the surgery. An informed consent form is required before starting any surgery.
If the physician performs a procedure or treats a patient without their consent or talking about all other viable methods of treatment, this can be considered medical malpractice. The doctor is disregarding the patient’s freedom of choice. If the patient is injured because the procedure does not work yet the patient was not informed of all the choices, that physician may be liable for damages. In a perfect world, it would not take a medical malpractice attorney who is licensed to practice in Frederick and throughout MD to get the compensation they deserve but unfortunately, it often takes an attorney’s help to do this.
Infections that originate in the hospital are the most serious complications and the cost to health care system is about $20 billion. Almost two million patients get the MRSA infection from hospital stays and it is estimated that over 90,000 patients die from the infection. A patient getting an infection that is completely unrelated to the problem they went into the hospital for may be considered to be medical malpractice.
The Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
Even though medical malpractice frequently takes place, it can still be hard to prove in court. That’s why it’s best to hire an attorney to represent your interests. A medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore, MD will know what evidence to collect to support your case and will develop a legal strategy based on the facts. If you are considering hiring a lawyer but aren’t sure if you have a case, reach out to Cohen & Cohen P.C. today to set up a free consultation. We will discuss your case with you and determine whether these four elements exist:
Patient-Doctor Relationship | The first step in determining if you have a case is determining whether you can establish a relationship between you and the medical provider. You will need to provide medical records that demonstrate that you were being treated by the provider and that you paid for their services.
Breach of Duty | Next, you must show that the medical provider failed to meet the universal standard of care, or what a typical provider who received the same level of training would do under similar circumstances. In other words, you will need to prove that you would not have been injured if you were treated by another provider. A medical malpractice lawyer will often hire medical experts to testify on behalf of your case to demonstrate that your provider’s care fell outside this standard.
Causation | You will also need to demonstrate that the provider’s actions caused your injury. There are two types of causation:
- Proximate Cause – The provider should have reasonably known that their actions would result in serious harm. This form of causation is more subjective and is based on what a “normal” provider with similar training would know. An example of proximate cause is if a provider prescribed a person an excessive amount of painkillers for a minor injury, despite the fact that it is known that opioids are highly addictive.
- Cause In Fact – The provider was directly responsible for your injury. For instance, if a surgeon operated on your left knee when it was supposed to be your right, they caused harm to your left knee.
A lawyer will work with you to determine what kind of causation is present in your case. They will use medical records as well as witness and expert testimony to provide that there is a direct link between your provider’s actions and your injury.
Finally you must be able to show that the provider caused you damage in the form of bodily harm or money. This can include additional medical expenses, lost income, permanent injury, disfigurement, emotional harm, or the ability to work as you once did. Not only must you prove that they caused you damage, but you must document that the amount you are claiming is reasonable. A skilled lawyer will know what damages and amounts you should request based on your case. If necessary, they will hire experts that can help quantify damages like emotional trauma that can be difficult to assess otherwise.
If you or someone you love has suffered from medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice attorney Baltimore MD residents can rely on at Cohen & Cohen for a free case evaluation. With over 25 years of experience, our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to help you get the compensation you deserve. We understand how difficult
Common Misconceptions About Medical Malpractice Cases
When people go into a hospital or doctor’s office, they expect to come out feeling better. However, that does not always happen. Doctors and other medical staff can make mistakes that injure patients. Medical malpractice cases are still widely misunderstood by many. Here are some common misconceptions about medical malpractice cases.
- The majority of medical malpractice cases are frivolous. The United States has gained a reputation of a sue-happy country over the years. However, believe it or not, most medical malpractice cases are not frivolous. The individuals filing these lawsuits have legitimate injuries that were caused by medical negligence. They may have high medical expenses as the result of their injury and can’t do activities that once came easy to them.
- Medical errors usually can’t be prevented. This is another common myth to stop believing. Medical errors are usually the result of carelessness and improper training. The fact is that with proper protocols, the majority of medical mistakes can be avoided. For example, diagnostic errors can be prevented by ordering more tests. Surgical errors can be avoided by developing better pre-surgery preparation procedures.
- Medical malpractice awards are astronomical. Every now and again, you may hear about someone who won millions of dollars in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, it is important to understand that this is not the norm. Most medical malpractice victims are typically only reimbursed for their medical bills and lost wages that resulted from the medical error.
- Medical malpractice attorneys accept all cases because they want to make money. This could not be further from the truth. Medical malpractice attorneys will not just accept any case that’s thrown their way. In fact, they reject the majority of cases they are presented with. These attorneys want to ensure that there’s a good chance a case can be won before accepting it.
- Medical malpractice attorneys are very expensive. Some medical malpractice victims are reluctant to hire an attorney to represent them because they assume they can’t afford one. Fortunately, most of these work on a contingency basis, meaning they take a percentage of your settlement at the end. If you don’t win, you will not have to pay your attorney anything. That’s why there is no risk to speaking to a medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore, MD about your case.
Common Birth Injuries Caused By Malpractice
The birth of your child should be one of the happiest days of your life. However, if your newborn suffers an injury because the doctor was negligent during the labor and delivery process, the day can turn into a nightmare. Many times, birth injuries result from a doctor or other medical professional’s negligence. Here are the most common birth injuries caused by medical malpractice.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord contains nerves from the skull to the lower back. If the spinal cord gets injured in any way, it can affect many other parts of the body. Newborns who have their spinal cord compressed during the labor and delivery process may suffer temporary or permanent paralysis.
- Facial nerve palsy. As a medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore, MD can confirm, babies can lose voluntary muscle movement in the face if excess pressure is put on their facial nerves during the labor and delivery process. This is more likely to occur when forceps or vacuum extraction is used to pull a baby out.
- Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that causes damage to the brain or nervous system during the labor and delivery process. Some of the causes of this condition include oxygen deprivation to the brain, failure to respond to fetal distress and excessive use of forceps. Although the condition will not get worse over time, it can’t be cured. Symptoms of cerebral palsy include speech difficulties, excessive drooling, ongoing pain, vision problems, learning disabilities and slow body movements.
- Collar bone fractures. If a baby’s shoulders get stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during the labor and delivery and process, shoulder dystocia can occur. If the doctor or other medical staff do not handle the situation properly, the newborn may sustain a fractured collar bone.
- Intracranial hemorrhage. If there is not enough blood or oxygen in the bloodstream, a vessel could rupture inside a baby’s brain, which can cause excessive bleeding. As a result, a baby could suffer brain damage or other serious complications.
- Brachial plexus. This injury causes damage to the nerves that go from the upper spine to the neck, shoulder, arm and hand. In mild cases, the nerve is stretched. If the damage is more severe, it can result in complete paralysis.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case?
A medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore MD residents trust may tell you that one of the most common questions they are asked is what proof is required for a malpractice case. Because you must prove negligence in order to have a case, this question comes as no surprise to an experienced Baltimore MD malpractice lawyer. Certain elements of proof can be tricky. Here is a list of the things you may need to prove to win your case.
Without a relationship involving you and the doctor, you have no case for medical malpractice. Any medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore MD patients turn to may tell you that this can be an easy factor to prove. In malpractice cases, malpractice often happens during a medical procedure or treatment.
Other medical professionals may also be held accountable for their actions while administering medical care. Nurses, lab technicians, and other medical professionals who are responsible for your wellbeing might also be held liable in a medical malpractice case.
Your medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore MD resident counts on may tell you that proving negligence can be the most difficult part of the case. This is why so many patients may reach out for legal counsel.
Your medical malpractice lawyer in Baltimore MD would likely bring in witnesses and experts to discuss the medical standard of care and how your doctor failed to meet it.
The arguments for your case look at how your doctor behaved and provided care, compared to what an equally-qualified medical professional would have done for your situation. This may paint a picture that shows how your doctor is liable for improper care.
Negligence Caused Your Injury
Simply proving that your doctor didn’t meet the medical standard of care isn’t enough for a malpractice case. Your medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore MD residents trust may be able to help you build the next part of your case.
You may also have to show that the doctor’s actions, or failure to act, worsened your current condition or created a new problem or injury. The key is showing that the negligent actions caused the injury. This may be established by expert testimonies and by examining your medical history and records closely.
Finally, you have to show that the injury or medical problem that was caused by the doctor’s negligence was harmful to you. This may mean showing proof of medical bills and the lost income from work you were unable to do.
You may also recover pain and suffering damages as well, whether it’s physical suffering, psychological suffering, or both.
In terms of solid proof for medical malpractice, you have to prove that the evidence you are presenting is more likely than not to be true. How you file and establish a medical malpractice case may vary from state to state. The process can be complicated, so you may want to have a medical malpractice lawyer on your side.
A medical malpractice case can be tricky, but you don’t have to face it alone. Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore MD can provide calling Cohen & Cohen at 301-350-1957 today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baltimore Medical Malpractice Claims
You went into the hospital thinking that it would be an easy enough procedure and unfortunately are now in need of a reliable medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD medical malpractice victims and their families recommend. You thought that you would stay a day or two, be released, and go home feeling a sense of relief. You anticipated healing and recovering in comfort and getting back to your regularly scheduled life as soon as possible. However, these hopes did not come to pass. Instead, you had a surprisingly bad outcome from your procedure. For reasons that you may or may not know, everything did not go according to plan and you ended up suffering more from the procedure itself that you would have from the injury or illness you were intending to treat.
If this situation sounds similar to your own, you may be considering filing a medical malpractice claim against your doctor with the help of a Baltimore, MD medical malpractice lawyer.. You may believe that your doctor failed to provide you adequate care and as a result of this, you are hurt, missing additional time from work, and watching your medical bills pile up on your kitchen table. Before filing your claim, consider these two frequently asked questions and answers about medical malpractice claims:
How do I know if my doctor committed malpractice? Medical malpractice is when a doctor or other medical professional acts negligently, injuring a patient. The exact definition of what constitutes “negligence” varies with the law of each state, but typically means that a doctor failed to meet what is called the “standard of care.” The “standard of care” does not require that a doctor treat a patient perfectly, but instead requires that a doctor treat a patient in accordance with commonly accepted medical standards. If you do not know whether your doctor violated the standard of care in your treatment, consider talking with a medical malpractice lawyer who is licensed to practice in Baltimore and throughout MD. They should be skilled at reviewing your medical records, analyzing the facts of your case, and, if necessary, having you seen by another doctor who can offer a professional opinion regarding the outcome of your treatment.
What kind of damages am I able to recover in a medical malpractice claim? The answer to this question again depends on the law of your state, but you will often be able to recover money for all of your medical treatment related to the injury caused by your physician. You will also likely be entitled to recover additional money as damages for any time that you were out of work due to your injuries, for any future medical costs required to treat your injuries, and potentially for the pain and suffering that you experienced.
Note, many states set a maximum amount of money plaintiffs are able to recover from their doctor for medical malpractice claims. These maximum amounts are called “caps, ” are set by state legislatures, and vary from state to state.This is one of the many reasons that it is important to seek guidance from a knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer who is licensed to help personal injury victims in Maryland.
Though the answers to the above questions may get you started on the right track, they are no substitute for legal advice from a medical malpractice lawyer in your area. Before pursuing a medical malpractice claim, strongly consider calling an experienced and respected medical malpractice lawyer in your area to discuss your claim.
For a highly rated medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD victims of medical malpractice and their families can depend on, contact Cohen & Cohen for a free case evaluation any time of the day or night, any day of the year.
How do Medical Malpractice Claims with Workers’ Compensation work?
If you are unwell because of an accident or conditions at work, it may be time for you to start the process of trying to find the best medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD has to offer.
If you were hurt at work, you were most likely referred to a doctor endorsed by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company for treatment or diagnosis. Just like any other doctor, a workers’ compensation doctor is held to certain standards of care and can make mistakes regarding your treatment. If a workers’ compensation doctor fails to meet a standard of care and causes you further injury, he or she will be vulnerable to a medical malpractice claim. As you may know, a medical malpractice claim is available to plaintiffs who have been hurt by certain mistakes made by doctors during the course of treatment or diagnosis. When one or more of these mistakes has happened to you or someone you care about, it may be in your best interest to enlist the help of a Baltimore, MD medical malpractice lawyer.
If you believe you suffered further injury at the hands of the doctor you were seeing as a result of an on-the-job injury covered by workers’ compensation, you should consider consulting with a qualified and experienced medical malpractice lawyer immediately. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be able to analyze the facts of your case, determine whether you have a claim against your workers’ compensation doctor, and can help you file your claim. In the meantime, here are a few questions and answers for you to consider regarding the interaction between workers’ compensation and medical malpractice:
- If I am hurt by my workers’ compensation doctor, is my employer’s workers’ compensation insurance still on the hook for the cost of the additional treatment I need? In short, probably. Depending on the law of your state, just as your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may be responsible for paying for the treatment related to your qualifying workplace injury, the insurance company may also be responsible for paying for any treatment you require if you were hurt during the course of such treatment by your workers’ compensation doctor. A Baltimore, MD medical malpractice lawyer is the best person to ask for how this may apply to your particular situation.
- Do I have to keep seeing a workers’ compensation doctor for treatment? If you were hurt by a workers’ compensation doctor that was selected by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, you may have very understandable doubts about the quality of care you will receive from other doctors identified in by the same workers’ compensation plan. The answer to this question, however, can be complicated. Depending on the workers’ compensation laws of your state, you should certainly be able to choose a new doctor from a panel endorsed by your insurance company. If you have questions about how to choose a new doctor, which doctor from the panel may be best for you, and whether you can see your personal physician, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in the Baltimore, MD area who will best be able to make a sound recommendation for your care.
- If I was injured during treatment for my workers’ compensation claim, do I still have a medical malpractice claim against my doctor? The answer to this question again depends on the law of your state, but the answer is, “most likely.” It is important to consider filing a medical malpractice claim directly against your doctor because the remedies available to you under a workers’ compensation scheme are likely very limited. In fact, you are probably only entitled the the cost of your medical treatment, time you missed from work, and possibly some additional award related to any permanent disability you sustained. What may be in your best interest, is to pursue a medical malpractice claim with the help of a Baltimore, MD personal injury lawyer in the hopes of fully recovering for additional damages and all that you are entitled to be compensated for.
The interaction between medical malpractice and workers’ compensation claims is complicated and requires careful analysis and knowledge of both areas of law. Your best bet for making sure that you take advantage of all of the remedies to which you are entitled is to consult with an experienced lawyer in your area who can help you navigate your claim.
Why do Hospital Accidents Happen?
The scary realization that hospital accidents happen leads many people to seek out the best medical malpractice attorney Baltimore, MD has to offer.
Millions and millions of people rely on the experience of doctors across the world. Doctors are viewed as those who can accurately diagnose and treat the many ailments, illnesses and injuries that humans may suffer from. When a patient realizes that their doctor has made a mistake, they may respond with panic. They may think to themselves: How can such an educated, knowledgeable professional person, make a misjudgement when it came to my health? It may not only be disappointing, but truly devastating to find out that your personal doctor made an error that had a negative impact on your overall wellbeing or recovery. If you are in the unfortunate situation of needing a medical malpractice attorney in the Baltimore, MD area, it may be in your best interest to contact one as soon as possible.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people die every single year in America due to medical errors committed by doctors or other medical staff. In fact, hospital accidents and mistakes are ranked number three for the main causes of death in the United States. This can be a scary realization for any patient to find out about or go through first-hand.
If doctors and medical staff are properly trained, why do errors happen?
Every person has some degree of imperfection, and doctors or other medical staff are no exception. As human beings, we tend to have flaws and are capable of making bad judgements even if we try our best. Even the most fully educated and well-practiced doctor may eventually commit a small oversight at some point in his or her career. As well, sometimes staff members who support the doctor are not fully trained in what they are doing but since hospitals are busy and need the extra help, these people may be pulled to do tasks they are not quite ready for. This is when critical errors can be made and when innocent people have to unfortunately, look for the best malpractice attorney they can find in Baltimore, MD.
What should I do if I think an error was made by my doctor?
Before you call your doctor or write an angry letter to the hospital, consider meeting with an attorney for advice. An attorney who is familiar with hospital accidents can evaluate your situation to confirm that an oversight was committed, and offer guidance on how you can take action. If you contact your doctor or the hospital before getting legal assistance, you may not get the response you desire. Instead of responding with compassion, the hospital may try to eliminate any evidence which supports your claims that a mistake was made. Your doctor and other medical staff may very well know the serious repercussions they may face if a patient were to win a lawsuit regarding a medical error. These and many others are situations where people feel they need the help of the best medical malpractice attorney that they can find in Baltimore, MD.
When should I meet with an attorney about a hospital accident?
It may never be too soon to reach out to an attorney about a hospital accident. If the mistake had an impact on your health and you require treatments in order to fix the error, you should not have to be responsible for paying these expenses. Before reaching out to your doctor or the hospital in haste, it may be in your best interest to get legal insight first.
For a highly rated law firm where you may be able to find the best medical malpractice attorney Baltimore, MD medical malpractice victims can rely on, contact Cohen & Cohen
What is a medical error?
Medical errors are preventable adverse effects of a treatment or care practice. Patients may or may not be aware that a medical error has occurred. Medical errors may ultimately lead to harm or death of the patient. Victims of medical malpractice usually have been subjected to some form of medical error.
What are common medical errors that constitute medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice usually occurs as a result of some form of a medical error. Commonly observed medical errors in medical malpractice cases include inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis or treatment of a disease, injury, syndrome, behavior, infection, or other ailment.
How can I pursue compensation if I believe I am a victim of medical malpractice?
Yes, victims can elect to pursue compensation for damages they have wrongly suffered as a result of the medical malpractice.
How do those who suspect medical malpractice pursue compensation?
It is recommended that victims speak with a legal professional, such as a lawyer, who specializes in defending clients who suspect their injuries, condition, or syndrome, infection, or other ailment was a result of medical malpractice. An experienced lawyer will be able to help determine if you have a case, describe the process of seeking compensation, and offer various strategies that suit the unique needs of your case.
What are common examples of misdiagnosis that may prove eligibility for compensatory damages?
Common results of a doctor’s misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis include but are not limited to:
- A patient does not begin treatment at the earliest possible date to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment.
- A doctor prescribes a medication, procedure or treatment that is not necessary.
- A patient starts chemotherapy when they do not have cancer.
- A patient starts physical therapy for a symptom of a disease but your disease does not get diagnosed or treated.
- A patient undergoes a surgery for a problem they do not have.
- A patient dies when there is a chance that they would have lived if they had received the proper diagnosis and treatment for their problem.
What are the advantages of having a qualified medical malpractice lawyer following a potential malpractice incident?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are particularly complex. Due to the nature of many medical malpractice cases – it can prove to be challenging to create and present your case in a way that is in your favor. The time between discovering your injury and receiving compensation can be lengthy.
Why You Need Cohen & Cohen as Your Malpractice Attorney
If you’re looking for a malpractice attorney in Baltimore, Maryland, Cohen & Cohen is the law firm to call. We have over 30 years of experience helping people just like you who are dealing with medical malpractice cases.
You may be wondering what exactly medical malpractice is and how it can affect your life. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to provide adequate care during treatment. This could mean they make an error that leads to injury or death, or they don’t properly diagnose someone who then has their condition worsen as a result of not receiving proper treatment in time. In either case, this can lead to serious consequences for patients and their families – which is why we work so hard every day on behalf of our clients here at Cohen & Cohen.
When you choose us as your legal team, we will take care of everything from start to finish so that you never have to worry about anything else related to your case again! Our attorneys handle all aspects of the litigation process including discovery (gathering evidence), depositions (interviewing witnesses under oath), mediation (negotiating settlement), and trial preparation if necessary – allowing our clients peace of mind knowing they are being taken care of by professionals with decades worth of experience handling these types cases successfully throughout Maryland and beyond!
We are committed to providing our clients with excellent service and results. Our team of experienced attorneys will fight hard on your behalf to ensure that you receive full compensation for any injuries or damages caused by another party’s negligence. You can trust us to handle every aspect of your case so that you don’t have to worry about anything other than recovering from your injury.
Don’t wait any longer to hire a medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore, MD. Contact Cohen & Cohen B.C. now for a free consultation.
The Wrongful Death of Libby Zion: A Landmark Medical Malpractice Case in Baltimore, MD
As a Baltimore, MD medical malpractice lawyer can explain, the case of Libby Zion is a landmark medical malpractice case that had a profound impact on healthcare practices across the United States. While the case itself took place in New York, its influence reverberated throughout the nation, leading to important changes in medical training and patient care.
The Tragic Story
Libby Zion, an 18-year-old college student, tragically lost her life on March 5, 1984. She was admitted to New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan with a high fever and agitation. The hospital assigned her care to a young physician who had been on duty for nearly 24 hours straight. Despite showing signs of severe illness, Libby was given a combination of medications, including meperidine and pentazocine, which can have dangerous interactions.
Libby’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and she ultimately died of cardiac arrest. Her tragic death raised questions about the quality of care she received and the role of overworked, sleep-deprived medical residents in her treatment.
The Legal Battle
In the aftermath of Libby’s death, her family pursued legal action against the hospital and the healthcare providers involved in her care. They alleged medical malpractice, arguing that the hospital’s practices, including the long working hours for medical residents and inadequate supervision, played a significant role in her death.
The case drew significant attention, highlighting the need for improved patient safety and better working conditions for medical professionals. It shed light on the issue of “resident fatigue” and the potential risks associated with long hours worked by medical residents.
The case of Libby Zion ultimately resulted in significant changes in healthcare policies and regulations. It played a pivotal role in the reform of medical residency programs, leading to stricter regulations on working hours for medical residents to prevent fatigue-related errors. Across the country, a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer knows these changes aimed to ensure that medical residents had adequate rest and supervision, ultimately improving patient safety.
Additionally, the case spurred discussions about the importance of patient advocacy and the need for patients and their families to be proactive in understanding their medical care and questioning treatment decisions when necessary.
Impact Beyond New York: Influence on Baltimore, MD, and the Nation
While the Libby Zion case took place in New York, its influence extended far beyond state borders. Healthcare institutions and providers nationwide took note of the case’s outcomes and the subsequent reforms in medical education and residency programs.
The case of Libby Zion serves as a lasting reminder of the importance of patient advocacy, medical education reform, and the need for healthcare providers to prioritize patient well-being above all else. Each Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer from our firm knows that across the nation, hospitals and medical schools implemented changes to address the issues highlighted by the case. Medical training programs now emphasize the importance of proper supervision, reduced work hours, and adequate rest for medical residents to ensure the highest level of patient care and safety. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, call Cohen & Cohen today for a free case evaluation.