Minneapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice cases are often complex and require thorough knowledge of relevant laws. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury from a medical procedure, it may be beneficial to contact an experienced Minneapolis medical malpractice attorney for assistance.
At TSR Law Firm, we have many years of experience handling medical malpractice claims, including a $140,000 settlement for a woman who suffered liver damage because of the doctor’s negligence during gall bladder surgery. Our co-founder Steven Terry has been recognized by Super Lawyers and is a former president of the Minnesota Association for Justice.
Contact our offices for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our experienced lawyers. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, so there are no legal fees or upfront cost. We only get paid if we reach a settlement or court victory.
Reach out to us today by calling (612) TSR-TIME.
Am I Eligible to Pursue Compensation?
Proving a medical malpractice claim is often a complex task that can benefit from the help of a licensed medical malpractice attorney. There are four elements to medical malpractice that must be established to pursue compensation:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed – This relationship is established after a doctor begins treating you. Treatment includes discussing your illness and possible treatments, prescribing medication and performing medical procedures, among other things. The doctor-patient relationship is usually established with your medical records.
- Medical provider was negligent – Next, you must prove your doctor was negligent in treating or diagnosing your condition. It is important to note that you do not have a case simply because you were dissatisfied with the results of your treatment. Your attorney must show the medical professional did not provide care that met accepted medical standards based on the situation. Minnesota requires victims to file an affidavit of merit with their lawsuit explaining how standards were not met. This must be written by a qualified medical expert. Our experienced attorneys have access to qualified experts who can create a document to help validate a case.
- Negligence caused you injury – This means you must link your injury to the medical provider’s negligence. If not for medical malpractice, you would have been unharmed. An example of this could be suffering an infection because a sponge was left inside your body during surgery.
- You suffered specific damages – You must show your injury caused you to suffer specific damages, such as additional medical bills, physical pain, emotional trauma or lost income for the inability to work.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
Medical procedures often involve multiple staff - from surgeons and nurses, to anesthesiologists, radiographers, assistants and more. In some instances, there may be an issue that implicates a medical facility or other parties that may be associated with equipment used in a procedure. This means that multiple parties may potentially be held responsible for the injuries that you have received.
Minnesota law says when multiple parties are at fault, they are responsible for damages in proportion to their percentage of fault. However, sometimes one party can be liable for the whole award, if that party commits an intentional tort. A person that is responsible for more than 50 percent can also be held liable for the whole award, as can two or more persons acting in a common scheme that results in an injury.
If you have any questions about liability for your injuries, our Minneapolis medical malpractice lawyers at TSR Injury Law are ready to discuss your claim in a free consultation.
What is the Value of My Case?
The value of a case depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries and how they may affect your everyday life. For instance, if your injuries require you to undergo additional medical procedures, like corrective surgery or physical therapy, you may be able to pursue compensation for the cost of those procedures and future medical expenses you may incur.
These additional needs could also hold you back from returning to work, which may cause you to lose wages and suffer a hit to your future earning capacity. These damages may be compensable in a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice may also bring emotional trauma to your life from depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and it could greatly impact relationships with your loved ones.
Most states apply damage caps for non-monetary damages, which places a limit on the amount of compensation you may be awarded. However, Minnesota does not have these damage caps. So, your lawyer can negotiate to try to obtain full compensation for your damages.
It is important that you reach out to a Minneapolis medical malpractice lawyer to better understand the value of your claim and how we may assist you in pursuing compensation for your monetary and emotional losses.
Deadlines for Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Case in MN
It is important that you act quickly to determine if you have a case, as Minnesota has a statute of limitations that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. The statute for many cases is four years from the date of the injury. However, sometimes victims do not discover the injury right away. In these situations, the four-year clock may not start to run until the victim discovers or should have discovered an injury.
As the deadline may vary for each claim, we recommend contacting our attorneys as soon as possible. There is limited time and if the deadline for your claim passes, you may be barred from filing it.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Medical malpractice cases that are handled by a licensed attorney obtain more in financial compensation compared to those where the plaintiff does not have legal representation.
Insurance companies will also often become involved shortly after a dispute and/or claim is filed with a medical facility. These insurance companies often request victims to provide statements or other information about the incident and can use that information to discredit your claim. In the event that the plaintiff is unable to counter the argument by the insurance company, the amount of available compensation can be significantly reduced. Having an experienced attorney on your side can help to provide guidance on what questions you can or do not need to answer, along with ensuring that your interests are being protected during the course of litigation.
Medical malpractice cases are also complex and require a thorough understanding of the laws and procedures that may apply to your specific situation. We encourage you to consult with a trusted lawyer from TSR Injury Law because we have the legal knowledge and experience to pursue these kinds of cases.
At TSR Injury Law, we may be able to assist with the following tasks in the legal process, if you have a case:
Evidence is key to every lawsuit, and it is important that it is robust enough to allow your attorney to build a strong case. If we determine that you have a case, we are prepared to carefully investigate the situation, which may include collecting photos and videos, gathering medical documentation, and consulting with medical experts in the field.
There may be many parties involved in your case, from insurance companies to other physicians. We can handle all communication and keep you updated with the progress.
Negotiating a Settlement
We are professional negotiators. If we feel that the insurance company is lowballing the value of your claim, we are prepared to pursue the full value of your case. We are also prepared to bring your case to court and can guide you through this process.
Contact us today for your free consultation. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
There are many examples of medical mistakes or oversights that could qualify as medical malpractice. Our Minneapolis medical malpractice lawyers are available to assist victims of many types of malpractice, including, but not limited to:
- Anesthesia errors - These errors can include not giving a patient enough anesthetic - or providing too much - and not providing clear instructions to a patient prior to a procedure. For example - not being clear about when a patient should stop consuming food before a surgery.
- Birth Injuries - Some birth injuries are caused by unavoidable conditions that develop for you or the child. For example, large infants (weighing over 8 lbs, 13 oz) are more likely than average-sized infants to sustain birth injuries. Premature infants and mothers with certain conditions are also at risk.
However, other birth injuries are avoidable. Too often there is negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, or other health care workers — unnecessary intervention, failure to efficiently react to an emergency, incorrect use of medical equipment, and medication error can create long-lasting or even permanent damage.
Common types of birth injuries may include:
- Facial Paralysis
- Brachial / Erb’s Palsy
- External Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brain / Spinal Damage
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis - can result in serious complications and there may be a wide variety of reasons that treatment is sometimes delayed. These reasons can include:
- Negligence in diagnosis: Sometimes a medical professional will simply not notice certain symptoms, causing them to overlook a serious disorder. Misdiagnosis can also lead to a delay of much needed treatment.
- Your doctor fails to listen to you or take your symptoms seriously.
- You have been taking treatment for a reasonable amount of time with no improvement.
- Your symptoms are not consistent with the diagnosis you were given.
- Your diagnosis is based only on a lab test, with no other tests to confirm.
- You have requested but never received a specific test.
- Failure to document: If a patient is transferred from one facility to another, it is very important for workers at the second facility to have all the relevant information. Without this data, they may have to repeat certain tests, costing the patient valuable time.
- Emergency respondent error: Avoidable human mistakes can cause ambulances and other emergency response vehicles to reach patients or transport them to a facility too late.
- Understaffed facilities: Sometimes a patient arrives at a health care facility in emergency condition, only to find that no one is available to give treatment. Sometimes the patient’s symptoms become much worse, even fatal, before a doctor becomes available.
- Undiagnosed conditions - patients that suffer from an undiagnosed condition can result in injuries that escalate quickly. For example: pelvic fractures that go undiagnosed can result in chronic pain for the rest of a patient's life. An undiagnosed birthing or pregnancy complication can result in trauma for the mother and the baby, a birth disorder or fatality of the infant in utero or at birth. Some other examples may include:
- Undiagnosed cancer
- Undiagnosed complications due to medical devices
- Undiagnosed brain and spine injuries
- Undiagnosed infections
- Undiagnosed internal bleeding
- Chiropractor errors - commonly, the errors committed by negligent chiropractors fall into one of two categories:
- Failure to correctly diagnose a problem. As with other fields, some chiropractors are so devoted to their form of medicine that they believe it can cure any ailment. People have been seriously injured by receiving only chiropractic treatment when their condition actually required a conventional medical doctor.
- Damage to body parts. Although many chiropractors are committed to their patients’ health and safety, some are less attentive. Patients can be seriously injured by reckless manipulation of their joints, bones, and muscles. Those with weakened or damaged bones or muscles are especially at risk.
- Infections - are commonly the result of negligent care provided by the hospital staff after a surgery. Other causes can be the use of contaminated surgical implements, contamined tissue samples and the use of medical devices that may encourage the growth of bacteria.
- Medical equipment failures- if medical equipment breaks down then this can result in serious life altering injuries and illness. Medical equipment break downs can happen for a number of different reasons:
- Inadequate servicing and maintenance
- Improper operations from a medical professional
- Manufacturing defects and errors
- The design of the machine is faulty
- The area where the machine is sitting is faulty or the building is faulty
- Incorrect procedures taken when using the equipment
- A lack of supplies or materials
- Lack of communication during surgery or a hospital stay - when medical staff fail to communicate adequately, it can result in important patient health information not being shared. This can result in serious diagnosis and treatment errors.
- Dental malpractice - dental injuries caused by negligent dental care providers, including:
- Damage done to nerves in the jaw, tongue, or lips
- Infections due to poor sterilization process
- Injuries to jaw and teeth caused by faulty crowns or bridges
- Anesthesia-related illness or death
- TMJ - a painful chronic condition caused by damage to the joint of the jaw
- Postoperative negligence - this type of service is the treatment that is given to a patient following a procedure. Some examples may include medical staff not monitoring a patient or not cleaning a wound resulting in an infection.
- ER mistakes - Ideally, emergency room employees are highly knowledgeable, thoroughly trained professionals equipped to provide people necessary medical care. At the emergency room, you should be treated with:
Sadly, some patients encounter negligent or overworked emergency room personnel who only make their physical condition worse. Over the years, countless patients have been injured when emergency room employees:
- Gave them contaminated blood transfusions
- Gave them incorrect medications
- Made a medication dosage error
- Failed to properly monitor their well-being
The consequences of these mistakes can be:
- Long term health problems
- Lasting pain
An Important Note on EMTALA
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act was passed in 1986 to protect the rights and health of uninsured patients. Prior to the passage of this act, there was a widespread problem with hospitals turning away emergency patients who did not have adequate insurance coverage.
EMTALA requires all hospitals in the country to:
- Provide a health evaluation to anyone claiming to need emergency care, to determine if an emergency medical condition (EMC) truly exists
- Treat any EMCs until the patients are stabilized, or transfer them to another hospital if the hospital does not have the resources to treat certain conditions
- Accept any transferred patients they are capable of treating
If a hospital’s emergency room has turned you away while you were experiencing an emergency medical condition, failed to properly diagnose or monitor you, or failed to transfer you to a hospital with the necessary specialists to treat your condition, you may have been the victim of medical malpractice.
- Surgical error- frequently, patients scheduled for any kind of surgery feel apprehensive about their upcoming procedure. It is frightening to think of being in such a vulnerable position — unconscious or numbed — while a very important and sometimes risky medical procedure is performed. Fortunately, most patients emerge from the operating room without experiencing any complications and with a prognosis for a full recovery.
However, there are negligent surgeons who have caused serious injuries to their patients. Some of these patients have experienced permanent health problems as a result; while, tragically, some died of the injuries sustained. Our Minnesota Medical Malpractice Attorneys are prepared to represent victims of the following surgical errors:
- Wrong Site Surgery
- Incorrect Procedure
- Mishandling of Surgical Instruments
- Foreign Objects Inside Body Cavity
- Surgery on Wrong Patient
- Improper Suturing
- Post-Surgery Complications
- Medication error - many include administering and/or prescribing incorrect medication to a patient and/or not providing enough of the correct medication (or too much of the medication).
- Lack of informed consent- one of the most important standards that medical professionals are held to is the requirement to obtain informed consent before performing any procedure on a patient. Minnesota law clearly states that patients are legally entitled to be fully informed about their health and treatment. If you did not consent to treatment or you did not fully understand the procedures to be performed, you may have a case of medical malpractice.
Defining Informed Consent
Your doctors and other health care providers have a responsibility to educate you about:
- Your current health
- Any treatment options available
- The possible benefits and side effects of these treatments
- How effective each treatment is likely to be
This covers the definition of “informed.” As for “consent,” you cannot be forced to take a medication or undergo any treatment against your will. Health care workers also need your written informed consent before releasing any of your medical information to anyone else.
Exceptions to Informed Consent
If you become incapacitated and are unable to give informed consent, your doctor’s responsibility moves to the person who has been legally chosen to make these decisions for you. This person will be entitled to the same information you would be, and must give consent before treatment is given.
Informed consent may also be waived in emergency situations. If emergency responders must perform a certain procedure in order to save your life, consent is not required. If you are unsure about this law, a Minnesota medical malpractice attorney can answer your questions.
If you believe you have a valid medical malpractice claim, reach out to our team to find out how we may be able to help you hold the responsible parties liable and pursue compensation for the damages you incurred.
How is Medical Negligence Different from Medical Malpractice?
These may sound like the same thing, but they are actually different. Malpractice refers to a medical professional or facility breaching their duty of care to a patient. This means they did not provide care that met accepted standards in the medical community. For example, maybe a doctor neglected to provide a certain treatment when it was consistent with medical standards.
However, medical negligence refers to a mistake during treatment that was unintentional and unknown during treatment.
Is a Medical Malpractice Settlement Taxed?
If you have a case and your attorney is able to recover compensation, the final award may be taxed. However, this can depend on how the portions of the settlement are categorized.
Compensation for physical pain is generally tax-free. However, if you receive punitive damages, they can be taxed. Compensation for emotional distress can also be taxed.
This is an issue you can discuss further with one of our qualified lawyers.
Contact a Minneapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Help Today
If you or someone you love suffered an injury because of a health care provider’s negligence, it may be in your best interest to learn more about your legal options.
At TSR Injury Law, we can answer your legal questions during your initial, free consultation. We provide our services on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no upfront fees and we only get paid when we obtain a recovery for your case. We understand that your health and well-being is the top priority, and we want you to be able to put your focus and energy on your recovery.
We have an outstanding, award-winning team of lawyers including our partner Rich Ruohonen, who has twice been selected as Minnesota Lawyer Attorney of the Year.
Our office in Bloomington is a short drive from Fairview Southdale Hospital, but you can also call or contact us online.