Las Vegas Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Fighting to Hold Negligent Medical Professionals Accountable
When doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals fail to provide patients with an acceptable level of care or are otherwise negligent, patients can suffer serious, life-threatening injuries and complications. Medical professionals are held to a high standard of care; when they do not meet this standard, injured patients or the loved ones of patients who die as a result can seek compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice is a very complex and difficult-to-prove area of law. It is not enough to simply show that you were not healed or that your original condition did not improve. Rather, you will need to prove that a doctor or another medical provider did not provide the same level of care that another qualified medical professional could have been reasonably expected to provide. You will also need to prove that, as a result, you were injured, fell ill, or were otherwise harmed and that this led to you sustaining measurable damages. Damages may include additional medical bills associated with treatment for your new injuries or worsened condition, corrective surgeries and treatments, ongoing rehabilitative care, lost income/wages, disability, and pain and suffering, among others.
Additionally, if you have suffered injuries as a result of medical malpractice, you should be aware that insurance companies have limited the financial recovery you can receive. It is important to contact a medical malpractice lawyer who is experienced in working with medical insurance carriers. At Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, we have extensive experience litigating complex medical malpractice claims and fighting to see that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
As previously mentioned, medical malpractice happens when a medical professional—such as a doctor, physician, pediatrician, nurse, anesthesiologist, midwife, etc.—fails to uphold what is known as the standard of care. The standard of care in the medical field is determined by looking at what another qualified medical professional would have done (or could have been reasonably expected to have done) in the same situation.
Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can take a variety of forms, including but not limited to:
- Failure to diagnose a condition
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, including cancer misdiagnosis
- Failure to treat or delayed treatment
- Birth injuries
- Emergency room and hospital negligence
- Surgery mistakes
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
- Hospital infections
Robotic Surgery Machine Infection Cases
Part of our medical malpractice team at Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen focuses on robotic surgery machine infection lawsuits, which many other law firms are not equipped to adequately handle due to the complex details surrounding such cases. In recent years, there have been many reports of patients undergoing minimally invasive surgeries conducted with robotic assistance and then being diagnosed with severe, sometimes life-threatening infections shortly after. The occurrence of these cases suggests that there is some form of professional negligence happening when robotic assistance is used to complete surgery, such as the medical team might not be disinfecting the robotic equipment well enough.
Examples of common robotic surgeries include:
- Prostate cancer surgery
- Coronary artery bypass
- Gallbladder removal
- Kidney transplant
- Hip replacement
- Gynecological surgery
- Gastrointestinal surgery
- Neck surgery
Many of these cases have been linked to the use of the da Vinci robotic surgery system, too, which might not be a coincidence. If you underwent a robotically assisted surgery and then suffered from a severe infection, then please let our team know right away. The more potential clients we hear from, the stronger each individual case can become.
Medical Malpractice Caps in the United States
Every year, tens of thousands of people die because of preventable medical errors. Medical groups and large insurance companies have been lobbying to limit the rights of these patients, claiming spikes in malpractice rates have driven doctors out of business. Despite these claims, studies show that total payments for medical malpractice judgments have actually fallen over the years.
Consumer watchdog group, Public Citizen, analyzed data from the federal National Practitioner Data Bank and, in July 2005, issued a report. This report showed that, from 2000 to 2004, total payments for malpractice judgments fell 24.5 percent, from $299.6 million to $226.2 million. Adjusting for medical inflation reflected even greater decreases. Figures showed that the total amount paid for medical malpractice judgments fell by 37.5 percent.
In Nevada, approval of a 2004 ballot question and action taken by state lawmakers two years prior put a cap of $350,000 on pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice lawsuits.
The legislature allows only two situations where litigants can receive higher awards:
- The wrongdoer committed gross malpractice, or;
- Exceptional circumstances justify an award in excess of the cap.
Medical malpractice attorneys and consumer groups believe that the ballot questions that have been passed may potentially prevent victims from being allowed to recover medical bills and wage losses as a result of negligence. In addition, medical malpractice lawyers point out that juries award sums of money considering long-term care as well. Instead of looking at how to prevent and reduce medical mistakes, victims will just have a harder time recovering what they are rightfully due.
Why Medical Malpractice Verdicts Can Be Deceiving
Physician groups continue to contend that premiums are soaring because of out of control medical malpractice payments. However, 96 percent of medical malpractice cases never go to trial and are settled out of court, according to recent findings in a study released by the journal Health Affairs in May 2005. According to the study, news reports about large jury verdicts are often misleading because the final award is often substantially reduced.
Large awards in medical malpractice cases are not typical of medical malpractice payments, nor are they the key drivers of insurance increases. “Exorbitant” medical malpractice payouts, exceeding $1 million, accounted for just 1.1 percent of the number of malpractice payments in 2004, despite the public attention these rare events elicit. Malpractice payouts provide victims of the most severe injuries compensation. Studies show that about 64 percent of payouts in 2004 and early 2005 involved the most serious injuries—significant physical injuries or wrongful death—not patients with minor injuries.
Common Injuries in Hospitals
Patients have suffered from:
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
- Retained surgical items such as sponges
- Hospital surgical fires where patients have been set on fire in operating rooms
- Diagnostic errors such as missed, wrong or delayed diagnoses
- Surgical site infections
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia, and
- Bloodstream infections from central lines
In the meantime, the New York Law School study observed that profits of medical insurance companies increased significantly in the past year due to lower pay-outs to victims of medical malpractice and the decreasing number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed.
Other disturbing data reveals that a high average of 103,000 health care practitioners such as doctors, nurses, and health care aides, abuse prohibited drugs.
What to Do If You Believe You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice
If you believe that a trusted doctor, nurse, or medical professional failed to uphold the standard of care and, as a result, you were seriously injured, fell ill, or experienced worsened symptoms, it’s important that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. These cases are extremely complex; putting the right legal team on your side in the beginning can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
When you turn to Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen, it is our goal to treat you with the utmost understanding and compassion, coupled with the highest level of legal representation. Our Las Vegas medical malpractice attorneys offer a free consultation and make it our chief priority to consistently provide you with individual attention throughout the case’s progression. We handle all of our personal injury and wrongful death matters, including those involving medical malpractice, on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe any attorneys’ fees unless we successfully recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
We know that this is likely an incredibly difficult and challenging time in your life. Let us ease some of the stress you are under and handle the legal aspects of your situation so that you can focus on healing. During your initial consultation, you will be able to speak directly with one of our attorneys and can ask any questions you may have.
“Since day one of meeting Brett, I knew I was in good hands. Brett made sure to thoroughly explain and cover any/all question or concern that I had, and was able to ease my mind and get me an answer to the question/s I was seeking.”- Julie M.
“Lawrence Smith is a Godsend! He's a good man. Very nice & professional.”- Aaliyah R.
“I highly recommend Steve Baker and the entire team. Thank you again for always answering all of our questions and being so easy to work with, something I have not experienced with other firms here in town.”- Steven P.
We strive to treat our clients with integrity, compassion, and respect and provide them with clear communication every step of the way.
Proven Record of Results
We have recovered millions of dollars in successful verdicts and settlements for injured clients throughout the state of Nevada.
Experience You Can Trust
Our attorneys, paralegals and support staff leverage decades of experience across a diverse range of backgrounds on behalf of our clients.
Committed to the Community
We are proud to support a number of charitable organizations as a way to give back to the community we are honored to serve.
Legacy of Client Satisfaction
Word-of-mouth referrals and repeat clients account for more than 85% of our business, which is a testament to the level of service we provide.
Comprehensive Legal Guidance
Our attorneys will handle each aspect of your case, including securing short and long-term medical care, helping to recover lost wages and more.