Our medical malpractice lawyer in El Paso offers compassionate and determined legal guidance that gets results. Our team represents clients across Texas and throughout the United States.
Facts about El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas is in the far southwestern part of the state. The city of more than 682,000 people is on the banks of the Rio Grande River, and is directly across from Ciudad Juarez, the most populous city in Chihuahua Mexico. Together, El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, and Las Cruces form the Paso del Norte, or Borderplex. This is a metropolitan area that is home to 2.5 million people.
El Paso has a consistent rating as a desirable place to live. There is a lot of recreation and culture in El Paso, such as the KLAQ International Balloonfest and Hueco Tanks State Park. The city also hosts several festivals throughout the year. El Paso is also home to a branch of the University of Texas.
El Paso has the largest binational and bilingual workforce in the entire Western Hemisphere. The population in El Paso is comprised of:
- Hispanic – 82.8%
- Caucasian – 11.8%
- African American – 3.9%
- Asian – 1.3%
El Paso is home to Fort Bliss, which is one of the largest military bases in the U.S. It is also home to the United States Border Patrol, Biggs Army Airfield, division 7 of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
El Paso has a combined military and healthcare environment thanks to William Beaumont Army Medical Center, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. El Paso is considered the medical hub of Western Texas, and also serves a large population of New Mexico residents. The medical environment in El Paso is growing with expansions to Fort Bliss Replacement Hospital and a new teaching hospital affiliated with the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer in El Paso
If you have been injured while under the care of a medical professional, it is natural that you have many questions and are anxious to find answers. Many people who suffer adverse medical events question whether their situation qualifies as medical malpractice. It is important to understand that not all unfortunate medical outcomes are the result of substandard or negligent care.
While anyone can make an honest mistake, healthcare providers have a duty to provide care that meets accepted medical standards. At MedMalFirm.com, we help clients sort through their questions and concerns. We can help you explore your situation and determine if you have a medical malpractice case.
Not all unfortunate medical outcomes are malpractice. Each case should be carefully reviewed by a skilled lawyer.
In order to determine if your case qualifies as a medical malpractice claim, the court requires that you prove that:
- You and the healthcare provider established a doctor-patient relationship, and thus, the provider had a duty of care to you.
- The healthcare provider failed to uphold that duty based on accepted standards of care.
- The breach of the provider’s duty caused your injuries.
- You suffered harm (physical, financial, or emotional) as a direct result of the breach and injuries.
It is the responsibility of the victim to prove these elements. This is best achieved using expert witness testimony.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
There are a variety of situations that may, in fact, be medical negligence. While some mistakes are just that, there are many actions and omissions that fall outside of the standards of care, and therefore, are a violation of your rights.
Some of the more common examples of such situations include:
- Doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition
- Doctor misdiagnoses a medical condition
- Surgeon leaves tools behind in the body
- An obstetrician improperly uses forceps causes an infant brain injury
- A nurse administers the wrong medication
- A caregiver fails to turn a patient and a bedsore develops
These are just a few examples of the types of behaviors that can cause preventable injuries to patients.
Healthcare providers should be held accountable for their actions when harm comes to patients.
Birth Injury Lawyer in El Paso
The birth of a child is a time of joy and celebration. If you or your child are injured during childbirth, however, the celebration can quickly turn into a nightmare. After a birth injury, you and your family may be feeling the gamut of emotions. Fortunately, you are not alone. At MedMalFirm.com, our medical malpractice lawyer in El Paso has vast experience managing birth injury claims.
We will work together with you to sort through the details of your birth injury situation. Our lawyers will help you find the best options to pursue the justice and compensation that your family deserves.
Birth injuries are heartbreaking, and families deserve justice.
If you or your child were injured during birth, of course you want answers. Why did this happen? Who is responsible? What can I do to protect my family? These are just a few of the questions commonly asked after a birth injury occurs. Getting answers can be complicated, and often, healthcare providers and hospitals will argue that they did nothing wrong.
Most often, birth injuries are the result of healthcare provider negligence and could have been prevented had the standards of care been adhered to. Common Causes of Birth Injuries include:
- Undiagnosed or untreated maternal infections
- Failure to monitor maternal or fetal vital signs
- Failure to diagnose or treat complications
- Delay in ordering a c-section
- Improper use of forceps or vacuums
What is a Medical Negligence Claim?
When a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider makes a mistake, it is only natural that you are upset and want answers. While most medical errors cause distress and raise concerns, not all of them are considered an act of negligence or malpractice.
So what is a medical negligence claim, and how does it factors into birth injury lawsuits? The term medical negligence refers to one of the most important aspects of any healthcare-related lawsuit – the breach of medical standards of care.
Sometimes, medical malpractice and negligence are used interchangeably, but medical negligence can be viewed more specifically. Some of the most common examples of medical negligence include:
- Diagnostic errors or misdiagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis or treatment
- Improper administration of treatment
- Administering the wrong treatment
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors (prescribing the wrong drug or dose, failure to review allergies, etc.)
In sum, medical negligence are errors that most often could be avoided with proper attention, skill, training, communication, or attention to the details of the patient’s case. Any of these examples could apply to the care you receive during labor and delivery. In these cases, they fall under the category of birth injuries.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in El Paso
Nursing home abuse is shockingly common. Worse, it is also massively underreported. It is impossible to know how many nursing home residents suffer abuse and neglect because for every victim who reports their maltreatment, there are many others who suffer in silence. The silent victims often take the truth of the extent of the abuse they suffered, and the name of their abuser, to the grave.
Tragically, victims of nursing home abuse have a much shorter life expectancy than those who receive quality care.
Everyone wants the best treatment for their loved one in a nursing home, but the sad truth is that millions of nursing home residents across the country will be abused this year. Many of the victims’ families will have no idea.
Since many victims will not report their experiences, family and friends must remain vigilant about the quality of care in a nursing home. Being aware of the common indicators of nursing home abuse can help you save your loved one from abuse.
Signs of nursing home abuse may include:
- Physical Abuse: Cuts, bruises, burns, or frequent falls.
- Sexual Abuse: Venereal disease, blood in undergarments, bruising or pain around the genitals.
- Financial Abuse: Missing funds, suspicious purchases, forged signatures, or identity theft.
- Emotional Abuse: Silence around caregivers, abrupt change in personality, agitation, acting fearful or withdrawn.
- Neglect: Malnutrition or unhealthy weight loss, dehydration
- Medical Neglect: A chronic ailment failing to respond to treatment, unfilled prescriptions, bedsores, or a sharp downturn in overall health.
Any single one of these signs is reason to be concerned about the care your loved one is receiving. A pattern involving a combination of any of the above is sufficient reason to contact a medical malpractice lawyer in El Paso.
5 Things to Know about Nursing Homes and Abuse
We all hope that the nursing homes and facilities our family members reside in will be cautious, attentive, and compassionate. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nursing home abuse occurs in approximately 1 out of 3 nursing homes. It is important that you are aware of the signs of abuse, what to do if your loved one is being abused, and understand your family’s legal rights.
1. How are nursing homes ranked or rated?
Nursing homes are typically rated on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest quality of care and 5 being the highest. The rankings are based on publicly reported data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website.
The CMS website considers a number of factors, such as: Health inspections, quality measures (QMs), and staffing.
Visit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Technical Users’ Guide for more detailed information about the quality ratings.
2. What factors should I consider when picking a nursing home?
When selecting a nursing home for yourself or a loved one, you should consider the cost, insurance coverage, location, staff to resident ratio, cleanliness, the community and environment, professionalism, the staff, and quality rankings.
Use all of your senses when evaluating a nursing home.
3. What are the warning signs of nursing home abuse?
The warning signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Sudden or drastic behavioral changes
- Unexplained bruising, scratches, or bleeding
- Development of bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers
- Lethargy or listlessness
- Sudden or extreme weight loss
- Poor hygiene, including presence of fecal matter and urine
- Physical or emotional withdrawal
4. Are there laws against nursing home abuse?
There are specific laws that vary from state to state that protect the legal rights of the elderly. You should speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in the state that you live to determine the applicable state rights.
Generally, nursing home residents have the following rights:
- A dignified existence
- To make choices about one’s care and lifestyle
- To be informed of any care plans, policies, or changes
- Ability to present grievances without retaliation
- The right to privacy
5. What should I do if I suspect abuse is taking place in the nursing home?
Protecting the safety of your loved ones is of primary importance. If you suspect that nursing home abuse is taking place, you should contact your state’s Department of Aging and Disability Services, Adult Protective Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Quality Improvement Organizations, and State Survey Agencies.
Pressure Ulcer Lawyer in El Paso
Pressure ulcers are considered a leading cause of preventable injury and death among hospital patients and nursing home residents. At MedMalFirm.com, our medical malpractice lawyer in El Paso regularly works with families affected by pressure ulcers. Family members often want to know how and why pressure ulcers develop, and what they can do to protect their loved ones.
Since pressure ulcers are preventable, families often question whether their loved one was the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home.
Pressure Ulcer Prevention Guidelines
There are basic standards of care and prevention guidelines for patients with limited mobility, and those at risk for pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers are sometimes called bedsores or decubitus ulcers, and they are 100% preventable. Unless a care facility can prove that the patient’s clinical condition makes the formation of pressure ulcers unavoidable, the presence of these ulcers is considered to be neglect and a failure on the part of the facility to meet the patient’s basic needs.
The basic guidelines for pressure ulcer prevention include:
- Conduct routine skin assessments
- Keep skin clean, dry, and moisturized
- Develop a continence management plan when applicable
- Ensure proper nutrition and hydration
- Develop appropriate exercise routine
- Reposition at least once every 2 hours
Basic standards of care for non-ambulatory patients in long-term care facilities are designed to ensure that patients who arrive without pressure ulcers do not develop them. There are also standards of care related to managing at-risk patients, as well as those who show signs of a developing ulcer.
Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers
Patients who are at risk for pressure ulcers should receive care specifically to prevent ulcers from occurring. This includes skin assessments, repositioning, and good hygiene. Patients often at risk include those with:
- Poor blood circulation
- Immobility or limited mobility
- Poor nutrition or hydration
- Conditions like diabetes, heart or kidney disease
- Contact or friction (wheelchair, cast, bed, chair, etc.)
The Real Costs of Pressure Ulcers
The costs associated with treating a pressure ulcer rise sharply the longer the injury is left untreated and progresses to a more advanced stage. The cost of prevention can be considered included in the wages of a responsible caregiver. Nurses, CNAs, or orderlies should diligently reposition an immobile patient to prevent pressure ulcers. For a patient unable to move his or her own limbs, this care is considered as basic as proper nutrition and sanitation. Omitting it is simply not acceptable.
When pressure ulcers do begin to form, the cost of treatment begins to mount. Each stage of a pressure ulcer has its own symptoms and possible risks. Therefore, they each will require a certain level of care and treatment (i.e. costs). Consider the following:
- Stage 1 pressure ulcers cause the skin to be irritated and is a sign of a lack of blood flow. At this stage, relieving pressure can restore blood flow, and can promote healing and prevent further decay.
- Stage 2 pressure ulcers will have a blister or shallow crater in the skin. This, too, is fairly easily and inexpensively treated with additional care and disinfection and topical treatment of the wound.
- Stage 3 and 4 bedsores are nightmarish injuries that often require surgery to repair. At this point, the pressure ulcer has decayed the skin and leaves an open wound that may show through to underlying tendons, or bone in the most severe cases.
If a pressure ulcer reaches stage 4, there is a significant risk of infection, sepsis and necrosis. In some cases, these wounds are life-threatening. Treating later stage ulcers can require surgery, medications and hospitalization. All of these options are significant and have a profound impact on the patient and their family.
Bowel Perforation Lawyer in El Paso
Every surgery is a careful balance of risks versus benefits. Surgeons have a duty to make sure the risks and benefits are carefully weighed. Surgeons also have a duty to make sure they adhere to the standards of care. At MedMalFirm.com, our medical malpractice lawyer in El Paso is experienced in managing bowel perforation claims.
When surgery is done incorrectly, surgical mistakes are made, or anesthesia is not properly monitored, patients suffer injuries that can be life changing. A bowel perforation is an unfortunately common surgical injury.
The Risks and Benefits of Surgery
Since surgery is fundamentally wounding the body in the hope that the wound will do less harm than the underlying need for the procedure, all surgical procedures carry a certain degree of risk. Because of this inherent riskiness, many patients do not question whether a bowel perforation was due to negligence or due to simple bad luck.
Sadly, for many of those who suffer this complication, a bowel perforation is the result of a surgeon’s mistake.
A bowel perforation may be listed as a known risk of certain surgeries. However, many patients who suffer a bowel perforation are victims of malpractice. A bowel perforation is medical malpractice when:
- The surgeon accidentally perforates the bowel during surgery.
- The postoperative team fails to diagnose and treat a perforation in a timely manner.
Complications from Bowel Perforations
Diagnosing a bowel perforation early is key to successful treatment. Without early detection, victims of bowel perforations may experience:
- Internal bleeding
- Bowel infarction
- Abdominal abscesses
- In severe cases, death
The complications of a bowel perforation can be dangerous to the point of being fatal. The deadly bacteria present in the intestines should never interact with the abdominal organs. For this reason, it is crucially important that surgeons and postoperative nurses closely monitor patients who have had abdominal surgery.
Missing the early signs of a bowel perforation can put a patient’s life at risk.
When to Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in El Paso
A surgical mistake, complications due to not being diagnosed, allowing pressure ulcers to develop – these are all examples of medical malpractice. When surgical errors or medical negligence impact your life or the life of someone you love, seek the advice of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in El Paso.
At MedMalFirm.com, we have worked with numerous clients suffering a wide variety of medical malpractice injuries. When you work with us, you have access to a seasoned team of legal professionals who work on medical malpractice cases on a daily basis. You also have the benefit of numerous resources we have acquired over the years, including co-counsel, expert witnesses, and more.
Call MedMalFirm.com to speak with our medical malpractice lawyer in El Paso. We offer every client a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose. Call us at 877-887-4850, or complete our online form to get started.