Our medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio helps clients who have been harmed by healthcare negligence protect their legal rights. We help clients who have been harmed by medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, birth injuries, bowel perforations and more.
No matter what type of injury you have suffered, you should take a stand against healthcare negligence. MedMalFirm.com can help. We know what it takes to stand up against hospitals, corporations, and insurance companies.
Facts about San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a well known destination. It is home of The Alamo, the San Antonio River Walk, SeaWorld, and more. San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the United States, and the second largest city in Texas. People find San Antonio to be a unique city because it marries history dating back to 1718 with all the modern conveniences of a bustling metropolitan area.
San Antonio is a diverse city, partly because of its rich history, and partly because of its strong military presence. Lackland Air Force Base, For Sam Houston, Kelly Air Force Base, Camp Bullis, and Camp Stanley are all in the San Antonio area. San Antonio is predominantly Hispanic, with the population of more than 1.3 million comprised of:
- Hispanic – 63.2%
- Caucasian – 26.6%
- African American – 6.9%
- Asian – 2.4%
The strong military presence and a large healthcare system make San Antonio one of the highest-grossing cities in Texas. South Texas Medical Center is considered a conglomerate of healthcare facilities. The system includes several hospitals, higher education institutions, and clinics. It is also home to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute and the Southwest Research Institute.
It is estimated that one in six San Antonio residents is employed in the healthcare or biosciences industry. South Texas Medical Center facilities are estimated to product more than $23 billion each year.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer in San Antonio
Every year, between 250,000 and 440,000 people lose their lives as a result of preventable medical mistakes. Millions more are affected by injuries and the devastating losses associated these terrible errors. At MedMalFirm.com, each medical malpractice lawyer believes that victims of medical malpractice deserve a chance to stand up for their rights and pursue the compensation they deserve.
Medical malpractice is a complex area of law, and you deserve an attorney who has what it takes to get results.
Our medical malpractice lawyers represent clients in all sorts of medical malpractice cases, including those involving doctors’ offices, hospitals, surgical centers, nursing homes, pharmacies, or manufacturers.
No matter what type of injury or loss you have experienced, the team at MedMalFirm.com has the knowledge and skills you need to get results. Our medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio represents clients throughout Texas, and has also been involved in healthcare litigation across the U.S.
Examples of Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Birth injuries
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Defective medical devices
- Dangerous drug injuries
- Surgical errors
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
The practice of medicine is not foolproof. There are no guarantees, and the uniqueness of every patient and medical condition can make diagnosis and treatment complex. Understanding that any human being is capable of making mistakes, it is important to understand how the legal system differentiates between mistake and malpractice.
To qualify as medical malpractice, you must establish that your claim meets the following criteria:
- A doctor-patient relationship exists between you and the healthcare provider.
- The healthcare provider’s care fell below the accepted medical standard of care (the healthcare provider was negligent in some way).
- There is a clear connection between the healthcare provider’s negligent act or omission and the event that caused you harm.
- The harm you have experienced can be quantified into damages (losses).
The two most difficult criteria to prove include identifying the medical standard of care and proving that the healthcare provider breached said standard. Consider the following:
Medical Standard of Care
To determine if your case qualifies as medical malpractice, you must identify the accepted medical standard of care. This process often involves interviewing expert witnesses – other healthcare providers or experts – who can testify to the generally accepted methods of diagnosing or treating a patient with the same condition. These experts are generally chosen based on their experience with the same or similar conditions and their geographic location.
Proving a Breach
Once you have identified the medical standard of care, the next step is proving that your healthcare provider fell short of that standard. To do this, you must provide detailed accounts of your experience with this healthcare provider. During this process, your attorney will call on those expert witnesses to guide the jury through your situation – your condition, diagnostic methodology, treatment, or any errors or omissions made. The expert witness will then provide a description of the care he or she would have provided to a patient in the same situation based on the standard of care.
While these two elements are among the most complex and crucial to determining if a case qualifies as medical malpractice, it is important to remember that malpractice may occur at any point in the process of providing healthcare. Medical malpractice is a legal concept that encompasses far more than just diagnostic or treatment errors.
Fill out our contact form to see how our medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio can help you.
Birth Injury Lawyer in San Antonio
Expectant parents rely on their obstetrician and healthcare team to monitor the pregnancy and plan for labor and delivery. Even in the best circumstances, labor and delivery can be a chaotic and very emotional process. When complications arise, parents need to be able to trust that their doctor will make decisions based on the best interests of mother and child.
Unfortunately, sometimes doctors make mistakes, or make poor choices in how they care for patients. At MedMalFirm.com, we have worked with numerous families who have suffered harm due to negligence on the part of a doctor or hospital. Our medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio is dedicated to helping families recover after a birth injury changes their lives.
Birth injuries are one of the most traumatic types of medical malpractice.
When doctors provide substandard care, are reckless, or intentionally cause harm, patients are left to pick up the pieces and move on. After a birth injury, that is not an easy task. Birth injuries can cause physical injuries, developmental delays, permanent disability, or even death. Birth injuries also cause a great deal of emotional trauma to the parents and extended family.
If your child has suffered a birth injury caused by doctor negligence, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact MedMalFirm.com to learn more about your legal rights, and the options available to you to get the justice you deserve.
Examples of Doctor Negligence Causing Birth Injuries
- Failure to order a c-section when necessary
- Failure to properly monitor vital signs
- Improper use of forceps
- Inappropriate use of medications
- Failure to diagnose or treat infections
- Failure to properly monitor maternal and fetal oxygen levels
The Facts about Birth Safety and Maternal and Fetal Mortality Rates
Maternal Mortality Rates
In 1990, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. was just over one out of every 100,000 patients. In 2015, that number increased dramatically to 26.4 out of every 100,000. That makes the U.S. among the nations with the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, and the highest among developed nations.
Research by NPR and ProPublica identified the following as serious issues plaguing the U.S. healthcare system in terms of maternal mortality rates:
- Hospitals are inconsistent in their protocols for managing potentially deadly complications or birth injuries, which often allows treatable conditions to escalate to dangerous or deadly levels.
- Hospitals across the U.S., including those with neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and neonatologists on staff are ill prepared to manage maternal emergencies.
- Some doctors who enter the field of maternal-fetal medicine completed their “training” without spending time in a labor and delivery unit.
- Only an estimated 6% of state and federal block grants allocated for “maternal and child health” go toward maternal healthcare.
Fetal Mortality Rates
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fetal mortality is one of the major, yet often overlooked, public health concerns facing the U.S. healthcare system. Fetal mortality rates are often an umbrella term that includes perinatal mortality rates also. These two terms are distinguished as follows:
- Fetal Mortality: Refers to intrauterine fetal deaths before delivery. Fetal mortality is divided into three categories, which are:
- Early: Less than 20 weeks gestation
- Intermediate: 20-27 weeks gestation
- Late: 28 weeks gestation or more
- Perinatal Mortality: Refers to fetal/infant death occurring during or following delivery. The two categories of perinatal mortality commonly observed include:
- Definition I: Death in the period between 28 weeks gestation and 7 days old post delivery.
- Definition II: Death in the period between 20 weeks gestation and 28 days old post delivery.
Most states only document records for fetal mortality occurring during the intermediate and late stages of pregnancy. Therefore, most data available will refer to 20 weeks or more gestation.
The Heart of the Matter
The field of obstetrics has been compared to aviation. Years may pass without a significant incident among even the worst airlines. Similarly, even the most “cavalier” hospitals may go years without a mother or baby being injured or dying due to a serious birth injury. The fact of the matter is, however, that birth injuries do occur, they do claim the lives of mothers and babies, and often, they can be prevented with the right care and treatment methods.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in San Antonio
Many nursing home residents lack the ability to advocate for themselves. Their weakened state of health or diminished mental capacity leaves them unable to stand up for themselves when their caregivers do not provide adequate care. At MedMalFirm.com, our medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio advocates for nursing home residents and their families.
An unfortunate fact is that nursing home abuse occurs frequently in Texas, and in facilities across the U.S. If you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home, and you are concerned, consider these tips.
Forewarned is forearmed. Make sure your loved one knows you have the name and number of a reputable nursing home abuse lawyer in San Antonio if the worst should happen. Keep up a dialogue with your loved one about their experience in the nursing home. Ask them if they feel they have enough to eat, if their living space is clean, and whether they have any new injuries. Talk to them about the staff, and find out who they like and dislike, and find out why. Staying tuned-in to your loved one’s experience will help you quickly identify any potential problems.
Know the Warning Signs
Keeping up communication will familiarize you with your loved one’s experience in the nursing home, so it will be easier to notice sudden changes in mood or behavior. Sudden bouts of crying, frequent complaining, and irritable conversation should all be taken very seriously as a sign of a problem – potentially even an early warning sign of abuse. Of course, always be vigilant for any new injuries or falls. Keep tabs on your loved one’s overall health. If the concerns start to pile up, be ready to take action.
Make a Plan
Discuss with your loved one exactly what to expect if you ever suspect they are being abused or neglected. Make sure they know that you will act swiftly and decisively to get them out of harm’s way. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in San Antonio who will be familiar with the facility and any history of complaints or deficiencies the facility may have. The attorney will give you detailed instructions on the best ways to gather information to support your accusations and keep your loved one safe in the future.
Looking out for a loved one in a nursing home is serious responsibility. Many nursing home residents will fail to report incidents of abuse because of fear of retaliation or embarrassment. Don’t hesitate to contact a medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio if your loved one shows any warning signs of abuse.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
If you notice any of the following, your loved one may be suffering nursing home abuse:
- Unexplained physical injuries
- Sudden change in mood or behavior
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Sudden change in financial situation
- Poor hygiene or personal cleanliness
What Families Need to Know about Nursing Home Falls
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1,800 nursing home patients die each year from fall-related injuries. Those who survive may sustain injuries or temporary or permanent disability.
With more than 1.4 million adults age 65 and over in the United States, the concern over abuse or neglect in nursing homes is steadily growing. About 5% of these individuals are living in nursing homes. However, 20% of fall-related deaths involve nursing home patients.
What are the most common causes of falls in nursing homes?
Muscle Weakness and Difficulty Walking
Most elderly adults who reside in nursing homes may already be experiencing muscle weakness, difficulty walking, joint pain, or other debilitating ailments, diseases, or conditions that may hinder their ability to live on their own, thus requiring assistance. Muscle weakness and walking difficulties account for 24% of nursing home falls.
Safety or environmental hazards can be attributed to 15-27% of nursing home falls. Putting in grab bars, raising toilet seats, removing debris or hazards, installing handrails, lowering bed heights, and maintaining the facility may help to eliminate hazards that make falls more common. Some of these hazards include:
- Wet floors
- Debris or hazards in stairways and hallways
- Broken equipment
- Incorrect bed height
- Poor lighting
- Broken fixtures
- Malfunctioning wheelchairs
Improper Transfer In and Out of Bed
Nursing home staff should be properly trained in assessing residents and maintaining safety. This includes proper training and experience in transferring residents to and from various locations, such as to and from bed, assistance in the restroom, and transferring to different rooms or locations.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes are way understaffed and do not have enough help to effectively execute proper procedures and protocols that can ensure resident safety.
Improper Training of Staff
It is important that nursing homes train staff on assessing residents for fall risk, in addition to educating staff about fall prevention and response strategies.
Forgetting to Lock Wheelchair Wheels
Staff should always lock wheelchair wheels appropriately. The risk of injury or falls related to wheelchairs increases significantly if a nursing home resident is suffering from a cognitive disorder, such as dementia. It is also important, however, for staff to regularly monitor residents and make sure that independent residents are locking wheelchair wheels.
Fall-related injuries tend to occur more often in residents who are taking sedatives or anti-anxiety medications, as these drugs affect the central nervous system, thus increasing the risk of fall-related injuries.
Many nursing home falls can be prevented if caregivers are properly trained and act in accordance with the standards of care. If your loved one has suffered a fall in a nursing home, and you are concerned that it is due to negligence, abuse, or neglect, contact our medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio to take action and ensure your loved one is protected.
Pressure Ulcer Lawyer in San Antonio
Decubitus ulcer is the medical term for what is commonly known as pressure ulcers or bedsores. These injuries are caused by a build-up of pressure on a localized area of the body. A build-up of pressure on the skin can cause inflammation, and can be irritating or painful. If treated quickly, pressure ulcers generally resolve without much risk of complications. If wounds are not treated properly, however, they can lead to skin deterioration and tissue death.
At any time, around three million Americans suffer from pressure ulcers. The most common locations where pressure ulcers form include:
- Buttocks or tailbone
- Spinal column
- Shoulder blade
- Back of the head
Causes of Pressure Ulcers
Pressure ulcers are caused by interruption of blood flow to certain parts of the body – most commonly bony prominences like heels, elbows, or the tailbone. But what causes interruption of healthy blood flow?
Numerous factors may contribute to the development of pressure ulcers. The most common causes include:
Individuals who are restricted to a bed or wheelchair are more susceptible to bedsores if they are not routinely rotated or moved to evenly disperse the pressure on their body.
Individuals who are left in unsanitary undergarments or bedding for extended periods of time are at a significant risk for developing bedsores. In addition to the development of open sores, bacteria from unsanitary conditions can increase the risk of infection.
When constant pressure is placed on any part of the body, it restricts blood flow to that area. Blood carries oxygen and vital nutrients that tissue, muscle, and skin need to be healthy. Restricted blood flow causes damage to tissue and eventually death if blood flow is not restored.
Friction happens when someone’s skin rubs against a surface repeatedly. This commonly occurs in patients with limited mobility, as their skin is constantly rubbing on the same surfaces of a bed, chair, or clothing.
Shear happens when two surfaces begin to move in the opposite direction. A good example is a hospital bed. When the head of the bed is raised, the patient may find themselves slipping down on the bed. This causes shear between the surface of the bed and the body of the patient. The body may move, but the skin may not, which can cause a pulling effect, or shear.
No matter what the cause may be, a pressure ulcer is a serious medical condition that requires timely diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, many bedsores are caused by the negligence of caregivers in hospitals or nursing homes.
Did your loved one have pressure ulcers when they entered the facility as a patient?
If the answer is no, you may have a legal claim of healthcare negligence or nursing home abuse or neglect against the facility treating your family member. The truth is that pressure ulcers are completely preventable. With adequate care and attention from caregivers, pressure ulcers simply should not occur.
When pressure ulcers are allowed to progress to the stage of an open wound, there would have been warning signs. Unfortunately, caregivers may have:
- Failed to notice the signs and symptoms
- Ignored and failed to treat a pressure ulcer
- Treated a pressure ulcer inappropriately
In any case, the formation of open bedsores is a failure on the part of caregivers to provide for your loved one’s basic needs.
Limited Mobility is No Excuse for Pressure Ulcers
Preventative care for pressure ulcers is a basic need for patients with limited or no mobility. Turning and repositioning them to prevent the formation of pressure ulcers is as important as making sure they have a clean environment, or enough food to eat, or plenty of water to drink. If your loved one has pressure ulcers, call MedMalFirm.com to discuss how and why the ulcers formed.
Pressure ulcers are the result of patients skin being allowed to rest against the same surface for so long that blood flow to the affected area is interrupted. As a result, the skin starts to die, and underlying tissue is compromised. Long before an open wound forms, the skin will be irritated, painful, and may form a blister or crater.
Responsible caregivers will see the tell-tale signs and act immediately to prevent the progression of a pressure ulcer from one stage to the next.
What to Do When Pressure Ulcers Advance
If pressure ulcers are allowed to progress beyond a mild inflammation, it can quickly become a serious injury, and can be life-threatening. There are four stages of pressure ulcers, each with their own symptoms and severity.
The stages are:
- One – Inflammation, redness, or soreness affecting the top layer of skin.
- Two – Shallow open wound penetrating the top layer of skin and exposing the second layer.
- Three – Skin is completely dissolved and fat and tissue are exposed. The wound may ooze pus and have a foul odor.
- Four – Skin and fat are dissolved and wound extends to muscle or bone. There is often a foul odor and signs of necrosis (tissue death). There is a high risk of infection.
- Unstageable – Wound is infected or necrotic, and so severe it cannot be staged.
If your loved one needs ongoing treatment or surgery for a pressure ulcer, or has developed complications like infection or sepsis, as a result of healthcare negligence, your family should not have to shoulder that cost. Contact MedMalFirm.com to find out if you qualify for compensation for the injuries and expenses your family has suffered.
Bowel Perforation Lawyer in San Antonio
Any surgery is a careful assessment of risks and benefits. Essentially, surgery is a method of wounding the body in the short-term for the expected benefit of long-term healing. The anticipated benefits must outweigh the initial risks.
Though surgery is inherently risky, sometimes things can go wrong because of preventable mistakes or negligence. When this is the case, patients should speak to a lawyer about a medical malpractice claim.
Bowel Perforation Information
Bowel perforations are a known complication, or risk, for most abdominal surgeries. Not all bowel perforations are malpractice. Some are the result of underlying medical conditions. Still, you should be on the lookout for symptoms of a bowel perforation, such as:
- Fever with chills
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
Most often, it is not the perforation itself, but rather a failure to diagnose and treat a bowel perforation, that leads patients to contact a lawyer. This is where attorneys most commonly see actionable claims of malpractice.
Contact MedMalFirm.com if you have been diagnosed with a bowel perforation following a surgery or procedure such as:
- An appendectomy
- Gallstone removal
- Gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy)
- Caesarean section (C-section)
- Bladder repair
- Laparoscopic surgery
In a malpractice situation, injury to the bowels occurs by negligent perforation by a surgeon during a procedure, or is ruptured through no negligence but is allowed to complicate a patient’s condition in post-operative care. Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a bowel perforation can be deadly. Common complications from a bowel perforation are:
- Internal bleeding
- Bowel infarction
- Abdominal abscesses
- Overwhelming sepsis
- In severe cases, death
Bowel perforation injury and its complications are very dangerous because the contents of our bowels contain deadly bacteria that should never be allowed to mingle with abdominal organs. The longer fecal matter and bacteria interact with structures in the abdominal cavity, the more dangerous it is.
That’s why physicians, nurses, and other staff are expected to monitor abdominal surgery patients very closely during postoperative care. Hospital staff who miss the early signs of bowel perforation put patients’ lives at risk and should be held accountable for their negligence.
Patients who undergo surgery to treat a medical problem should never come out of surgery with a new injury or illness.
A Perforated Bowel Commonly Leads to Sepsis
A gastrointestinal (GI) perforation is a hole punctured in any part of your GI tract. The GI tract includes tissue and organs that lead from your throat to the rectum. Bowel perforations are the most common GI perforation. The bowel includes the small and large intestines, which make up a large portion of the GI tract.
When your bowel is perforated, the contents of your stomach and bowels can leak out into the abdominal cavity. This often leads to infection in the surrounding tissue or organs. Infection can quickly spread, and can quickly escalate into sepsis if not treated quickly.
According to the Sepsis Alliance, millions of people develop sepsis each year, and one-third of those patients die as a result. Those who survive often experience life-altering medical conditions, chronic pain, organ dysfunction, and may require amputation.
It is incredibly important that healthcare providers recognize the signs of sepsis and manage sepsis care in accordance to clinical standards and guidelines.
When to Call a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in San Antonio
If you believe that you or someone you love is suffering the effects of medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio as soon as possible.
Patients have certain legal rights, including the right to care that meets accepted medical standards. When those rights are violated, patients should take action to hold responsible those that are accountable for the harm they are suffering. No family should bear the burden of medical negligence.
To learn more about your legal rights, contact MedMalFirm.com for a free consultation with our medical malpractice lawyer in San Antonio. Get started by calling 877-887-4850.