Tulsa Medical Malpractice Attorney & Tulsa Medical Negligence Attorney
When does Medical Malpractice happen and what does it include?
Medical malpractice, also referred to as med mal, healthcare liability, doctor malpractice, hospital malpractice, or hospital negligence, occurs when a healthcare professional makes a careless (negligent) or reckless error, which results in harm to you, the patient. This can be particularly disturbing because we, as a society, rely on and trust our healthcare system, and especially our doctors, to provide quality medical care and act in our best interest. However, a 2004 study concluded that in an estimated 9 out of 10 medical malpractice trials, the alleged harm involved either a permanent injury (57%) or a wrongful death claim (33%). People in Tulsa and Tulsa County, Oklahoma are injured every day due to negligent errors and sometimes even physician recklessness in hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the Greater Tulsa area.
Areas of medical malpractice include, but are not limited to:
- Doctor error
- Hospital error
- Surgical error
- Birth injuries
- Infant brain damage
- Medication error
- Failure to diagnose
- Nursing errors
- Nursing home errors
If you or a loved one has suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor or healthcare professional, you know how devastating this can be, particularly when the injuries sustained are serious, long-lasting, debilitating, or, worst of all, have caused a death. Doctors, like everyone else, should be held accountable for their negligence, and a Tulsa medical malpractice attorney can help you make sure that physician recklessness and negligence doesn’t go unpunished. Most importantly, however, a Tulsa medical malpractice attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Hospitals in the Greater Tulsa Area
Select Specialty Hospital
Oklahoma State University Medical Center Trust
St. John Medical Center
Hillcrest Medical Center
Tulsa Spine & Specialty Hospital
Saint Francis Hospital, Inc.
MeadowBrook Specialty Hospital of Tulsa, LLC
UHS, Inc. Sheridan
Southwestern Regional Medical Center, Inc.
Countless physician and hospital errors in the Tulsa area go unprosecuted, despite causing serious injuries or even death to patients. Contact a Tulsa lawyer for hospital negligence today to help you pursue your claim if you believe that you or a loved one has been injured by hospital negligence or medical negligence.
Brain Trauma Sustained at Birth
Infant brain trauma is just one of many areas of medical malpractice law; however, it is a unique area because the long lasting effects of a birth brain injury will impact all areas of a child’s life. Both mother and child are at risk of death or serious injury during the birthing process. The high strain placed upon the woman’s and baby’s body is extremely dangerous. The baby must deal with compression, contractions, twisting down the birthing canal, and being choked on the umbilical cord. As a result, many babies suffer injuries due to their oxygen supply being cut off or from the general strain from the birthing process. While the birthing process is difficult, the sad truth is that many times a baby’s injury is the result of hospital, doctor, or nurse negligence during the birthing procedure that could have been avoided altogether. Your baby may suffer from a long list of injuries such as: cerebral palsy, brachial plexus, birth hypoxia, shoulder dystocia, or Erb’s palsy.
If you believe that your child’s brain injury, learning disability, or physical or mental impairment might have been sustained during birth, you may have a legal claim against the doctor, nurse, and/or hospital. Contact a Tulsa medical malpractice attorney or Tulsa County medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.
For more information on damages potentially recoverable for brain injuries, click here.
Why do you need a Tulsa, OK Medical Malpractice Attorney?
No one wants to believe that their doctor has committed malpractice. The truth is that most Oklahoma doctors are excellent physicians and try very hard to cure or help their patients. Also, just because there was a bad result does not necessarily mean that a doctor has committed physician or surgeon malpractice. For this reason, a Tulsa malpractice lawyer will usually investigate a claim of medical negligence very carefully before agreeing to actually go forward with and file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Most times, a Tulsa medical malpractice attorney will hire an expert to review all the medical records, MRIs, films and all other types of medical evidence, and sometimes even have that expert meet and examine the client before commencing a malpractice claim. Having a trained Tulsa medical malpractice lawyer is essential when making a claim against a doctor or hospital. Rest assured that the insurance companies are armed with many malpractice defense lawyers and you need legal representation arguing on your behalf as well. You need an experienced Tulsa malpractice attorney who can obtain an adequate settlement or, alternatively, show a court exactly the extent of your damages so that you are compensated for your injuries, pain, and suffering to the maximum extent possible under the law. The increased difficulty of prevailing in medical malpractice claims makes it all the more important that you retain a Tulsa medical negligence attorney to help you fight back.
A final reason to retain a Tulsa medical negligence lawyer to represent you in your Tulsa or Tulsa County malpractice claim is that a local lawyer probably knows a local expert who will testify at the trial or in a deposition if he or she makes a finding that negligence or recklessness was involved. Furthermore, it is readily accepted that Oklahoma juries have a tendency to give more credence to a local physician’s testimony than an expert from somewhere else. Tulsa residents prefer scientists and lawyers with a reputation of excellence in their community, whom they can trust to provide the most accurate, definitive, and comprehensive evaluation of each element of the lawsuit. For this reason, it is in your best interest to obtain representation locally within the Tulsa area.
If you, or a loved one, have suffered at the hands of a negligent medical practitioner, call one of the expert Tulsa medical malpractice lawyers listed above. Tulsa medical malpractice law firms know how to deal with healthcare defense lawyers and can help you make sure that justice is served.
Oklahoma Medical Malpractice Laws Overview
The following is a brief summary of some of the important laws involved in Tulsa, Oklahoma Medical Malpractice Lawsuits:
Statute of Limitations:
An action for damages for injury or death against any physician, health care provider or hospital licensed under the laws of this state, whether based in tort, breach of contract or otherwise, arising out of patient care, shall be brought within two (2) years of the date the plaintiff knew or should have known, through the exercise of reasonable diligence, of the existence of the death, injury or condition complained of; provided, however, the minority or incompetency when the cause of action arises will extend said period of limitation. (18. Limitation of action).
Oklahoma law allows for pre-judgement interest in medical malpractice cases. The full law is complicated and best understood by a qualified Tulsa Medical Malpractice lawyer. (§ 727.1. Interest on judgments rendered on or after January 1, 2005).
Oklahoma law places a cap on punitive damages that changes depending on whether the defendant was reckless, acted intentionally, or intentionally put human life at risk. Your Tulsa Medical Malpractice lawyer will explain to you which cap applies in your case. (9.1. Punitive damages awards by jury).
- Note that different rules may apply to governmental immunity for malpractice claims. Contact a Tulsa medical malpractice attorney for further legal advice.
Oklahoma law does not require arbitration in medical malpractice actions.
Oklahoma law does not require periodic payments.
Collateral Source Rule:
Oklahoma does not follow the collateral source rule. This means that any money recovered from insurance companies or other sources cannot be recovered from the defendant.
Oklahoma law provides for a system of modified comparative negligence in all tort cases. This means that if the plaintiff bringing the claim is considered more than 50% responsible for his or her own injury, he or she is barred from recovering any damages at all. If the plaintiff’s fault is 50% or less, however, recovery is diminished in proportion to the percentage of fault:
13. Comparative negligence
In all actions hereafter brought, whether arising before or after the effective date of this act, for negligence resulting in personal injuries or wrongful death, or injury to property, contributory negligence shall not bar a recovery, unless any negligence of the person so injured, damaged or killed, is of greater degree than any negligence of the person, firm or corporation causing such damage, or unless any negligence of the person so injured, damaged or killed, is of greater degree than the combined negligence of any persons, firms or corporations causing such damage.
14. Damages diminished in proportion to contributory negligence
Where such contributory negligence is shown on the part of the person injured, damaged or killed, the amount of the recovery shall be diminished in proportion to such person's contributory negligence.
Joint & Several Liability:
Joint and several liability refers to the legal practice of holding more than one defendant jointly liable for the entire amount of a plaintiff’s damages. Oklahoma does not use this system. In Oklahoma, "in any civil action based on fault and not arising out of contract, the liability for damages caused by two or more persons shall be several only and a joint tortfeasor shall be liable only for the amount of damages allocated to that tortfeasor." (15. Joint tortfeasor liability--Several only).
- Vicarious liability refers to the legal practice of holding one party liable for the negligent or otherwise tortious actions of another, despite the fact that the party held vicariously liable was not directly responsible for the injury. For example, a hospital might be held vicariously liable for the negligent acts of one of its surgeons or nurses. According to Oklahoma case law, it may be possible to hold a hospital liable for any doctor practicing at the hospital if the patient and the doctor have no preexisting relationship and he patient is unaware that the doctor is not an agent of the hospital.
If you have been harmed due to the negligent or reckless behavior of a doctor, hospital employee, or other healthcare professional, you may be entitled to compensation. Call one of the Tulsa medical malpractice attorneys listed above for a consultation regarding your claim before Oklahoma’s 2-year statute of limitations expires and you lose your legal rights!
Tulsa personal injury lawyers are experienced in handling medical malpractice and doctor and hospital negligence cases in both federal and state courts across the Greater Tulsa area. If you live in Tulsa and want to file a lawsuit, your Tulsa Personal Injury Accident Attorney will know where to file your case. Tulsa Personal Injury cases may be heard here:
Tulsa County District Court
500 S Denver Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74103
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Tulsa and Surrounding Communities
Serving clients throughout Northeastern Oklahoma, including Bartlesville, Blackwell, Broken Arrow, Checotah, Cushing, Henryetta, Locust Grove, Miami, Muskogee, Norman, Oklahoma City, Owasso, Perry, Ponca City, Sallisaw, Sand Springs, Shawnee, Stillwater, Tahlequah, Tulsa, Wagoner, areas in the vicinity of Tulsa International Airport, and other communities in Tulsa County.
When you need someone in your corner, a Tulsa County personal injury lawyer will be there for you. Call now to speak with an experienced Tulsa medical malpractice attorney today.