When you go to a doctor or the hospital in Minnesota because of an injury or illness, you expect medical professionals to make you well. However, if a medical professional is negligent, you could end up with a catastrophic injury instead. Because of medical professionals' training, the general public holds them to a higher standard – we expect them to cure us of our ails, not make us sicker or exacerbate injuries. Reach out to a Minnesota Catastrophic Medical Malpractice Lawyer.
If you suffered catastrophic injuries because of a medical professional's actions or inactions, contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers for your free case evaluation.
Why Choose Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers in Minnesota
When a medical professional's negligence causes catastrophic injuries, you could recover compensation for damages, including the additional medical expenses and loss of earning capacity you will have. You could also recover compensation for other losses.
When pursuing a medical malpractice claim, you need a law firm that has handled claims like yours. Medical professionals have medical malpractice insurance –with that comes their experienced attorneys. You need a firm with the staff and attorneys with the resources to go up against their attorneys and win.
Our attorneys have many accolades, including Top 10 Lawyers from the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys, Lead Counsel Verified in Personal Injury Law from LeadCounsel.org, a five-out-of-five-star rating at Avvo.com, 10 Best Client Satisfaction Award from the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, and more. Our managing attorney, Adam Nicolet, is a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates.
Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers have offices in several cities in Minnesota.
Contact our nearest Minnesota office to discuss your medical malpractice case with our lawyers.
Recovering Damages After a Medical Malpractice Incident in Minnesota that Caused Catastrophic Injuries
After a medical malpractice incident, you could recover compensatory damages, which make you financially whole again. Some states also allow you to recover punitive damages. Compensatory damages have two types: Economic damages and non-economic damages.
Sometimes referred to as special damages, non-economic damages have a monetary value. Most people injured because of a medical professional's negligence can recover economic damages, including:
You could recover medical expenses related to the catastrophic injuries caused by a medical professional's negligence, including but not limited to:
- Doctor's appointments.
- Surgeries and follow-up appointments.
- Prescriptions and prescribed over-the-counter medications and medical equipment.
- Ambulatory aids.
- Medical equipment, such as oxygen tanks.
- Physical therapy.
- Cognitive therapy.
- Psychological therapy.
- Occupational therapy.
- Home health care.
- Nursing home and/or rehabilitative home care.
- Accessibility aids for your vehicle, including hand controls and wheelchair lifts and ramps.
- Accessibility aids for your home, including but not limited to wheelchair ramps, grab bars, handrails, and widened doorways.
Loss of Earning Capacity
After suffering catastrophic injuries because of a medical professional's negligence, you may be unable to work, depending on the disabilities these injuries cause. You could recover compensation for loss of earning capacity from the time of the accident until the time you would have retired had you kept working.
If you can work part-time or if your disabilities force you to work full-time, but at a lower-paying job, you could also recover partial loss of earning capacity.
Catastrophic injuries sometimes lead to the death of a loved one. If your loved one died due to catastrophic injuries caused by a medical professional's negligence, you could recover compensation for funeral expenses, burial expenses, cremation expenses, certain probate fees, and probate attorney's fees and costs.
Sometimes referred to as general damages, non-economic damages do not have a monetary value.
Many people who suffer catastrophic injuries or lose a loved one because of a medical professional's negligence can recover non-economic damages, including:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life if you have to make lifelong changes, such as using ambulatory aids or taking prescriptions.
- Loss of consortium if you can no longer enjoy a physical relationship with your spouse.
- Loss of companionship if you can no longer enjoy spending time with your family or can no longer enjoy family activities and events.
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a finger or a leg.
- Loss of use of a bodily function, such as your eyesight or bladder.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the chores you usually do, including but not limited to house cleaning, grocery shopping, lawn maintenance, and home repair and maintenance.
- Excessive scarring and/or disfigurement.
- Amputation of a digit or limb.
Not everyone can recover punitive damages, and for those that can, the process takes longer. However, when you suffer from catastrophic injuries, the extra effort is worth it.
The court orders punitive damages if you can prove the defendant's actions and/or inactions were grossly negligent or intentional.
Instead of making you financially whole again, the court orders punitive damages to punish the defendant's behavior in the hopes that the defendant will not take the same actions against another person.
Causes of Medical Malpractice Injuries
People expect medical professionals to do everything they can to heal them. However, mistakes can happen. Even worse, mistakes caused by negligence can also happen. A negligent medical professional could cause you to suffer catastrophic injuries or even die.
Some causes of catastrophic injuries include:
- Misdiagnosing an illness.
- Late diagnosis of an illness.
- Not monitoring a patient.
- Not monitoring a pregnant woman before, during, and after childbirth.
- Delaying care, such as an emergency cesarean section.
- Failing to treat an injury or illness.
- Medication errors, including prescribing the wrong medication, giving a patient the wrong dosage, and not prescribing required medications.
- Surgical errors, including amputating the wrong body part or leaving medical tools and debris inside a surgical wound.
- Anesthesia errors.
- Defective medical equipment.
- Showing up at work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Not getting enough sleep.
Proving Negligence in Minnesota
Your medical records and personal accounting of the care you received can help us prove a medical professional's actions or inactions were negligent.
To prove negligence in Minnesota, you must prove the medical professional's actions or inactions met the four elements of negligence:
- A medical professional has a duty of care to treat your injuries or illnesses to the best of his ability. Because medical professionals have extensive training, the public holds them to a higher standard of care than the average person.
- A medical professional breached the duty of care. For example, a doctor may have come to work drunk or did not verify your identity before surgery.
- The medical professional's actions or inactions caused you harm.
- You suffered damages because of the medical professional's actions or inactions.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can investigate your case, including using expert witnesses, reviewing medical records, reviewing the medical professional's records, and speaking with witnesses to determine whether the medical professional's actions or inactions were negligent.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
A negligent medical professional could cause many types of catastrophic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Childbirth injuries, such as cerebral palsy.
- Persistent infections.
- Amputation of a digit or limb.
- Nerve damage.
- Internal bleeding.
Many catastrophic injuries require you to go under the knife again, which also means extra pain and suffering and a long time away from your family.
Going up Against the Insurance Companies
Sometimes injured people in Minnesota try to go up against insurance companies themselves. However, insurance companies are in business to make a profit – they will do anything possible to deny your claim. Barring that, they'll offer you a pittance.
Insurance companies use many tricks to get out of paying you what you deserve. When you retain an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who has settled and litigated claims with catastrophic injuries, the insurance companies are less likely to pull their stunts. Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers have the resources to go after the insurance companies to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
Some of the tricks insurance companies use include:
- Twisting what you say to use it against you, even in medical malpractice claims.
- Offering a lowball settlement amount as soon as you file a claim. Often, the insurance company will admit its client is at fault but will tell you the most they can pay is a low number. This is rarely true. Once you accept an offer and sign the documents, you cannot return for more when you find out the insurance company didn't cover all your damages.
- Delaying your claim. The insurance company may ghost you or even tell you it is waiting for information from you or another department. They use many delay tactics in the hopes that you give up and "go away." They will delay as long as it takes, right up to the point that you might not be able to recover the full amount you are entitled to.
- Suggesting you don't need an attorney. Insurance companies know that you don't know the law, so they hope you don't retain a medical malpractice attorney. It is easier for them to pull their tricks on you. They also know that if they don't offer a fair and reasonable amount, you may successfully litigate your claim if you work with an attorney. Additionally, attorneys add their fees and costs to the pile of other damages you suffer, which means the insurance company also pays for your attorney. When you don't retain an attorney, they have to pay you less.
Arguing with the insurance company adds stress, which could slow your recovery. When you retain a medical malpractice attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers, we deal with insurance companies so you can concentrate on recovering.
Helping Your Minnesota Medical Malpractice Case Succeed
You can still help your case succeed if you:
- Always follow treatment plans, including keeping doctors' appointments. The insurance company will argue that your injuries are not as bad as you claim if you miss appointments, including therapy appointments.
- Keep all receipts for medications, medical equipment, co-pays, and other expenses related to your medical care. We need them to recover the medical expenses you come out of pocket for.
- Keep a journal of what happened in the original accident or illness, including how the doctors treated your injury or illness. Journal medications prescribed, physical and emotional processes, the amount of pain you have each day, and anything else related to your recovery.
Make a copy of your journal for your attorney. You can give it to the firm once you decide to retain it. For further journaling, arrange with the attorney a time frame for sending additional entries. For example, you might agree to send copies of new journal pages at the end of each week. Your attorney can use your notes to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Contact Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers in Minnesota
If a medical professional's negligence caused you additional injury in the form of catastrophic injuries, you could recover compensation for damages, including current and future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
Your initial case evaluation is always free and without obligation. Additionally, you don't pay unless you win, as we work on a contingency basis.
Contact a medical malpractice attorney at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or South Dakota for a free case evaluation by calling (612) 446-3999.