What Happens When There is Medical Malpractice After a Car Accident Injury or Illness?
According to Kaiser Health News (KHN), a 68-year-old man, Jean Louis-Charles, died hours after spinal fusion surgery to fix a continuous neck and back pain he was experiencing that resulted from a car crash. The spinal fusion procedure involved replacing three disks with an implant that the doctor, Dr. Kingsley Chin, invented.
After an hour in the recovery room, the surgery center wheeled him out to a waiting Uber and sent him on his way home. During the 60-mile ride home, his wife, Marie Julien, said he couldn’t speak but indicated that he was in great pain and struggled to breathe. Once he got home, Julien said he collapsed and was rushed to a hospital, where he died.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when healthcare providers act in a way that is legally or morally wrong or commits an error in diagnosis or treatment, causing further injury or death.
Did Dr. Chin act illegally and immorally regarding Louis-Charles’ surgery? Louis-Charles died of post-surgical bleeding with airway compression. In this case, an error occurred when any complications went unnoticed. The second error may have been that Louis-Charles should have been monitored longer than an hour before being sent home.
In addition, it turns out that Dr. Chin may have been performing surgical procedures and recommending treatments that weren’t necessary while charging an excessive amount of money, knowing he would get paid from personal injury settlements. For example, Dr. Chin may have done an unnecessary surgery on Louis-Charles spine with his eye on his car accident personal injury settlement.
As it turns out, his wife sued, and she and Chin settled the suit under confidential terms. However, Dr. Chin was able to continue practicing.
Potential Causes of Injuries from Car Accidents and Public Transportation
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) surveyed 5,470 crashes over two and a half years. The survey sample represented the 2,189,000 car accidents that happen nationwide.
The results of the NHTSA survey indicated that the drivers were to blame for 94% of all the crashes sampled.
Driver Negligence or Fatigue
While drivers caused 94% or 2,046,000 accidents, they were to blame for different reasons. Drivers who committed recognition errors made up about 41% of the total drivers. Recognition errors can include:
- Driver inattention
- Inside or outside the car distractions
- The driver did not look before performing a maneuver
Decision errors accounted for about 33% of vehicle accidents. Decision errors are:
- Driving too fast for the conditions
- Going too fast around curves
- Illegal maneuvers
- Misjudgement of the space or speed of other cars.
- Misinterpretation of the other drivers’ actions
Approximately 11% of driver negligence resulted in performance errors that can consist of overcompensation when steering, poor directional control, or a lack of performance caused by the driver falling asleep.
During this survey, the NHTSA found that about 2% of the accidents resulted from weather or slick roads. The only way to avoid these kinds of accidents is to avoid driving in inclement weather if possible. If driving in bad weather has to happen, reduce speed and avoid following cars too closely.
Vehicle Maintenance Neglect
The NHTSA also discovered that around 2% of car crashes were due to vehicle part failure or deterioration. In this case, the owner of the car or public transportation vehicle can still be held to blame for the accident for not properly maintaining the car or vehicle.
Identifying Negligence is Essential
The first thing to identify is if anyone was responsible for the injuries or illness stemming from the accident. For example, was it the driver, the company that owned the vehicle and paid the driver, or was the accident caused by neglected maintenance on a vehicle owned by the driver or a company? Once that question is answered, negligence has been identified in the vehicle accident case.
If it was unfortunate that there may have been medical malpractice while tending to the injuries and illnesses caused by the car accident, negligence must also be identified in this case. Here are some tips for identifying neglect in a suspected medical malpractice case:
- The healthcare provider needed to provide reasonable and adequate care that would have been provided in similar situations.
- The healthcare provider’s actions or failure to act prevented appropriate and proper care.
- An injury or further injury was caused by the healthcare provider’s actions or failure to take action.
- Identify damages suffered by the medical provider’s actions or failure to act. For example, identify damages such as economic loss stemming from a longer recovery process or pain and suffering that may have resulted from the breach of duty.
Why Taking Action is Important
Not all cases are straightforward. It is difficult to determine whether there was an associated risk that caused injury or further injury or whether it was a substandard level of care.
For example, suppose an infection occurred due to an injury caused by a car accident. In that case, this does not mean the infection happened due to below-standard care but of an associated risk that could happen with that type of injury, not indicating medical malpractice.
However, the infection could have been caused by the uncleanliness of medical equipment, tools, or the medical establishment’s environment, indicating substandard care. See how it’s not so straightforward? The ambiguity of causation can also occur if a patient undergoes surgery or requires treatment for an orthopedic injury.
Recognize When Action is Needed
Unfortunately, medical professionals sometimes do not provide the appropriate care to a patient after a car accident. Not providing reasonable care can result in medical malpractice. Therefore, it is essential to identify and recognize negligence. Knowing how medical malpractice can happen after an accident and what to do in a situation when medical malpractice is suspected is key to getting compensation to cover damages.
The only way to determine if medical malpractice has occurred is to speak to a lawyer about the matter as soon as possible. Contact Alvendia Kelly & Demarest today at 504-200-0000 to schedule a free consultation.