THE LAW OFFICES OF

THOMAS  G.  KEMMY

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Texas Medical Malpractice Lawyer - Hospital Negligence

Never Events

A hospital should not be but often is a dangerous place. We go to the hospital in our most vulnerable time; our time of greatest need. Trust and surrender are our only choices. When that trust is violated the consequences are often devastating. The medical community has a name for the unnecessary harm that hospital patients often suffer: Never Events.
 
These are injuries that simply should never take place and only do when someone failed to follow the safety rules that apply to hospitals. Some of the most common "never events" include: surgery on the wrong part of the body; serious injury or death from medication error; stage III or IV pressure ulcers; death following surgery in a healthy patient; air embolism, assault while at a hospital or nursing home, injury from falls and many more.

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What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, occurs when a healthcare professional fails in the follow required standards of care, and injures a patient as a result. In legal terms, it means that there was a duty of care owed to a patient. The health care professional breach, or violated, this duty of care; and said breach was the cause of the patient's injuries and damages. Determining what the standard of care can be complicated. There are many factors that are considered when answering the question of what the provider did or should have done, such as what the patient's age, sex, and history are, or what the presently known symptoms of the patient at the time were, or whether there has already been a diagnosed condition or not. However, generally speaking, the standard of care is what the generally accepted methods used by other area doctors and healthcare professionals on similarly situated patients with similar conditions at the time.

Nursing Negligence

One of the primary responsibilities of hospital nursing staff is to monitor patients for early detection of complications. If a patient is not properly monitored the health care providers lose the opportunity to intervene in time to prevent harm. When a patient is simply forgotten or ignored the problem is usually because the hospital is poorly managed and the medical personnel are short staffed. Ultimately, the patient's injury or death is a direct result of poor management practices and the business decision to cut corners at the risk of danger to the hospital patients.

Medical Malpractice Cases

When it comes to the practice of modern medicine, our system of the trusted physician-patient relationship was replaced by impersonal medical management and high-volume health care. Too many patients today are harmed by their own health care providers, as well as the system their providers are forced to work in. Clients come to us because their doctors and hospitals failed to follow required standards of medicine, which resulted in life long injuries or sometimes even death. When a Patient is seriously injured through the negligence of medical providers, the effects on the person and family are devastating. In each case, there are always legitimate concerns about mounting medical bills and the long-term effects of serious injury.
 
To make matters worse, doctors will often insist the situation was just one of those unavoidable complications. Almost all medical malpractice cases require the injured individual to prove how the health provider caused their injury. Therefore, it is extremely important that you speak to a Board Certified Trial Lawyer with experience in field of medical malpractice. Proving up your case and showing what actually went on behind closed hospital doors is a daunting challenge and should only be undertaken by a lawyer with experience in the field of medical negligence.

Protecting Patients from Unsafe Hospital Policies

At the Law Office of Thomas G. Kemmy, we understand how painful it can be to enter a hospital only to stand helplessly by as staff members fail to properly fulfill their duties or even ignore your requests for help. The laws that apply to hospitals and physicians are different than the laws that apply to any others who cause harm. Nearly every law concerning a health care provider is aimed at freeing them from their negligent conduct so that they can continue to break the rules and harm others without consequences.
 
If you or a loved one has been harmed by hospital negligence then contact a Board Certified Trial Lawyer who is knowledgeable about medical malpractice. Proving what went on behind closed hospital doors is a daunting challenge and should only be undertaken by a lawyer with experience in the field of medical malpractice. We bring you that experience. It is not unusual for a patient to enter a hospital and receive care from doctors he or she has never met before. Sometimes during the transition between doctors, specialists, nurses and departments, there is a breakdown in communication and the patient falls through the cracks. Time and again we have held hospitals accountable when a family member of our client entered the hospital and then was ignored, forgotten and died unnecessarily.

Payment Options

In all medical malpractice cases, our firm serves its clients on a contingency fee basis. The client pays no attorney's fee unless we win or settle your case. We also advance all court costs, litigation expenses, and expert fees. We don't ask to be reimbursed until the end of the case, but only if we obtain a successful settlement or trial verdict.

Common Medical Malpractice Claims

Birth Related Medical Malpractice

Birth-related medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, or other medical staff acts negligently, fails to follow the standards of care for patient safety, and causes one of the following harms:

  • Injury to the mother or child during pregnancy or delivery.
  • Failure to Warn -- When the parents should have ended or avoided a pregnancy for safety or health reasons.
  • Birth Defects caused by negligent prenatal care or misdiagnosis.
Hospital Related Medical Malpractice

Even if medical negligence occurred at a hospital, it does not mean the hospital itself is automatically liable. Generally speaking, hospitals, like all employers, are liable for the harms caused by their negligent employees. However, most doctors at hospitals are independent contractors - meaning they are not employed by the hospital.

Typically, nurses, medical technicians, support staff, nutritionist, and administrators   are hospital employees. If a patient is injured while being treated by a hospital employee, the patient can usually sue the hospital for resulting damages.

Doctor and Physcian Medical Malpractice

In any medical malpractice case you must show exactly how your injury was caused by medical negligence. When it comes to doctors,you must first establish what the required standard of care was, and whether your doctor failed to meet the standard. Second, you must show how that failure in standard of care caused your specific injuries and damages.

Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose is when your doctor failed to connect the dots between your symptoms and underlying condition. Misdiagnosis may also be a failure to diagnose, but it normally refers to when your doctor incorrectly believes you have an underlying condition when you actually suffer from another; and the doctor should have known the correct diagnosis to make. Delayed diagnosis is when your doctor isn't fast enough in making the connection between your symptoms and the underlying condition.

Common Failures with Diagnosing Patients:

  • Failure to admit or treat Patient
  • Failure to order necessary diagnostic or radiological tests (x-rays, CT scans, MRI);
  • Failure to consider and diagnose symptoms;
  • Failure to note or act upon patient complaints or family concerns;
  • Failure to communicate or record information - a break in the continuity of care
  • Failure to respond appropriately
Nursing Home Negligence

Medical neglect, where the nursing home fails to provide adequate attention, prevention, or medication for concerns such as bed sores, infections, cuts, diabetes, cognitive diseases, and mobility concerns.

Negligent Supervision- Where the elder person is repeatedly ignored, left alone, or disregarded.

Basic needs neglect, where the nursing home neglects to provide reasonable food, water, or a safe and clean environment.

Hygienic Neglect - where patients do not receive adequate help with laundry, cleaning, bathing, brushing their teeth, or other forms of hygienic practices.

Surgery Related Medical Malpractice

 All surgeries involve risk. Surgical errors go beyond the known risks of surgery. Common surgical negligence include:

  • Injuring nerves or ligaments during the procedure;
  • Leaving equipment or material inside the patient's body;
  • Operating on the wrong body part;
  • Incorrectly performing the incision; and
  • Administrating pre and post operative medication incorrectly.

30+ Years of Experience In Medical Malpractice

Tom Kemmy has spent more than 30 years successfully representing patients and families injured from medical negligence, and we are determined to fight for the highest possible compensation due under the law. Early in Tom's career he was an insurance defense counsel and was hired to defend doctors, nurses and hospitals. Tom's knowledge of the defense side of litigation proves beneficial when representing injured patients today.
 
When a medical professional fails to follow the basic rules of patient safety and causes physical injury to a patient that professional is responsible for the harm. Our jury system allows for the recovery of damages to repair the harm when it can be repaired, and help and support the injured patient as they try to cope with loss of health or loss of the life and support of a loved one. The medical community has a name for injuries caused by medical negligence: hospital acquired injuries.
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Law Offices of Thomas G. Kemmy
322 W. Woodlawn Avenue
San Antonio, Texas 78212
Telephone: 210-735-2233
Fax: 210-736-9025

South Texas Representation

The Law Offices of Thomas G. Kemmy represents clients throughout South Texas and Rio Grande Valley, including the following cities: San Antonio; Corpus Christi; Laredo; Austin; Brownsville; Harlingen; McAllen; Eagle Pass; Eagle Ford Shale; and Houston, as well as the following counties: Bexar County; Travis County; Karnes County; Maverick County; Cameron County; Hidalgo County; and San Patricio County.
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