Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Denver
Injured by a Medical Error? We Can Help.
Numerous medical mistakes are made annually across the United States, resulting in a staggering amount of unnecessary pain, suffering, and even death affecting patients and their families. Unfortunately, medical malpractice cases can be difficult, expensive, and hard-fought by both the physicians accused of wrongdoing and their insurance companies. If your family has been affected by this type of harm in the Denver-Metro area or the surrounding communities, you should speak to an attorney about whether it would be worthwhile to file suit against a doctor, nurse, or hospital.
Springer & Steinberg, P.C. is here to assist you as you assert your legal right to seek compensation from the medical providers whose actions harmed you. We recommend moving quickly, as you have only two years from the date of your injury, or of the time you realized it was caused by malpractice or should have reasonably discovered it was linked to malpractice, to file a claim (Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-80-102.5). Our Denver medical malpractice lawyers are standing by to see how we can help you.
Call (303) 861-2800 or contact us online today for a free, confidential review of your case.
Four Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice lawsuits are a particular subcategory of a larger area of the law known as negligence. All injury lawsuits have the same four elements:
- Duty to act reasonably
- Failure to act the way a reasonable person should act
But, for medical malpractice cases, there are some special requirements that must be met when filing a lawsuit.
Most states, including Colorado, have statutes in place to detail the steps that a claimant must take in order to establish a cause of action against a doctor or other medical worker. One step is that an injured person must consult with a doctor who will certify that the actions of the defendant doctor were below the standard of care that a reasonable doctor would provide. At trial, expert testimony by a doctor or nurse is almost always required in order to establish both the standard of care and any breach of the standard by the defendant.
Common Instances of Medical Malpractice
Oftentimes, a medical malpractice suit arises because a doctor failed to do something that a reasonable provider would have done under the same or similar circumstances, but other cases can arise because the physician did something that a prudent doctor would not have done.
The following are examples of medical errors and malpractice:
- Misdiagnosis of, delayed diagnosis of, or failure to diagnose an illness or injury
- Delayed treatment of a medical condition
- Mismanagement of childbirth complications
- Medication errors (improper dose, wrong medication)
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Leaving an object behind after surgery
- Lack of informed consent prior to a medical procedure
- Anesthesia errors (dosage mistakes, failure to monitor a patient during anesthesia)
- Delayed C-section, or failure to recommend C-section in high-risk delivery
- Negligent preoperative, perioperative, or postoperative care
- Emergency room errors and negligence
- Nursing malpractice
Compensation for Medical Malpractice Claims
Once a patient has established that his or her medical provider’s error was negligent, the question becomes how much money it will take to compensate the patient for his or her injuries. These may include pain and suffering, disfigurement, past medical expenses, the costs of future treatment, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, loss of consortium, and, in particularly egregious cases, punitive damages, including pain and suffering (Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-21-102). If the act of malpractice leads to the wrongful death of a patient, the decedent's family may also seek compensation for funeral costs and other final expenses.
Since there is no set formula for establishing damages, the compensation that patients receive for similar injuries can vary significantly. This is why it is crucial that a patient is represented by a law firm that will aggressively pursue each and every element of damages to which the patient and possibly the patient’s family may be entitled.
Colorado Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
All medical malpractice cases are subject to a statute of limitations, after which a suit will be dismissed as too late except in very limited circumstances (§ 13-80-102.5). In Colorado, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years from the date the alleged malpractice occurred. This filing deadline is strictly enforced in medical malpractice actions.
While this deadline sounds simple on the surface, there are several circumstances which can affect the application of this statute of limitations. For example, in situations where a person is unaware that they were harmed by an act of malpractice or what the source of their injury is, this two-year clock may be delayed until the date the harm is actually discovered or should have reasonably been discovered. This is known as the "discovery rule."
Exceptions which may sometimes extend this statute of limitations include:
- The malpractice was not immediately apparent and was not discovered until some time after the negligent act
- The defendant left the state after committing the malpractice
- The victim was legally incapacitated at the time of the malpractice
- The victim was under the age of six at the time of the malpractice
- The defendant knowingly concealed the alleged malpractice
- The malpractice act involves the leaving of a foreign object inside the body, such as a surgical sponge, needle, or other instrument
A plaintiff must also determine which health care providers or hospitals should be named as defendants in cases in which a patient saw multiple providers or in which several doctors were involved in surgery or birth. An attorney knowledgeable in medical malpractice law can help a patient navigate these potential pitfalls.
Product Liability $4.35 Million
A roll-over of a small motorized vehicle.
Personal Injury $800,000
Explosion/fire resulting in a severely burned worker.
Personal Injury $900,000
Wrongful Death in a work-related accident.