A physician’s decisions can sometimes mean life or death.
A doctor is one of the highest held professions in a community, and it's been that way for centuries. Doctors are trusted with the lives of ourselves and our loved ones. We turn to them when our lives are at their hardest, and we trust them to treat our family as their own. It's hard to ever consider that a hospital or individual doctor could've made a grave mistake or committed professional negligence.
Arkansas law requires that physicians "possess and reasonably apply the same degree of skill and learning used by physician in the same type of practice within the community in which the doctor practices," which means that they have to meet the standards that other doctors meet in their community and communities similar to theirs. Most doctors work hard to bypass the standard of care to go above and beyond for patients. However, sometimes physicians make errors that have dire consequences.
Doctors are human; they make mistakes, and it is unfair for anyone to expect otherwise. While they accomplish amazing technological and medical miracles daily, they can't control every outcome. Not all bad outcomes are caused by negligence that subjects the physician to liability, but it is important that you talk to an attorney if you think malpractice may have occurred.
In 2003, the Arkansas General Assembly stripped away important rights from victims of medical negligence succumbing to pressure from the insurance industry, big business, hospitals, and physicians. Many physicians supported the change after being convinced that their medical malpractice insurance premiums would be lowered if “tort reform” was passed. (Not surprisingly, their premiums haven't been lowered.) This makes it harder than ever for citizens to successfully find justice; having an attorney that takes the time to get to know the details of your situation and the compassion to fight for what you deserve is paramount.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Arkansas is typically two (2) years from the date of the negligence, meaning that even if the injury doesn't surface until years later, your claim may be barred unless the case is filed within two years of the malpractice that caused the injury. As with just about everything in the judicial system, there are a lot of exceptions to this rule, and that makes having the right attorney on your side a top priority.
We understand that during times of loss or tragedy, no one wants to deal with lawyers and the courts system. We also know that taking a stand against a doctor or hospital that you trust can be hard. Our goal isn't to "sue bad doctors." Doctors are a necessity for our community, and we appreciate all of the amazing work they do to keep our loved ones and ourselves healthy. However, when a mistake is made that costs someone their life or well being, there have to be consequences for those actions. Medical malpractice isn't about punishing a doctor for a mistake; it's about holding medical practices accountable for their actions and making sure that you or your loved one receives the justice and/or compensation deserved when negligence has occurred.
Medical malpractice can take many forms, including:
- Failure to diagnose a disease or illness
- Misdiagnosing a disease or illness
- Failure to properly monitor patients
- Failure to properly treat the diagnosed disease
- Surgical errors, including wrong-site surgery and anesthesia errors
- Birth injury, including errors during delivery and anesthesia errors
- Failure to fully inform the patient of the risks of the surgery or procedure
- Misuse of prescription drugs
- Improper use of medical equipment or implants
- Hospital borne infections
- Other breaches of the standard of care owed to the patient
Cearley Law Firm has been helping this community for decades. We want to help you in any way we can, so please give us a call with any questions about your case. Initial consultations are free, and we will sit down with you so you can determine what your next steps should be in order to get justice where it's due.