Utah Attorney: Compartment Syndrome May be Medical Malpractice

 

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What is Compartment Syndrome?

Compartment syndrome (CS) occurs when the pressure within a closed anatomic space becomes high enough to compromise blood flow and the function of tissues. Late or delayed treatment of compartment syndrome can have disastrous outcomes.  Muscles and nerves cannot tolerate ischemia (restricted blood supply) for longer than a few hours.  After that, muscles and tissues die and nerves become permanently injured.  In very severe cases, myoglobin is released into circulation and can result in kidney (renal) damage.  Renal failure, infection, and sepsis can result and lead to death.

Motor deficits such as drop foot can result from compartment syndrome.  Volkmann’s contracture is another limb deformity seen with untreated compartment syndrome.  Occasionally, infections develop which may go on to require amputation.

Compartment syndrome is a medical emergency and requires rapid intervention.  Surgical intervention is often required to relieve the pressure.  Fasciotomy can be performed to decompress the area and restore muscle perfusion.

Legal Considerations

As a medical malpractice attorney in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, I have handled cases of compartment syndrome on behalf of clients.  One individual I represented was admitted to the hospital for abdominal surgery.  Due to his positioning on the surgical table, he developed severe compartment syndrome in his hand and arm.  His hand swelled to many times its original size and he suffered excruciating pain.  Despite an emergency fasciotomy, he suffered permanent nerve damage and required skin grafts.  His case resulted in a fairly large confidential settlement.

Many compartment syndromes result from tibial or other fractures.   Other causes include a tight cast or dressing, prolonged surgery, crush injuries, and deep vein thrombosis.

It is important that your health care providers do everything possible to prevent and recognize compartment syndrome.  Failure to do so may be malpractice.  If you suspect you or a loved one have been injured due to undiagnosed or late diagnosed compartment syndrome, please give the Faerber Law Firm a call for a free consultation at (801) 943-1005.

 

Utah Car Accident Lawyer: 5 Essential Tips to Maximize Your Utah Injury Case

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You’ve been injured in a car accident on a Utah roadway and want to get the most money possible for your case.  As a Utah personal injury attorney, I’ve compiled a short list of things you need to do to get the best results possible for your situation.  Of course, this isn’t a complete list, and you should always contact a lawyer in your area to get specific advice for your unique case.

The following are practical ways you can help improve the chances of getting the money you deserve from your car, truck, bicycle, or pedestrian accident in Utah:

1. Do the the right things at the scene of the accident.   

First, stop your vehicle and pull off the road, if possible.  If there are injuries call “911” and get appropriate medical attention to everyone in need as soon as possible. If someone is injured, you must try to obtain help.  If the police are not already involved, they must  be contacted for accidents involving injury, death, or property damage in excess of $1,500.  The police will also help create a Utah accident report, a DI-9. This can be an important document in your case as it can help establish fault and identifies the other parties involved.

After everyone is stabilized, you should exchange information with the other drivers.  Not only is exchanging information the smart thing to do, Utah law requires it.  Make sure you get complete names, addresses, insurance policy information, vehicle registration number, and license plate numbers.  If a law enforcement officer is involved, you can provide the required information directly to the officer instead of sharing it with the others involved in the accident.  If you are injured and not able to complete these tasks, you can postpone them until you are able to do so.

2.  See appropriate health care providers and follow their advice.

If you are injured make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible.  Don’t wait and hope that you feel better.  Sometimes, due to shock, people are unaware of their injuries until hours or days later.  If you wait too long for treatment, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to use that against you.

Make sure you tell your physicians about all of your injuries.  Don’t exaggerate, but don’t downplay or minimize your injuries.  It’s important for your case that your doctor understands and documents all of your injuries and how they are related to your accident.

It is also important to follow the advice of your health care providers.  For example, if they refer you for 8 weeks of physical therapy, do it.  Make sure you follow-up with any specialist referrals or other instructions.  If you are uncomfortable with the advice you are getting from a particular doctor, feel free to seek a second opinion.  Insurance companies and their lawyers will sometimes try to punish you for failing to follow medical advice, so don’t give them that weapon.

3.   Find the right lawyer for your case and follow his or her advice.

It may seem like common sense, but not all Utah personal injury attorneys are the same.  We have varying degrees of experience, skill, time, and commitment to each case.  It’s important that you find the right lawyer for your case.

The “right” attorney for your case cares about your situation, understands it, and has the legal skills and knowledge to give you the best possible chance of a good outcome.  Don’t limit yourself to lawyers who advertise on television and billboards.  Find a Utah lawyer you trust and can communicate well with.  Make sure they have the proper education and experience to handle your case.

You should contact a Utah attorney who specializes in personal injury cases as soon as you can after your accident.  They can help guide you through the critical first stages of your case.

4.   Help document your injuries and damages.

Your attorney can help you do this, but generally you want to document any injuries or damages you have suffered.  Take photographs of your damaged vehicle and any physical injuries you have suffered.  You can retake these as you heal to show the changes.  Document your lost wages with pay-stubs, taxes, or letters from the HR or payroll department of your employer.

As discussed above, help your doctor understand all of your injuries and physical limitations.  This documentation is critical to your case.

5.   Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, so you can make a smart decision about how to proceed.

Every case is different and they all have unique strengths and weaknesses.  Generally, very few cases are cut-and-dry.  For example, even if the “fault” part of your case is clear, there may be disagreements about the extent of your injuries, what caused them, and what type of treatment you will need in the future.

It can be helpful for you to try to understand some of the legal issues and the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  Your attorney should explain these issues to you so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case.

So there it is, a Utah car accident lawyer’s tips on how to maximize your case.  Remember, this list isn’t exhaustive and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in Utah in a car, truck, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, feel free to contact The Faerber Law Firm, PC for a free consultation at (801) 943-1005.

Video: Utah Medical Malpractice Lawyer Discusses Top 5 Signs of Medical Malpractice

 

This video by Utah medical malpractice lawyer Jared Faerber discusses some of the signs or hints that malpractice may have occurred.  Of course, none of these things prove malpractice, but they can be things that warrant further investigation.  If you believe you may have a case, you should consult with experienced Utah medical malpractice lawyers.  Feel free to contact attorney Jared Faerber at The Faerber Law Firm, PC (801) 943-1005 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Utah Lawyer: Top 5 Signs of Medical Malpractice

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You suspect you may have been injured by medical malpractice, but how can you know?  Medicine is complicated and requires years of training and experience to truly understand.  Doctors and nurses are dedicated professionals.  However, even the most careful person can make a mistake.  When those mistakes occur in a medical setting, serious injury or death can result.

As a Utah medical malpractice lawyer, I have noticed certain patterns, or signs, of possible medical malpractice.  These things certainly don’t prove malpractice, but they may indicate the need to explore, usually with an experienced attorney, the possibility of medical malpractice.  Here is the list:

1.   Delayed Diagnosis.  

Was your cancer, heart attack, infection, or other disease not discovered until it was too late to receive effective treatment?  Were your symptoms ignored or attributed to another, less dangerous, disease?  Did the health care provider procrastinate needed tests and procedures without adequate justification?  These types of things may indicate malpractice.

2.  Your Doctor Failed to Order a Common Test or Additional Tests

Some diseases and disorders are treated with a standard series of tests.  Failure to perform these tests may be malpractice and may result in misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.  Sometimes a very simple test can reveal a disease and allow early treatment and even a cure.

3.  You Received the Wrong Medication or the Wrong Dosage

Medication errors are quite common in the health care setting.  Errors can occur by the prescribing physician, at the pharmacy, or at administration in the hospital.  Many medications have similar sounding names and are easy to confuse.  Minor changes can result in massive overdoses with devastating consequences.

4.  Your Condition Does Not Improve

This is probably one of the weaker signs of malpractice on this list because often people fail to get better even in the absence of malpractice.  However, sometimes patients fail to improve because they were misdiagnosed and are receiving the wrong kind of treatment.  The wrong treatment or medication will not only fail to improve your condition, it may also make it worse.

5.   Severe Bed Sores or Pressure Ulcers

Bed sores, also called pressure ulcers or pressure sores, can develop in a hospital or nursing home setting due to prolonged pressure on the skin.  Stage III and Stage IV ulcers can even expose muscle and bone and can become infected.  They are usually preventable with proper care, including positioning and movement.

Of course this list is not comprehensive.  There are numerous other signs and types of medical malpractice.  The only way to know if you have a valid Utah medical malpractice lawsuit is to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.  I’ll be happy to talk to you for free about your concerns at The Faerber Law Firm, P.C.  at (801) 943-1005.

 

Do You Need A Utah Lawyer for a Dog Bite Injury?

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Do You Need A Lawyer?

The decision to hire a Utah personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one have been injured by a dog is an important one.  Failure to hire an attorney can result in not receiving the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical needs.  Even if you are not sure if you need an attorney, it is always wise to at least consult with an experienced Utah attorney to evaluate your options.  Most attorneys that do this type of work will talk to you for free.  If they do take your case, most will accept these types of cases on a contingency basis.  This means you pay nothing up front and only pay the attorney if you receive money on your case.  The attorney’s fee is generally a percentage of the recovery.

While every case is different, and no reputable and experienced attorney would guarantee specific results, people with lawyers generally receive much larger settlements than those without.  This is even taking into account attorneys fees.  Often, an attorney is required to evaluate the merits of your case, assess a fair value, and put appropriate legal pressure on the insurance company to pay what is fair.  Litigation (filing a lawsuit) is sometimes, but not always, necessary.  A lawyer can walk you through this often complicated process.

How Do You Choose the Right Injury Lawyer?

First and foremost, you want an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in Utah personal injury law.  Where did they attend law school?  How long have they been practicing law?  Have they successfully handled similar cases?  These are the types of questions you should ask.

In addition, you want an attorney who is available and willing to answer your questions.  You want an attorney you get along with and trust.  You want to be assured that your claim will be personally handled by a lawyer and not a paralegal in the firm.  Often the only way to determine these things is to meet with the attorney in person.

Many Utah dog bite lawyers will meet with you and talk to you for free.  This is an ideal time to get a sense for the attorney and decide if you think you could work well together.

Finally, don’t simply rely on advertising to make your decision.  Attorneys who advertise extensively are not necessarily better than those who don’t.  Having commercials and billboards does not necessarily mean that attorney will give your case the personal time and attention it deserves, nor does it mean that attorney is “successful.”

If you or a loved one have been attacked and injured by a dog in Utah, please feel free to contact Utah injury attorney Jared Faerber at the Faerber Law Firm, PC (801) 943-1005, for a free, no obligation, consultation to see if he is the right attorney for your case.

Misdiagnosis is the Most Common Type of Medical Malpractice

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New research has confirmed what I have observed in my nearly 15 years as a Utah medical malpractice attorney:  diagnostic errors are a common, and often deadly, form of medical malpractice.  A misdiagnosis can occur when the health care provider reaches  the wrong diagnoses or reaches the correct diagnosis, but too late.  Examples include failing to diagnose certain forms of cancer until they are too advanced, failing to correctly diagnose a heart attack or stroke, or mistaking a deadly illness with something harmless.

Dr. David Newman-Toker and colleagues reviewed 25 years of medical malpractice payouts and published the results of their findings in the medical journal BMJ Quality and Safety.  They found that diagnostic errors cost $38.8 billion in malpractice claim payouts between 1986 and 2010, and they were the most likely type of error to result in death or disability.  These types of errors created larger damages than medication errors and surgical errors.  It is likely that misdiagnosis is an equally serious source of medical malpractice in Utah as it is in the rest of the United States.

The question for the health care system is how can we reduce these types of errors?  In my experience as a medical malpractice lawyer, diagnostic errors are often the result of poorly coordinated care.  Sometimes physicians and hospitals fail to communicate accurately with each other and coordinate their care with each other.  Providers sometimes fail to take the time to carefully question their patients about past care and tests.  Diagnostic errors can also arise when providers fail to see the big picture and focus only on one or two symptoms.  Errors by one physician are relied upon by others thus lengthening the failure to diagnose.

While controversial, it would be beneficial if hospitals and physicians would track and disclose their misdiagnoses.  That way, others could study these mistakes and learn to avoid them.  Patterns could be recognized and additional resources could be directed to avoid common diagnostic errors.

Of course, these remedies do nothing to help those who have already been victimized by a misdiagnosis in Utah and around the country.  If you or a loved one has been injured due to a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, I would be happy to discuss your situation for free.  Please contact me at The Faerber Law Firm, PC at (801) 943-1005.

 

 

 

 

 

The high cost of cancer medications is out of control – Cancer victims are victimized twice.

As highlighted in a recent 60 Minutes piece, the high cost of medications for cancer victims is out of control.  The shock and anxiety of a cancer diagnoses is often followed by a second jolt: the high cost of medications to treat the cancer.

As Lesley Stahl reported, many new cancer drugs cost well over $100,000.00 per year.  What if your cancer was the result of medical malpractice in Utah?  What if your, or a loved one’s, cancer could have been diagnosed and cured earlier, but was not due to medical malpractice?  Not only do you have to deal with the pain and difficulties of cancer, but you must deal with the financial hardships.

The term “financial toxicity” is beginning to show up in the literature to describe the dangerous economic effects of the high cost of cancer medications.  One troubling example is the medication Zaltrap used for treating advanced colon cancer.  This medication costs approximately $11,000.00 per month, roughly twice that of a comparable drug Avastin.  Zaltrap, however, is no more effective than Avastin.

Cancer victims are in a vulnerable position due to their health status.  They are in a position of needing these medications to live.  Many professionals believe the industry practice of charging exorbitant prices is immoral.

If you, or a loved one, are a victim of delayed or misdiagnosed cancer in Utah, you may have a claim for medical malpractice against those responsible.  You may be able to recover compensation to help pay for necessary cancer medications and other healthcare.  I’ve helped many victims of cancer misdiagnoses malpractice in Utah and would be happy to discuss your potential case with you for free.  Please contact Jared Faerber at The Faerber Law Firm, P.C. at (801) 943-1005 today for a frank, no-obligation discussion of your options.

 

What makes a good car accident injury case in Utah?

To prevail in any personal injury claim in Utah, the injured party must generally prove three things: 1) negligence; 2) causation; and 3) damages.  Each of these elements must be proven for an injured party to win their claim.  If any element is missing, the plaintiff will not recover.

What is negligence?

Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care to prevent harming others.  It is acting carelessly.  Excessive speed, failure to yield the right-of-way, and inattention are just some examples of negligence on the roadway.

What is causation? 

Causation in this context simply means the negligence (or carelessness) of the defendant caused the injury or injuries involved.  This sounds simple, but can become complicated when the injured party has prior injuries, or the accident was such that establishing a connection between the accident and the injury becomes difficult.  Generally, the treating physician is in the best position to document causation.  Experts, however, are sometimes employed to establish this critical element.

Damages

Finally, the Plaintiff must show damages.  Personal injury damages in Utah include both economic and non-economic (or general damages).  Economic damages are those that can be specifically measured such as past and future lost wages, past and future medical expenses, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Non-economic damages, or general damages, are harder to measure.  However, they are equally important and justified for Utah car accident victims.  They include monetary compensation for pain and suffering, and the loss of enjoyment and life.  These types of damages can be a very significant portion of any claim.

What is my car accident case worth? 

I’m often asked this question by clients.  It depends on several factors including the strength of the liability, the medical expenses involved, the degree of pain and suffering, insurance coverage, and many other factors.  Each case is different and values vary greatly from state to state and case to case.  It generally requires an experienced attorney to properly evaluate your claim.

Over the course of my legal career, I have evaluated hundreds of personal injury claims in Utah involving car accidents, bicycle accidents, large truck accidents, and other types of injuries.  If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident, I would be happy to provide a no-obligation, free consultation regarding your case.  Please contact me at The Faerber Law Firm at (801) 943-1005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources of Insurance Coverage for Injuries Involving Cars in Utah

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As you are probably aware, Utah law requires you to buy liability insurance on your vehicle.  What many people are not aware of, however, is that this auto insurance usually also includes uninsured and underinsured coverage.  These important coverages apply when you or another covered person (such as a household member) are injured by a vehicle with inadequate insurance coverage or no insurance coverage at all.

Uninsured and underinsured coverages often apply even if you, or a loved one, are not even in your vehicle.  The coverage may apply when you are bicycling, jogging, or walking.  The triggering event is being injured by another vehicle.  Utahns are often unaware of this important insurance.

There are important steps that must be taken to secure and obtain this coverage.  The specific steps necessary depend on your situation and are beyond the scope of this article.  In addition, there may be additional sources of insurance coverage for your Utah pedestrian/ automobile accident or bicycle/ automobile accident.  That’s why it’s important to consult with an experienced Utah automobile accident attorney as soon as possible.  At the Faerber Law Firm, PC, we have helped many people obtain appropriate recovery in these situations.  Feel free to call Utah car accident attorney Jared Faerber today at (801)943-1005 for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.

Please note that this article is intended only to be a brief introduction to the topic and is in no way exhaustive.  The actual statutes can be found here:

http://le.utah.gov/code/TITLE31A/htm/31A22_030500.htm

Utah medication errors are a common form of medical malpractice

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Medication errors are among the most common medical errors, harming at least 1.5 million people every year, according to a recent report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The extra medical costs of treating drug-related injuries occurring in hospitals alone conservatively amount to $3.5 billion a year.

Errors are common at every stage, from prescription and administration of a drug to monitoring of the patient’s response.  These errors occur at the pharmacy level, at hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. It estimated that there is at least one medication error per hospital patient per day, although error rates vary widely across facilities. Not all errors lead to injury or death, but the number of preventable injuries that do occur is troubling.

New computerized systems for prescribing drugs and other applications of information technology show promise for reducing the number of drug-related mistakes. Studies indicate that paper-based prescribing is associated with high error rates. Electronic prescribing is safer because it eliminates problems with handwriting legibility and can automatically alert prescribers to possible interactions, allergies, and other potential problems. Many providers have already switched over to electronic systems.

Confusion caused by similar drug names accounts for up to 25 percent of all errors reported to the Medication Error Reporting Program http://www.usp.org/hqi/patientSafety/mer operated cooperatively by U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). In addition, labeling and packaging issues were cited as the cause of 33 percent of errors, including 30 percent of fatalities, reported to the program. If you or someone you know has been injured by a medication or pharmacy error, contact experienced Utah medical malpractice lawyer Jared Faerber today at The Faerber Law Firm (801) 943-1005 for a free, no obligation consultation.