Tulsa Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical Malpractice & Negligence in Oklahoma
When you visit the doctor or go to the emergency room, you expect to receive the highest level of attention and care. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Far too often, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other medical providers fail to provide patients with even an acceptable standard of care, leading to serious complications, catastrophic injuries, and death.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a trusted medical provider’s negligence, you could be entitled to financial compensation. While no amount of compensation can undo the pain and suffering you have been through, a fair settlement or verdict can allow you to manage unexpected medical expenses, lost income, and other hardships caused by your injuries or loved one’s death.
Since 1983, Brewster & De Angelis has been fighting on behalf of medical malpractice victims in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and statewide. We have successfully recovered significant results in high-profile cases involving diagnostic errors, birth injuries, pharmaceutical liability, surgical errors, and more. When you need a medical malpractice lawyer, turn to the decades of experience at Brewster & De Angelis.
On This Page:
- What is Medical Malpractice?
- What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice?
- How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice?
- What Are the Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases?
- What Are the Signs of Medical Malpractice?
- How Can I Find a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
- When Is the Hospital Responsible for My Oklahoma Medical Malpractice Injury?
- How Long Do You Have to File?
If you believe your injuries or your loved one’s death was the result of a preventable medical error, call (918) 265-1214 for a free consultation with our Tulsa medical malpractice attorneys.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, surgeon, hospital, or similar medical professional or facility fails to uphold what is known as the “standard of care.” The standard of care is the level of care a patient can reasonably expect from any qualified medical provider in the specific circumstances. For example, someone who visits the doctor with a skin rash can reasonably expect the doctor to examine the rash, provide an accurate diagnosis, and prescribe medication (if necessary). If the doctor cannot identify the rash, the patient can expect to be referred to a specialist, such as a dermatologist.
Similarly, if someone goes to the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack, they can reasonably expect to receive prompt treatment, as well as various diagnostic tests to confirm the heart attack before receiving care.
When medical providers fail to uphold the standard of care, patients can suffer serious health complications or injuries. Sometimes, substandard medical care and preventable medical errors can even lead to death. It is important to note, however, that merely seeing a doctor and failing to get better (or even having your condition worsen) is not necessarily a sign of malpractice. Instead, you must prove that the doctor failed to act in a way that another qualified medical professional would have in the same or similar circumstances.
Some of the most common examples of medical malpractice, negligence, and preventable errors include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries
- Emergency room errors
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Hospital negligence
- Laboratory errors
- Medication errors
- Misanalysis of lab/test results
- Pharmacy negligence
- Poor aftercare or follow-up care
- Premature discharge
- Surgical errors
- Diagnostic errors, such as misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose
At Brewster & De Angelis, our Tulsa medical malpractice attorneys have represented victims of all types of medical negligence, as well as the families of those who tragically passed away due to preventable medical errors. If you believe that you or someone you love suffered because of a medical provider’s error or negligence, reach out to our firm right away to learn how we can help.
Proving a medical malpractice case can be extremely difficult without the help of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. These cases are notoriously complex and often require the testimony of expert witnesses, as well as extensive supporting evidence.
To prove a medical malpractice case, there are several elements that you, as the plaintiff, must prove. These elements include:
- Duty of Care: You must establish that the medical provider had a duty to provide care. Typically, this is done by proving the existence of a “doctor-patient” relationship.
- Standard of Care: You must also establish the standard of care in the given circumstances. This is often done through the use of expert witness testimony.
- Breach of the Standard of Care: You will need to prove that the medical provider breached the accepted standard of care, whether through preventable error, negligence, or misconduct.
- Injury: You must prove that you were injured or suffered measurable harm. Even if the medical provider breached the standard of care, you do not have a case unless you were harmed.
- Causation: Lastly, you must prove that the breach of the standard of care was the cause of your injuries/damages. This can be difficult to prove, depending on the specifics of your case.
At Brewster & De Angelis, we believe in a collaborative approach to litigation, one that utilizes the unique experience and skills of each individual attorney. Each of our clients receives access to the full resources of our firm, as well as the direct and personalized attention of a knowledgeable, compassionate, and respected legal team.
When you file a medical malpractice claim, you can seek compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income/wages
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Future medical care costs and lost earnings
- Miscellaneous expenses associated with your injuries
- Funeral/burial costs
- Loss of a loved one’s support
- Loss of a loved one’s guidance, counsel, love, etc.
Oklahoma is one of several states that have a cap, or limit, on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. Non-economic damages are those that do not have a set monetary value, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
The signs of medical malpractice can be difficult to identify on your own. If you or a loved one has suffered due to a medical provider’s negligence or preventable error, it is important to seek experienced medical malpractice attorneys right away. Some of the signs that may indicate medical malpractice include:
- You were given an incorrect diagnosis or no diagnosis at all
- Your doctor failed to inform you of risks associated with a procedure
- Your doctor failed to follow information from another healthcare provider
- A surgical instrument was left in your body after surgery
- You have suffered complications not listed as possible side effects for a medication or procedure
- You underwent the wrong procedure entirely
How to find a medical malpractice attorney is a process that will vary depending on your individual situation. However, there are a few steps you can take to ensure you find the best attorney for your case.
First, be sure to research all of your options thoroughly. Look for attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice law and have experience handling cases similar to yours. Reviews from previous clients are a great way to get an idea of how knowledgeable and successful they may be in handling your case.
Second, consider interviewing several Tulsa medical malpractice lawyers before making a decision. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your case directly with each lawyer, learn more about their qualifications and background, and get an idea of how confident they feel about taking on your case and obtaining fair compensation for you.
Under Oklahoma law, hospitals have a legal responsibility to provide medical care that meets an acceptable standard of care. If the hospital fails to uphold this standard and you suffer an injury or illness as a result, then you may be able to pursue compensation for your resulting damages through a medical malpractice claim.
The most common situation in which a hospital could potentially be held liable for medical malpractice is when the negligence of any number of its employees or staff led directly to your injury or illness. These employees may include:
- Certified nurse assistants
- Medical technicians
- Hospital administrators
- Hospital staff and personnel
In general, hospitals cannot be held liable for the actions of their independent contractors. In many cases, doctors are independent contractors and not hospital employees. However, if the hospital should have known that a doctor at their facility was unfit to treat patients, then the hospital could be considered liable for any harm that doctor causes.
In the instance that a doctor is a hospital employee, then the hospital may be held responsible for that doctor's medical negligence. This includes medical errors such as:
- Failing to properly diagnose and treat an illness,
- Issuing improper medications,
- Failing to maintain appropriate hygiene standards,
- Not responding promptly and appropriately during an emergency situation, or
- Not providing adequate aftercare.
The circumstances under which a hospital may be sued for medical malpractice are complex and confusing. Consulting a medical malpractice law firm can help ensure that you understand your rights, and help you hold the proper parties liable for you injury or illness.
You Only Have Two Years to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The statute of limitations, or filing deadline, for medical malpractice lawsuits in Oklahoma is two years from the date of injury or the date on which the injury was discovered/reasonably could have been discovered. It is important that you do not wait until it is too late; if the statute of limitations expires, you will almost certainly lose your right to sue for damages.
Get in touch with our Tulsa medical malpractice lawyers right away to learn how we can help you fight for the justice you deserve. For over forty years, we have successfully represented individuals and families throughout Oklahoma in complex, high-profile medical malpractice and negligence cases. Our team is ready to fight for you.
Available & Responsive
The attorneys at Brewster & De Angelis are always available to provide you with updates and answer questions regarding your case. At the end of the day, we work for you and pride ourselves on being available regardless of the situation.
Focused On Your Best Interests
When going through a legal matter, things can seem scary and uncontrollable. Our team works to refine the legal process in order to ensure you not only understand exactly what is going on, but also that your goals and interests are taken into account with every decision.
Collaborative Legal Strategies
Unlike other law firms, we handle a small number of cases so that our team can focus on getting you results. When it is time to get ready for trial, you can be assured that our full team of litigators has convened to get you the best possible outcome.
Dedicated & Trusted Counsel
At Brewster & De Angelis we have the top litigators in Tulsa, Oklahoma and we have been serving our community for over forty years, giving us the tools and knowledge to aggressively and effectively handle your case.