$48.5 MILLION

Truck Accident Multimillion-Dollar Settlement.

"M.A.," a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico. Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The McNeely Stephenson firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased.

our client results

Emergency rooms are often scenes of chaos, with crowded waiting rooms and frantically scurrying medical personnel. No one wants to be in the position of having to go to the emergency room, but surveys in 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control showed that 20 percent of American adults ages 18-64 said they had been to an emergency room for health care at least once during the preceding 12 months.

Not only are emergency departments a common destination for those who have been injured or suddenly become ill, they are a common site of medical errors and negligence. A mistake in the emergency room can lead to a patient’s symptoms becoming more acute, development of a more serious condition, or even death.

Indiana malpractice attorney Mike Stephenson has experience representing the interests of patients harmed by medical malpractice in an emergency room, hospital, urgent treatment center, or physician’s office. He has been successfully litigating personal injury cases since 1982. Call him at 1-855-206-2555 if you or someone you love has been the victim of a medical error.

What types of mistakes are made in emergency care?

Emergency department errors usually fall into one of the following categories:

Misdiagnosis. According to some estimates, emergency room diagnostic errors account for 37 to 55 percent of medical malpractice lawsuits. If emergency room doctors or nurses are too hurried, they may not take enough time or ask enough questions to make an accurate diagnosis. Heart attacks are among the most commonly missed diagnoses, often being mistaken for heartburn or acid reflux. Strokes are often initially misdiagnosed when the patient is younger, not elderly. Sometimes misdiagnoses are made because the symptoms are common to more than one condition. Meningitis and appendicitis are among the most-often missed diagnoses because emergency room personnel fail to differentiate them from other similar illnesses.

Miscommunication. Communication errors in the emergency room can have serious consequences. They can occur when medical personnel fail to obtain a thorough history on the patient or to ask critical questions about a patient’s medications so that a drug interaction may be avoided. Clear communication between doctors, nurses and lab clinicians is also essential for the delivery of safe and effective medical care. One study determined that a minimum of 19 complex communication events occur per patient in the ED, with the number rising in relation to the complexity of the case. Because there is so much going on in the typical emergency room, interruptions are frequent and medical personnel are attempting to manage information on several patients at one time, threatening the safety of the people in their care.

Testing errors. The usual protocol in an emergency department is to order a battery of tests to aid in making a correct diagnosis. Sometimes, however, the ER doctor fails to order a test which could have yielded critical information, whether a blood screening, X-ray, MRI scan, or EKG. Just as disastrous is the misinterpretation of lab tests, which can lead to improper treatment.

How common is ER malpractice?

According to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), over 100,000 people die each year due to medical malpractice and nearly half of these are from emergency room errors. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “adverse events” related to ED care occurred in 9% of the cases and more than half of them were deemed preventable.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Turn to Indianapolis Attorneys McNeely Stephenson

Even acknowledging the fast pace of the emergency room environment, there is no excuse for a patient’s being harmed by a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis because of errors made by emergency department staff or laboratory technicians. When a patient is the victim of shoddy medical treatment, a malpractice lawsuit can hold the negligent person or facility responsible.

McNeely Stephenson can help you recover compensation that will help you get back on your feet following an adverse event in an emergency room. When others breach their duty, we keep ours. Call McNeely Stephenson at 855-206-2555, or use the convenient online contact form.

Updates
Personal Injury Lawyer
November 12, 2018 / Distracted Driving, Motorcycle Accidents
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Indiana saw the nation’s steepest spike in motorcycle-related deaths between 2016 and 2017. Early indications appear to point toward another increase in deaths among motorcyclists in the state. According to Will Wingfield of the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, “That’s something we don’t want to see.” Wingfield suggests that the increase in motorcycle deaths can be traced to an increase in the number of inexperienced drivers and a...

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.

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The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.

AWARDED. CREDENTIALED. PROVEN.

Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states