Medical Malpractice

General Medical Negligence

When you or someone you care about suffers an injury during or as the result of medical treatment, the question of whether the injury gives rise to a legal claim can be a difficult one. At Burg Simpson, we’re here to help you find the answer.

If you believe that you were injured as a result of a healthcare provider’s general medical negligence, please call us to discuss your situation. We’re here to help. There is never a charge for an initial consultation.

Over half of all medication errors result in serious illness or death. About 1.3 million Americans suffer injuries due to medication errors each year. Medication errors are also referred to as "adverse drug events" (ADEs).

COMMON MEDICATION ERRORS INCLUDE:

  • Administration of the wrong medication
  • Administration to the wrong patient
  • Incorrect dose
  • Medication inappropriate for condition
  • Medication inappropriate for patient based on medical history
  • Multiple prescriptions given in inappropriate combinations
  • Emergency rooms administering pain medication to intoxicated patients
  • Administration of experimental drugs without patient consent

The risk of ADEs affects nearly everyone. Eighty percent of Americans take prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, or supplements on a daily basis, and 30% take at least five different medications. It is easy to assume that people are more likely to make mistakes taking medications at home, expecting hospitals and their staff to exhibit a professional standard of care. The reality is that hospitalized patients can expect to experience at least one medication error every day. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), at least 400,000 preventable drug-related injuries occur in hospitals each year. About twice as many occur in long-term care settings. Overall, medication errors cause 7,000 deaths annually.

These can be many and far-ranging, but include:

  • Condition is not improved
  • Condition is worsened
  • Delayed recovery and/or extended hospital stay
  • Allergic reactions
  • Digestive problems
  • Seizures
  • Brain injury
  • Paralysis
  • Unexpected temporary mental or physical impairment
  • Overdose
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Heart attack
  • Permanent disability
  • Death

Causes of medication errors are potentially limitless, but some common ones are:

  • Poor labeling and packaging of medications
  • Poor handwriting
  • Failure to fully review patient’s medical records for drug allergies
  • Failure to fully review patient’s medical records for other prescriptions
  • Failure to adjust doses according to health changes in patient
  • Inadequate warnings provided by drug manufacturers

Because medication errors can occur in so many ways, it may be difficult to determine who is responsible. For instance, a doctor may have made an error in prescribing, or the prescription may have been correct, but administered improperly, or a drug may lack the proper warnings to alert health care professionals and patients to unique dangers. These are just a few reasons that it can be difficult to determine who is at fault.

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Hospital staff
  • Emergency room staff
  • Nursing home staff
  • Pharmacists
  • Drug manufacturers

Medication errors do not always have an outcome resulting in harm, but they can very easily result in serious injury or death. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a medication error, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss including:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Rehabilitation
  • Special education needs
  • Long-term care
  • Current and future loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Burial expenses

Sometimes a piece of medical equipment, such as a tube, sponge, or surgical needle is left unintentionally in a patient’s body after surgery. When a surgeon or medical professional leaves behind retained foreign bodies, also called retained surgical items, the patient is at a great risk for infection, illness, organ damage, and even death. Although medical professionals usually take great pains to eliminate the risk of retained foreign bodies, this safety measure can sometimes go overlooked.

The failure to remove a surgical instrument or other object after surgery is a serious event. The patient will almost always have to undergo another invasive surgery, with its own additional set of possible complications, in order to remove the retained foreign body.

Proper diagnosis is fundamental to the practice of medicine. Researchers at Johns Hopkins studied 25 years of malpractice claims and found that diagnostic errors accounted for the most amount of claims and severest harms to patients. The study revealed that diagnostic errors may be the biggest patient safety problem in the United States. Most troublingly, diagnostic problems are often unrecognized, downplayed, or ignored.

Many medical conditions are treatable if they are properly diagnosed and treated in the early stages of the illness. Medical professionals, however, will sometimes either miss or give the wrong diagnosis, and this unnecessary delay can cause severe injury to someone with a serious medical condition. A delayed diagnosis can have a direct impact on a patient’s recovery and survival. The consequences can range from reducing life expectancy to paralysis to death.

Burg Simpson Attorneys Featured on the Cover of The Best Lawyers in America 2017®

 February 24, 2017

Burg Simpson Attorneys Featured on the Cover of The Best Lawyers in America 2017®

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine attorneys were featured today on the cover of The Best Lawyers in America 2017®, a supplement issued in the Denver Post and Wall Street Journal. The publication also includes an article featuring founding shareholder Michael S. Burg. 20 lawyers from Burg Simpson were listed in The Best Lawyers in… Read more »

The Trial Lawyer Magazine honors Michael Burg; firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine

 February 6, 2017

The Trial Lawyer Magazine honors Michael Burg; firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine

Michael S. Burg Named One of America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine Named One of America’s 25 Most Influential Law Firms The Trial Lawyer magazine honorees to be celebrated at The National Trial Lawyers’ annual summit Denver, CO – Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, PC is proud to… Read more »

7 Burg Simpson Shareholders Named to 2017 Top Lawyers List

 January 23, 2017

7 Burg Simpson Shareholders Named to 2017 Top Lawyers List

Denver, Colorado – Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is pleased to announce that seven shareholders have recently been named to 5280 Magazine’s 2017 Top Lawyers list. Founded in 1993, 5280 is the largest local magazine in Colorado. The Burg Simpson attorneys selected for inclusion in 5280 Top Lawyers are: Michael S. Burg –… Read more »

2016: Another Year Burg Simpson Changed Lives

 December 8, 2016

2016: Another Year Burg Simpson Changed Lives

The Burg Simpson attorneys had another outstanding year changing the lives of those they represent. The firm’s ability to properly value cases—whether personal injury, medical malpractice, construction defect, or mass tort—and fight tirelessly as a cohesive team to obtain the compensation its clients deserve sets Burg Simpson apart. Here is just a small sample of… Read more »

Fatal Post-Surgical Heart Attacks and Malpractice

 March 16, 2016

Fatal Post-Surgical Heart Attacks and Malpractice

For most patients undergoing surgery, issues related to infections or anesthesia-related complications dominate their concerns about the procedure itself and their recovery period. Many people don’t know that heart attacks can pose a significant risk to recovery. Millions of victims worldwide suffering cardiac arrest after surgery each year. Frighteningly, 10% of these patients perish within… Read more »

Malpractice Victims Must Overcome ‘Culture of Secrecy’

 March 9, 2016

Malpractice Victims Must Overcome ‘Culture of Secrecy’

Regardless of the amount of faith many Americans want to place in their doctors, the fact remains that physicians are capable of mistakes. Some of these mistakes can unfortunately result in serious injuries and even death. While some of these mistakes are allegedly “unavoidable,” a news investigative report suggests that the damage caused by such… Read more »

 February 9, 2016

Survey Indicates Doctors Often Blame Victims for Malpractice Suits

In 1971, leading sociologist William Ryan published his landmark work, Blaming the Victim, in which he identified a phenomenon in which perpetrators of harm justify their actions by pointing the finger at their victims. While Ryan’s work focused on ethnic minorities and the attempts of his colleagues to pin the blame for their plight on… Read more »

Diagnostic Errors: A Major Source of Malpractice Death and Injuries

 October 20, 2015

Diagnostic Errors: A Major Source of Malpractice Death and Injuries

A recently released report from the Institute of Medicine, entitled “Improving Diagnosis in Health Care,” provides some sobering information, concluding that there is a dire need for “widespread changes in health care to improve diagnoses.” Among the report’s more alarming findings, is the pronouncement that nearly every American will experience a diagnostic error at some… Read more »

Ring of Fire: Even Republicans Are Disgusted by The Republican Party

 May 3, 2016

Ring of Fire: Even Republicans Are Disgusted by The Republican Party

A Ring of Fire first! Host Farron Cousins talks to former Senator Alan Simpson in a unique opportunity on Ring of Fire to speak with a Republican about the current state of the Republican Party.

CBS 4: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

 April 28, 2016

CBS 4: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

CBS 4 in Denver highlights Burg Simpson attorney Michael S. Burg’s induction into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Radio 850KOA: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

 April 28, 2016

Radio 850KOA: Michael Burg Inducted to Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

Denver’s Radio 850KOA ran a news story about Michael Burg’s induction into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.

Burg Simpson Legal Minute: Civil Justice System

 April 21, 2016

Burg Simpson Legal Minute: Civil Justice System

Burg Simpson shareholder Calvin Tregre Jr. examines changes to the civil justice system, where limitations have been placed on monetary awards to seriously injured victims of corporate negligence. Are you protected?

Trial Talk magazine

 November 18, 2015

Trial Talk: Cross Appeal? Now What?

Burg Simpson Attorney and Shareholder Diane Vaksdal Smith’s article, published in CTLA’s Trial Talk, April/May 2015, addresses specifics of appellate practice and procedure. Download full article PDF

Net Neutrality

 November 18, 2015

Net Neutrality: A Panel Discussion

Rick D. Bailey contributes his opinion on Net Neutrality in this panel article published in Best Lawyers® Business Edition, Summer, 2015. Download full article PDF

The Trial Lawyer Magazine

 November 18, 2015

Homebuilders v. Homeowners

Threats to Shift an Already Tilted Playing Field More in Favor of Homebuilders Burg Simpson attorneys Jennifer A. Seidman and Ronald M. Sandgrund examine what could happen if lawmakers allow builders to take advantage of and mischaracterize the causes of the Great Recession’s lingering effects, and the facts regarding the real causes of the decline… Read more »

Rick Bailey - Hearing and Mishearing

 November 18, 2015

Hearing and Mishearing: Psychoanalytic Observations on the Attorney-Client Relationship

Trial lawyer Rick D. Bailey co-authored this white paper with David Stevens, a practicing psychoanalyst/clinical psychologist and associate professor at the university of Colorado Health Sciences Center. They address the attorney-client relationship throught the lens of psychoanalysis and cognitive neuroscience. Download full article PDF

Top 100 National Trial Lawyers Legal 500 Best Lawyers in America Super Lawyers US News 2014 US News 2014 Plantiffs Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers