Honolulu Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Serving All Hawaiian Islands
Medical malpractice, also known as medical negligence or preventable medical
error, means a health care provider caused an injury or death to a patient
by failing to follow the standard of care. According to a recent study
of medical malpractice in the United States, medical errors are the third-leading
cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer.
Every medical procedure carries an element of risk and a positive outcome
cannot ever be guaranteed. But if you or your loved one suffered an unexpected
outcome while receiving medical treatment, you will naturally want answers.
You may suspect improper treatment, but your doctor and hospital are unlikely
to admit to you that they made an error.
To find out what really happened, you will need an independent investigation
of the medical care provided to you or your loved one. The lawyers of
Leavitt Yamane & Soldner provide this legal assistance to residents
of Hawaii who have questions about the medical care they have received.
If you have questions about a course of medical treatment that you believe
led to serious harm, contact us to discuss your case in a free and
today: (808) 518-2120
Medical Malpractice is a Common Error in the U.S.
You or a loved one may be one of the thousands of Americans each year who
are harmed by a preventable error by a doctor or other health care professional.
The statistics surrounding medical malpractice in the United States are
- Data reported by the Journal of Patient Safety in 2013 indicated that between
210,000 and 440,000 patients suffer some type of preventable harm every
year that contributes to their death when they go to the hospital for
- A survey of hospital attending doctors published in JAMA Internal Medicine
revealed that 40 percent of physicians reported that their typical inpatient
census exceeded safe levels, with 36 percent saying it happens more than
once per week. More than 20 percent reported that their average workload
likely contributed to patient transfers, disease, and even fatalities.
- A 2012 study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said
the emergency department is the hospital location with the highest rate
of negligent adverse events (52.6 percent).
- Diagnostic errors such as missed diagnoses or delayed diagnoses account
for the largest portion of medical malpractice claims and the most severe
patient harm, according to a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
review of 25 years in malpractice claims. Diagnostic errors result in
death or disability almost twice as often as other types of errors and
are most often due to missed diagnoses.
- The review also revealed that as many as 40,500 critically ill patients
in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) in the country may die annually
because clinicians fail to diagnose hidden life-threatening conditions
such as stroke and heart attack.
- Incidents of instruments or materials being left in a patient's body
happen once in every 5,500 to 7,000 surgeries, according to the National
Center for Health Statistics. A typical hospital has two of these incidents
If you or a loved one were a patient who suffered because of a preventable
error made by a physician, surgeon, nurse, physicians' assistant,
nursing assistant, lab technician, hospital, or ambulatory surgery center,
how would you know? Some medical errors are obvious, such as a wrong-site
surgery or an instrument accidentally left in a patient's body that
shows up on an x-ray. But many medical errors are not apparent unless
you have medical training and know what should have been done in similar
circumstances. How could you possibly know the hospital's practice
of understaffing and working physicians for overly-long shifts contributed
to the medical error that harmed you?
If you are to ever know what really happened, you will need the assistance
of an experienced Honolulu medical malpractice lawyer who can call upon
independent medical experts to review your medical records and determine
whether the treatment you received included a preventable medical error
that amounts to malpractice.
Benefit from the Knowledge of Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Our medical malpractice attorneys at Leavitt Yamane & Soldner can assist
you and your family if you suspect that someone you love may have been
significantly harmed by medical error or negligence, including:
- Emergency room error
- Diagnostic error
- Surgical negligence
- Anesthesia malpractice
- Medication / Pharmaceutical error
- Birth injury
- Laboratory error
- Hospital malpractice (faulty policies or practices)
Our attorneys are also familiar with the Hawaii health care profession
and insurance companies. In the event you have been the victim of medical
negligence in Hawaii, it is important that you are aware of the protection
that the law offers you and your loved ones, as well as its drawbacks.
What Happens Next?
Medical malpractice claims are technical cases that require a substantial
amount of time and expertise to prepare. These cases are complicated by
strict statutes of limitations, which is two years in Hawaii and begins
to run the moment the person discovers or should have discovered the negligent
act (or error), the damage (injury), and the causal connection between
act and injury.
If you are to pursue a medical malpractice claim with the assistance of
Leavitt Yamane & Soldner, or any reputable law firm, it will generally
require these steps to move forward:
Initial legal consultation - A lawyer experienced with medical malpractice lawsuits in Hawaii will
review the circumstances of your case with you as well as your legal options
and the steps to take. This is a free and confidential legal consultation.
Obtain your medical records - This requires a formal, written request by you to the medical institution(s)
where you were treated. Medical records are voluminous and your hospital,
surgeon, and physician's office may outsource storage, by compiling,
copying, and shipping their medical records, so it may take weeks to obtain them.
Analyze medical records - Once your attorney has your medical records, he or she can send copies
to consulting medical experts for review and recommendation. They may
be sent to a generalist at first and, if that doctor has cause to suspect
medical error, sent for a more specific evaluation by one or more specialists.
Determine appropriateness of a malpractice claim - Based on our medical experts' opinions and our legal experience,
we will advise you about the probability of a medical malpractice claim
based on your case succeeding. It is unfortunate, but in some cases of
what we believe is an identifiable medical error, pursuing a claim cannot
be recommended. To move forward, the expected compensation to be derived
from a lawsuit must be more than the anticipated costs of a claim and
provide a payment to you to make the time and effort worthwhile.
Prepare and file the lawsuit - If we decide together that your case can be successful and you are prepared
to proceed, we will draft and file a lawsuit on your behalf. It will explain
your complaint and the evidence of the health care provider's negligence,
and request compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and
suffering, and other losses. Preparing the lawsuit will include obtaining
depositions, which are sworn statements by you and all others connected
to the case. Both your lawyers and the defendant's attorneys will
be allowed to depose each party to the lawsuit.
Once a lawsuit is filed, we will negotiate with the defendant's lawyers
and insurers to settle. Most medical malpractice cases conclude in a negotiated
settlement, which provides an immediate payment to the plaintiff and ends
the case. We will advise you of any settlement offer we receive and whether
we believe you should accept it, but the final decision is yours. A settlement
may be made and accepted at any time before a jury returns a decision
in the case.
If we cannot obtain a settlement that is agreeable to you, your case will
go to court with the legal team of Leavitt Yamane & Soldner fighting
hard for you.
Contact Our Experienced Hawaii Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If you have been the victim of medical negligence in Honolulu or elsewhere
in the islands, we believe that the health care provider should be held
accountable for the harm they have caused. Aside from the financial burdens
that may result, the emotional strain on you and your loved ones cannot
and should not be overlooked. You deserve compensation.
Our skilled and experienced Honolulu medical malpractice attorneys of Leavitt
Yamane & Soldner successfully represent families wrongly injured by
medical negligence. Contact us today for a compassionate and confidential
discussion of your case and the legal options available to you and your family.
For more information, please give our firm a call as soon as possible.