Drunk Doctors and Damages for Botched Procedures

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Doctors are among the most trusted professionals in our lives. When you are wheeled into the emergency room for surgery you are literally placing your life in the doctor’s hands. You are placing your trust in the knowledge, skill and acumen in those hands. Never would you think that those hands might be shaky because the doctor had been drinking too much before coming on shift.

But it happens. People are harmed at the hands of grossly negligent doctors who come to work drunk or hung over and put their patients’ lives at risk.

Amanda Powley was injured by her neurosurgeon, Dr. James Kaufman, who showed up drunk to operate on her spine. He operated on the wrong part of her spine and then never informed her of the error. After the surgery Ms. Powley’s pain continued and 18 months later another surgeon discovered that the first doctor had made a mistake. The Powleys have sued Dr. Kaufman for negligence.

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How to check up on your doctor’s medical malpractice history

The amount of doctors who practice medicine while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be impossible to determine – but “Government studies indicate at least 100,000 doctors — or about one in 10 currently working” has a substance addiction.

It is possible to find out if the doctor you will see has a history of bad behavior – but you need to do a little bit of research. The best way to find out if your healthcare provider has paid any medical malpractice lawsuits, or had any disciplinary action taken against them, is by looking at your state’s medical review board:

State boards of medicine vary widely in the kind of information they disclose to the public on these kinds of websites, but you can usually find out about disciplinary actions, and medical malpractice lawsuits. Checking these sites may help you avoid the unnecessary tragedy the Powley family had to undergo because of a doctor under the influence.

Compensation for medical mistakes

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a doctor or other medical professional then there is compensation available for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. Medical malpractice attorneys work with doctors who research your case, investigate the doctor in question and gather all of the evidence required to bring a lawsuit against the doctor on your behalf.

Paulson & Nace, PLLC represents the interests of medical malpractice victims in the Greater Washington, D.C. metro area and throughout West Virginia. If you have suffered a serious injury at the hands of an impaired doctor or another medical situation, please contact our office to learn more about how we can help you.

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