Archive for September, 2015

Kansas City Medical Malpractice Attorneys Discuss Medical Errors

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Do you hate going to the doctor? If so, you are not alone. Countless numbers of people have a fear of the “white coats.” It is even more difficult to go to the doctor if you are have a real medical concern. But even though you may dread seeing your doctor—you go because you know his or her diagnosis, whether good news or bad, means at least you know for sure what the problem is, and can begin treatment, if necessary. Or, at least that is what should happen.

However, earlier this month, a report was released by the Institute of Medicine that included a warning that should have all Americans a little worried. According to the report, most Americans will experience at least one missed diagnosis in their lifetime. Furthermore, every year 12 million (or 5% of patients) are misdiagnosed.

What is a misdiagnosis?

There are three types of misdiagnosis. The first type is when a diagnosis is completely missed by the doctor. For example, the patient is told that he or she does not have a particular diagnosis, like cancer, when in fact he or she does have cancer and has key symptoms of same. Another type of misdiagnosis is when a diagnosis is delayed. This happens when despite a patient having an “abnormal” test result or a test indicative of a certain diagnosis but no diagnosis was made. The last type of misdiagnosis is when a physician makes a wrong diagnosis. For instance, a patient goes to the doctor for a lump in her breast and is told she has mastitis when in fact, she has breast cancer.

What are the most common missed diagnosis?

According to the report, the following diagnosis were most commonly missed, wrong or delayed: cancer, heart failure, kidney failure, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. This means that even common conditions can and are being missed by physicians. Unfortunately, there is not just one reason why these and other conditions are missed.

What, if anything, can a patient do to decrease his or her chances of a misdiagnosis?

While there is nothing a patient can do to completely prevent a misdiagnosis from happening to him or her, there are things patients can do to decrease their likelihood of a misdiagnosis, which include:

  1. Coming to the appointment prepared. Doctors are busy and a visit with your doctor can go quickly. To make sure your visit is complete, it is important to come prepared. Write down all of your questions and concerns before your appointment. That way you can refer to your list during your visit to make sure you did not miss anything.
  2. Being proactive. Remember that no news is not always good news. If you had any tests done, even for a routine visit, and did not receive the results, do not assume that the results were negative or not of concern. Always follow up with your doctor.
  3. Obtaining a second opinion. If you have symptoms that you feel your doctor is not giving proper heed to, it is often best to seek out a second opinion. It is important to trust your gut.

If you reason to believe that you or a loved one was the victim of medical malpractice it is important that to speak with an experienced Kansas City Medical Malpractice Attorney as soon as possible. To succeed in proving that your injury was caused by a hospital or a doctor’s error you need an attorney who has handled numerous malpractice cases. The Kansas City Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P., have the capability to fully investigate your case and make sure that you are fully compensated for your injuries. At Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P., you can trust our attorneys to provide you with the highest degree of legal services. Call our office today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule an initial consultation.

Kansas City Accident Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions About Distracted Driving

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

We are quickly becoming a nation of multi-taskers. In very few aspects of our lives, are we allowed to focus on completing just one task at a time.  Rather, we are always trying to juggle several tasks at once. However, the inherent problem with multi-tasking is that our energy is being divided between at least two different tasks. This means that we cannot pay simultaneous attention to two separate tasks at the same time and thus mistakes are bound to happen. That is why distracted driving is such a problem. If you are unsure as to what distracted driving is, and why it is such a problem, you need to become informed. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions motorists have about distracted driving:

What is distracted driving and why is it a problem?

A driver is considered to be a “distracted driver” when he or she is engaged in a task that takes his or her focus away from driving. Tasks can be visually distracting (eyes off the road), manually distracting (at least one hand not on the steering wheel) and/or cognitively distracting (mind not engaged on driving). Not only are distracted drivers less able to respond appropriately to other drivers and/or obstacles on the road, they also are the cause of accidents.

How is eating or drinking less dangerous than using a cell phone to talk or text?

Distracted driving of any type is dangerous. However, cell phone usage is especially dangerous because of the number of ways it impairs a driver. For example, drinking a cup of coffee physically impairs a driver in that the driver cannot have two hands on the steering wheel, since one hand is holding the cup of coffee. In contrast, when a driver uses a cell phone to text, the driver is impaired in all three areas of distraction. He or she is not only holding the phone with his or her hand, he or she is also using their eyes to look at the screen and thinking about the message to send or the words he or she is saying.

Hands-free devices make talking on a cell phone while driving safer, right?

In some states where cell phone usage is prohibited while driving, using a hands-free device is allowed. While hands-free devices do keep a driver’s hands on the wheel, the biggest problem is that the driver’s brain is still not 100% focused on the task of driving. When a driver is using a cell phone his or her mind is focused on the conversation he or she is having and therefore, the driver is not able to devote his or her full attention to the road.

How large of a problem is distracted driving?

According to the government website, it is estimated that more than 660,000 drivers are using a hand-held cell phone at any given time during daylight hours. Moreover, according to data collected by The National Safety Council, approximately 1 in 4 accidents involve a driver that was using a cell phone to talk or text.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries after being involved in an accident with a distracted driver, the experienced Kansas City Accident Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can help. Our team of seasoned Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys will make sure that your rights are protected. We will fight hard to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Trust the Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. to help you, just as they have helped countless injured victims around the area, both in Kansas and Missouri. To find out how the attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can help you, call our office today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule a consultation. At Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. we look forward to providing injury victims with exceptional legal services.