To WIN YOUR CASE, You Need to Know: What are THEY Thinking?

What is the attorney's strategy?

How does a physician avoid malpractice?

Can the insurer prevent a large payout?

Does the employer face worker issues?
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Current Issue: August 2015
Pediatrician Liability Involving Diseases and Conditions of Childhood

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Introduction

Liability Risks for Pediatricians

Children often contract common infections including upper respiratory infections, ear infections, sinus infections, and conjunctivitis, which can lead to complications. Vaccines are effective in preventing the occurrence of serious infectious diseases, avoiding the complications that can be associated with these diseases, and improving mortality rates in children. However, the use of vaccinations also may result in complications.

 

Complications, such as fever, rash, diarrhea, dehydration, and organ injury, can result in serious health problems or even death of a child.

 

Litigation may occur even when the care provided to a child by a pediatrician satisfies high standards. When providers deviate from the standard and provide substandard care, litigation frequently results. Damage awards in lawsuits involving injuries resulting from complications of childhood diseases or conditions can be high.

 

Attorneys, pediatricians and other providers, hospitals, employers, insurers, and other potential parties to the litigation should be aware of the types of lawsuits and liability issues that can arise in connection with pediatric injuries related to diseases or conditions of childhood.


The Perspectives: Improve Your Strategy

Attorneys:

What proof is needed to establish a pediatrician or other provider’s medical malpractice liability for an injury involving a disease or condition of childhood? And, what is a potential strategy for the attorney to employ?

Physicians:

How can liability for medical malpractice related to a childhood disease or condition be avoided by a pediatrician or other provider? And, what is a potential strategy for the provider to employ?

Insurers:

Can a payout under a medical malpractice liability policy be avoided by proof that the pediatrician or other health provider was not negligent or there was no coverage for the injury? And, what is a potential strategy for the insurer to employ? 

Employers:

Can a hospital or other employer, such as a pediatrician’s practice group, be subject to liability for an injury resulting from an employee or agent’s malpractice or negligence? And, what is a potential strategy for the employer to use?


Practice the Technique: Checklists

Attorneys:

Check this list of facts and circumstances tending to show a pediatrician’s liability for malpractice or negligence involving a childhood disease, condition, or vaccine complication injury.

Physicians:

Presented is a checklist of items a physician must consider when defending against claims of malpractice or negligence involving a childhood disease, condition, or vaccine complication.

Insurers:

The insurer should check these “red flags” and inconsistencies when investigating a claim of malpractice or negligence involving a childhood disease, condition, or vaccine complication.

Employers:

Use this checklist to determine if the hospital employer could be found vicariously liable for the acts of a pediatrician or other hospital staff person, such as a nurse or lab technician.  

Expert Analysis

How Does the Failure To Diagnose and Treat Sepsis from a Pediatric Bacterial Infection Lead to a Malpractice Action?

Steven E. Pegalis, JD

What Is Needed To Prove Pediatric Medication Error Malpractice?

Brian J. McKeen, JD

Can Choosing Not To Vaccinate Lead to Liability for Harming Others?

Arthur Caplan PhD

Litigation

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Arbitration or mediation may be required by contract or statute, may be mandated by the court or, in some circumstances, may be the appropriate method for a negotiated resolution.


Reasons To Reach Settlement

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to reach settlement, and not take the action to trial.


Reasons To Go To Trial

The following are reasons why the attorney, physician, insurer, or employer would want to take the action to trial.


Jury Awards and Settlements

How much have juries awarded and what settlements have been reached recently in cases involving pediatrician liability for diseases and conditions of childhood and their complications?



Medical Information

Pediatric Disease, Condition, and Vaccination Complications

This section provides medical information on common childhood diseases and conditions and potential complications. Vaccination complications are covered. Also discussed is the child’s prognosis.



Law and Medicine Resources

Law and Medicine Resources

Provided is a listing of law and medical resources for further information on childhood diseases and complications.




Medical Law Perspectives
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