Medical Malpractice

A leading cause of injury in the United States


Unfortunately, complications during and after medical intervention are a common occurrence. Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of injury in the U.S. If you suspect that a healthcare provider’s negligence was the cause of your problems, you should investigate it immediately.

Thomas Keel & Laird can help. Our Medical Malpractice team is experienced in handling complex medical injury claims, and we can help to determine whether your injuries were the result of negligence.


What is Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases arise when medical professional delivers care that falls below accepted standards of practice. This is called a violation of the standard of care.

When providers give care that is substandard, patients can be seriously harmed or even die. Medical malpractice is a complex area of law, covering a wide range of circumstances and situations.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

  • Failure to diagnose / delay in diagnosis
  • Failure to treat / delay in treatment
  • Errors during labor & delivery that harm a baby
  • Emergency Room Errors
  • Surgical Errors & Unnecessary Surgery
  • Premature Discharge of Unstable Patient
  • Nursing negligence and hospital system failures
  • Lack of Informed Consent
  • Failure to consult or to refer to a specialist
  • Unsafe care environment causing injury to patients

Different Than Personal Injury Cases


Sometimes people confuse medical malpractice injuries with personal injury claims, and believe that any personal injury lawyer can handle any medical malpractice case. Medical negligence cases are actually very different than personal injury claims, and they require a different skill set to handle.

Some lawyers advertise for medical malpractice cases, but then refer the cases out to another firm with experience in this area or associate with another firm who actually does the work on your case. This happens because medical malpractice claims tend to be more complex both legally and because of complex medical

They are also usually much more expensive, and may take much longer to resolve than the average personal injury claim. As a result of tort reform, most states now also have special laws that apply to medical malpractice cases, and not to other types of civil lawsuits. These laws may impose different or additional deadlines on your case, may limit the damages you can recover, or place other hurdles in the path of pursuing your medical malpractice claim, which creates a minefield for lawyers who are not experienced at handling complex medical malpractice cases. Thomas Keel & Laird is nationally recognized as a leader in plaintiffs’ medical malpractice litigation. This means we are especially well-equipped help you with your medical malpractice case. Our lawyers are admitted to practice in a number of different states, and are ready to help you investigate your case, and we have the expertise and resources needed to handle your case from investigation through trial.

Bringing a Medical Malpractice

Establishing liability for medical malpractice requires a number of legal conditions to be met.



The negligent medical professional owed a duty of care to the injured party, i.e. a doctor/patient relationship.



The medical professional failed to meet, or deviated from, an acceptable standard of care owed to the patient.



There is a clear link between the healthcare professional’s negligent act and/or omission and the patient’s injury.


Then You Are Entitled to Damages

Actual damage to the patient occurred. Experts are required to prove each element of the case, and in many cases, experts are also needed to evaluate economic and non-economic losses suffered by the injured party.

What Is My Case Worth

Determining the potential value of your medical malpractice case is an important part of the work we do in representing you. Value in this context is not a personal judgment of you, but rather, a judgment of what damages are able to be recovered for you, based on a number of factors. Each state has its own rules about how much money a plaintiff injured by medical malpractice can recover for their injuries. Some states do not place limits on damages, and others do.

Some state with limits on damages limit only certain kinds of damages and not others. What this means is that the value of your claim in Texas or New Mexico might be vastly different from the value of the exact same claim in Minnesota, Illinois, or Maryland. Here are just a few of the factors that impact the value of medical malpractice claims:

  • Whether the plaintiff has a normal life expectancy, or possibly, a shortened life expectancy because of their injuriesWhether the plaintiff has permanent injuries that require ongoing care
  • Whether the plaintiff was negligent themselves, and caused or in any way contributed to their own injuries
  • What the state laws limit the amounts of damages a plaintiff can recover
  • Whether the jurisdiction is conservative (less likely for a jury to give a big award) or liberal (more likely for a jury to give a big award)
  • Whether the plaintiff has lost the ability to work
  • Whether there are dependents who can no longer be supported by the plaintiff because of their injuries
  • How much the plaintiff has lost or spent out of pocket for medical care and household services as a result of their injuries
  • Non-economic damages, sometimes called “pain and suffering,” are limited in many states. While many plaintiffs feel that these damages are the most important, it may be the case that this type of injury is not worth very much in practice because of damage caps that may have been imposed by state law.