Laws governing medical malpractice

Combining in-house Expertise and a Network of Professionals

FIELD FUNDED

When doctors make mistakes, the consequences are often dramatic – physically, psychologically, and financially. Medical practitioners are liable for their errors, but the road to accountability is rocky and demands a hefty toll. More often than not, this road includes protracted hearings in which evidence is presented and testimony from multiple medical experts is heard, both of which are factors that drive up costs and drag out trials over a period of years.

Litigation funding helps patients take on even those doctors and healthcare institutions that may seem untouchable; it enables them to successfully secure financial compensation.

In the field of medical malpractice, we provide funding for claims for compensation of damages resulting from:

Together, Saskia K. and her husband (both in their late 20s) decided to have a sterilization performed at the time of the birth of their third child. This was medically indicated also by the fact that all three pregnancies had been high-risk. Saskia K. discussed her intention not only with her gynecologist but also with the maternity clinic. The sterilization was to be performed, following coordination with the medical-care staff, by tubal ligation, specifically by severing the fallopian tubes, as this seemed to the parents to be a safe and final method of sterilization.

Shortly before performing the C-section and in deviation from what had been arranged previously as well as from the information that had been provided, the treating head physician decided to perform a reversible sterilization where he merely tied the tubes off, instead of performing an irreversible sterilization by severing them entirely. As his reason for doing so the head physician cited Saskia K.’s young age, while neglecting to inform her of the pros and cons vis-à-vis the method she and her husband had originally chosen.

Roughly ten months after the sterilization had been performed, Saskia K. became pregnant again and now alleges that the clinic and the treating physicians did not perform the safest method of sterilization and that she herself had not been informed in advance of the risks of the surgery that actually had been performed. Because of her financial situation and the high financial risk that bringing a suit would entail, the advising lawyer contacted ROLAND ProzessFinanz. The latter reviewed the case and provided funding for it. The charge of failure to inform the patient was upheld by the court of first instance; Saskia K. prevailed all points. The judgment is now being defended before the appellate court.

While working at his job as a paver, Dominik L. feels a sudden headache, queasiness, and vertigo coming on. When the symptoms do not subside, a colleague of his decides to take him home. His wife calls the emergency medical services when Dominik L. starts vomiting. The emergency doctor arrives about thirty minutes after the wife’s call. Without examining him further, the treating emergency doctor rules out a stroke and instead diagnoses a sunstroke; she then recommends drinking a lot of water.

When Dominik L.’s condition deteriorates, his wife decides to take him to the hospital. After having comprehensively examined him, the hospital staff diagnose a severe stroke and proceed to give him the appropriate treatment. Since that incident, Dominik L. is severely physically and mentally handicapped and requires full-time care in a nursing home.

His wife, and mother of his children, does not have the means to bring a suit against the treating emergency doctor. The advising lawyer takes the case to ROLAND ProzessFinanz. The latter commissions an expert opinion on the following points: the alleged failure to provide a diagnosis by the emergency doctor and the resulting delay of the correct diagnosis of stroke. Subsequently, an agreement as to litigation funding is signed with the claimant.

After Jakob D.’s physicians had determined the medical indication for a knee endoprothesis for him, said endoprothesis was implanted in I. hospital. After the surgery had been performed, Jakob D. became afflicted with continued pain. His GP monitored and looked after the wound healing constantly and performed cleanings of the wound over a period of two months. After three months had passed without any sign of improvement, Jakob D. was referred back to I. hospital by his GP. What followed were several years of treatment for severely impaired wound healing. Yet even long-term treatment could not restore the sterility of the wound so that, in the end, the endoprothesis had to be removed.

Jakob D. alleges that his GP did not react in a timely or proper and professional manner to the impaired wound healing; the GP’s treatment, according to Jakob D., is the reason for his ordeal full of pain and countless treatments.

Jakob D.’s lawyer recommends obtaining litigation funding through ROLAND ProzessFinanz. ROLAND provides funding for the complaint proceedings against the treating physician and secures a win on all points after several expert opinions had been commissioned by the court.

In the maternity ward, the birth of Silke K.’s child is induced by means of medication. During a check of the child’s heart rate at some point during the day, it is determined that there are irregularities. The doctors, however, fail to perform regular CTG checks. A few hours later, Silke K. experiences a spontaneous rupture of the membranes, which releases brown amniotic fluid. Still the doctors see no reason to perform a C-section. Silke K.’s child is born with severe brain damage by spontaneous delivery.

Silke K. and her husband sue the physicians and the midwife for damages for pain and suffering and for compensation of damages on behalf of their child. Their lawyer assesses the chances of the suit being successful as satisfactory and estimates the financial risk entailed by the suit to be at about EUR 50,000. This is too high for the parents, who are unable to assume this risk. The lawyer recommends securing litigation funding, which would also cover the costs of an additional and privately commissioned expert opinion. ROLAND ProzessFinanz, specifically the lawyer specializing in the laws governing medical malpractice, reviews the case with the help of the treatment documentation and an statement of position by the Medizinischer Dienst der Krankenversicherung (MDK, Medical Review Board of the Statutory Health Insurance Funds) that the child’s lawyer had already obtained; the parents sign an agreement as to litigation funding. When no out-of-court settlement can be reached, the lawyer files suit. Together, the lawyer and ROLAND ProzessFinanz privately commission a gynecologist and a neuropaediatrician with preparing expert opinions; both determine that grave errors in treatment have occurred. Through litigation, Silke K. and her husband obtain damages for pain and suffering and for compensation of damages on behalf of their child in the six figures.

Rainer S. had to undergo surgery for his shoulder joint in order to address problems he had been having with it. But complications arose in a second surgery when he was supposed to emerge from anesthesia: No heartbeat could be found, and Rainer S. had to be resuscitated. Subsequently, he suffers from apallic syndrome. During the follow-up examination, the documentation for his anesthesia proves to be incomplete; there are omissions. Thus, it is not verifiable whether the patient’s vital signs had been monitored properly and whether the circumstances where resuscitation measures had to be taken had been avoidable.

Rainer S.’s wife consults a specialist lawyer (Fachanwalt) for the laws governing medical malpractice; as a consequence, she sues the physicians responsible for damages for pain and suffering and for compensation of damages. Due to the costs of expert opinions commissioned and the length of the proceedings that is to be expected for the action against the physicians’ liability insurance companies, the claimant and the lawyer decide to bring in a litigation funder. Several years into the legal battle, the parties agree on a settlement for an amount in the middle six figures.

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