New Ruling In Texas Regarding Obamacare

On Friday, December 14th a federal judge in our great state of Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act stating that its mandate is unconstitutional to require people to buy health insurance. This ruling was in regards to a lawsuit that was filed this year by Republican governors and state attorney generals. The penalty for not having coverage was eliminated and without it, the entire law has been ruled invalid.  However, this decision is thought to be on the road to appeal once it reaches the Supreme Court. As a result of the ruling on Friday, the U.S. health-care stocks went down as investors grappled with the fallout. This is a concern for many Americans with pre-existing health conditions. Three-quarters of Americans believe it is very important that the law continues to prohibit health insurers from denying coverage because of medical histories. Most Americans agree that it would not be fair for insurers to charge sick people more than healthy people. Our country has some important decisions to make, and at Martin Walker Law; we vow to stay up to date on all current issues regarding the health care and medical industry. If you or someone you know is in need of a free consultation call us today. (903) 526-1600


Medical Malpractice & Social Media: Should You Use It?

Medical Malpractice & Social Media: Should You Use It?

Privacy is vital to our daily lives, especially during the litigation phase of a trial.
During the fact discovery phase of your medical malpractice case, your attorney may seek to acquire all of your social media profile login information.
This is done in order to make sure your privacy is maintained so that none of your private information is discoverable.
The defense counsel may still view your online profiles or even that of your family members for anything that can be used against you in court.
For this reason, we want all East Texans that are about to enter the court justice system to think hard about what they have shared in the past, and perhaps momentarily stop sharing.

Keep in mind:

1. Your social media posts can be used as evidence against you in court
It's 2019, most courts today are going to recognize social media as a viable source of evidence both for and against you.
2. Public social media posts do not count as illegally obtained evidence
This may be of a shock but any social media conversation or post is fair game in the courtroom. Law enforcement is the only entity not allowed to use that against you.
3. Deleting your social media posts while in a trial is not a good decision
Adjusting your privacy settings is one thing, but outright deleting your posts once the trial has begun can look very suspicious. Play it safe and consult with your attorney before making any big moves.
4. Be a selective sharer and only share things you are okay with making public
If you wouldn't want even your office or boss to know something about you, consider not posting it.
5. Use a VPN service when using the internet
A VPN, or virtual private network, is a secure tunnel between two or more devices. Try using this to communicate online during your trial.
6. Practice careful clicking
Make sure you don't click on any links sent through email and especially nothing from strangers. Hackers are waiting to follow and track you around the internet. This is a good tip even if you're not in court.

Conclusion

Above all keep in mind to not discuss your case online. If you are ever in doubt the attorneys at Martin Walker Law have all the knowledge and skills available to consult with you. If you have any questions about your social profiles and how they affect your case, don't hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. (903) 526-1600


Are Births By C-Section Too Common?

Are Births By C-Section Too Common?

If a mother giving birth is at low-risk for any complications should she still receive a c-section?
The obvious answer would seem to be no, but according to some hospitals, the answer is a perplexing yes. In California low-risk c-sections occur 11.5% to 68.8% of the time.
Some of the varying details that contribute to the final decision are:
1. The size of the baby
2. The pattern on the fetal heart rate monitor
3. Labor progress
4. The hospital
5. Personal preferences
Consumer reports indicate that the odds for an expectant mother to have a c-section are over 9 times higher if you choose the wrong hospital. This is an issue for many mothers because c-sections do have some risks to babies, and can create some complications to the mother.
Some of the risks associated with C-sections include:
1. Hemorrhage
2. Infection
3. Post-partum depression
Also, keep in mind that first-time mothers are at a greater risk for needing a c-section if their first birth results in a  c-section.
In hospitals that have a low rate of c-section, it's important to note that they also tend to have doctors who work shifts and earn a salary. The doctors in this situation are at the hospital no matter what and tend to be more patient with women in labor. The large difference in percentage is in direct correlation to the higher cost of c-section as opposed to a natural delivery. Doctors and hospitals simply earn more income when they recommend patients to surgery for their birth process.
We know the frustration this can cause families who are most likely too distracted and excited to think of these issues in the heat of the moment. Giving birth to your child is a big deal and it's important for each of us to spread the word about these issues to everyone in our community.
If you or someone you know has suffered from an unnecessary c-section please don't hesitate to call our office today for a free consultation. We will work with you to make sure you get the help you need for yourself and your new little family member. (903) 526-1600


3 Helpful Facts for Telling Between a Good Surgeon and a Bad One

3 Helpful Facts for Telling Between a Good Surgeon and a Bad One

Getting surgery performed on you is a big deal, and for most people, it doesn't happen very often.
It can affect many aspects of your life so it's important that you're careful to find the best surgeon for your needs.
What some people don't think about when selecting their surgeon is that not all of them are created equal.
If your surgeon has received a large number of patient complaints, it's likely that you will also experience surgical complications as a result of their bad service.
Three helpful facts about how bad surgeons can create bad medical experiences: 

  1. Unhappy surgery patients that experienced rude behavior from their doctor are more likely to sue the surgeon in the event of a surgery error or complication.
  2. A disrespectful surgeon can negatively affect the entire surgical team and possibly lead to more medical errors.
  3. According to a study by The Journal of American Medical Association. Patients treated by a surgeon who had many negative patient observations experienced 14% more complications.

Because of these facts we want to remind you all to always read reviews and look around for the best surgeon in your area. You are about to start a lengthy process to get to optimal health, but the most important step is deciding on the surgeon who will bring about the best results.
If you or someone you love has been negatively affected by a bad surgeon please call our office at Martin Walker Law today to schedule a free consultation. We have the experience it takes to make sure you get the compensation you deserve as a result of your injuries. (903) 526-1600


Does Fear of a Lawsuit Really Result in Extra Medical Tests?

Does Fear of a Lawsuit Really Result in Extra Medical Tests?

Doctors in America often fight against the current medical malpractice system.
They insist that the system forces them to order unnecessary tests and procedures to protect themselves if a patient seeks to sue them.
What's interesting is that research from both Duke and M.I.T. found that the possibility of a lawsuit increased considerably the intensity of health care for patients by roughly 5%.  This increase was not to the benefit of the patient and ultimately only increased the amount of testing they received. In efforts to combat this, some states have imposed caps for monetary damages in order to limit the amount of money the medical industry could potentially lose resulting from a lawsuit.
The problem with this is that caps can prevent most medical malpractice cases from ever being surfaced because of all the costs it takes for a case to even make it to the initial hearing.
Here are even more reasons medical malpractice caps should be eliminated:

  1. They may be unconstitutional-  Florida's supreme court ruled that the cap on wrongful death non-economic damages that was adopted in 2003 violates the equal protection clause held by the state.
  2. Caps hurt patients- Caps take away the need for health care practitioners to make sure they are proving patients with quality care. This can potentially put millions of people at risk who rely on the medical industry for their health care needs.
  3. Insurance companies are the only ones who benefit from caps- American Association for Justice AAJ found in a study that in the states that utilize medical malpractice caps the insurance companies benefited solely; their profits by 24%.
  4. They are simply unnecessary- The argument for caps is that medical malpractice lawsuits increase medical spending. However, when looking at the data this is not the case. In a DePaul Law Review article, the authors found that there has been a steady decline in claim occurrence over the past several years. This despite the fact that health care spending and treatment intensity is on the rise.

These four points will be important to keep in mind over the next several years as this argument continues to heat up. Medical malpractice lawyers are not the enemy and are in fact the people who are most determined to win justice for those who were injured or who lost their lives to the medical industry. If you or someone you love has been injured in a hospital; you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Don't wait too long for the statute of limitations to expire. Give us a call today for free to discuss your options for receiving the justice you deserve.  (903) 526-1600


The Top 6 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

The Top 6 Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice

It's widely known that serious errors can be made due to negligence under the care of a health care practitioner.
Are you aware of how those errors occur?
This is so important because so many victims do not even know they are victims even after suffering from life-changing injuries or outcomes. Different states have different statute of limitations laws that restrict the amount of time is available to seek justice after the case has occurred. Because of this, we feel the need to provide to you 6 of the most common types of medical malpractice errors to help you stay informed.
✔️Misdiagnosis
If a doctor examines you or a loved one and fails to diagnose the correct illness. This is considered malpractice because it prevents the patient from getting the treatment they need. Malpractice only occurs if the doctor failed to do what any other doctor would have done and this caused harm to the patient.
✔️Delayed Diagnosis
The doctor made an incorrect diagnosis but the patient eventually receives the correct diagnosis. The condition becomes worse because the patient didn't receive the necessary treatment in time.
✔️Failure to Treat
The doctor may diagnose the correct illness but they may fail to recommend the proper treatment.
✔️Surgical Errors
A doctor may perform the wrong procedure, damage organs, nerves or tissue, use non-sterile surgical instruments, or even provide inadequate care after the surgery.
✔️Birth Injury
Birth injuries can possibly result in the death of your child if the child's prenatal care was inadequate or if the child or mother suffers injuries during the birth process.
✔️Medical Product Liability
If a patient suffers needlessly after a poorly designed medical device was used on them for their illness.

Conclusion

This list is not comprehensive however it does a great job of highlighting the most common types of medical malpractice that you need to keep in mind. We also want you to know that not all medical malpractice cases are this black and white and you should always reach out to professionals like us at Martin Walker Law who specializes in Medical Malpractice and all that goes along with it. (903) 526-1600


Opioid Drug Maker Purdue Pharma Had Some Ethics Problems

Opioid Drug Maker Purdue Pharma Had Some Ethics Problems

Recently released documents from the ongoing lawsuit against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma show a worrying lack of ethics in regards to the way the company and its controlling family marketed the addictive painkiller and hid those addictions from doctors and insurance companies.
A new report by Ars Technica paints a picture of the Sackler family, who is one of Purdue Pharma's largest shareholders and who sits on the company's board of directors, taking drastic action to keep their profits flowing at the expense of the patients being harmed by OxyContin's addictive properties. According to the released documents, Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers:

  • Pushed for the marketing of larger, and thus more addictive, doses of OxyContin.
  • Increased the sales force marketing the drug to doctors on several occasions.
  • Expanded discounts on OxyContin because data showed making the drug cheaper often led to patients staying on the drug far longer.
  • Worked on secretive plans to begin moving into opioid addiction treatment when they knew the opioid drugs they were marketing were addictive. (The company had long denied its drugs were addictive!)
  • Considered dropping health insurance company Cigna as the provider of Purdue Pharma's company health plan after Cigna cut OxyContin in favor of a rival drug from another health company.

The article detailing these new details had one final kicker: In 2012, at least one employee of Purdue Pharma raised alarms about doctors overprescribing OxyContin:

"...it seems to make sense for a number of reasons for us to share the information on Region 0 doctors with payers. At a basic level, it just seems like the right and ethical thing to do. Doing so could help those companies identify those physicians that may be of a concern, not just with respect to our products, but also other CII and CIII therapies. As a result, if it reduces abuse and diversion of opioids then it seems like something we should be doing."

Apparently, that employee no longer worked for Purdue Pharma just a month later.
Opioid addiction has been considered a major health epidemic in the United States, and now, as we get a look behind the scenes, we are increasingly seeing that the companies making these addictive drugs sometimes had deceptive motives in the way they sold them and in the ways they planned to addressed and even profit from increased concerns of patient addiction.


World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

Today is World Cancer Day, and at Martin Walker Law we would like to use this time to raise awareness about some issues the medical industry creates for those with cancer. World Cancer day is a day to empower the world to show support for those with cancer as well as encourage personal action in everyone to fight for improvement. One way that we would like to participate in this is to raise awareness for when doctors fail to diagnose cancer in their patients. This mistake is more costly than any amount of money because it usually costs someone their life or the life of their loved one. According to recent research from 2016, failure to diagnose properly accounted for 34 percent of all medical malpractice payouts that year. Doctors who fail to perform the required tests for finding cancer in its early stages could very well be engaging in medical malpractice. If a patient is not diagnosed by their doctor early enough it could mean that they will then have to go through a tremendous amount of chemotherapy or other harsh medications in order to combat the disease. If the doctor had successfully diagnosed cancer in the early stages then the patient would have not had to suffer through such harsh of a treatment process.
Other possible outcomes resulting from a failure to diagnose cancer:

  • Shortened estimated life span.
  • Expensive medical procedures may be necessary.
  • The patient passes away in a matter of a few short months.
  • The patient may die weeks after the doctor diagnoses cancer.
  • The patient's cancer could be highly contagious and spread throughout the body at a rapid rate.

This is why it's important for early detection tests to be administered to patients often when they are under their doctors care. Cancer is a very serious illness and should never be discounted when a patient is complaining of symptoms that resemble in any way those of cancer.
The American Cancer Society has some suggestions for avoiding cancer in 2019.

  • Stay away from Tobacco.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.

Many types of cancer are easily treated when diagnosed at an early enough stage. These include breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, and renal-kidney cancer. There is no reason that your doctor should miss the warning signs of cancer and submit you for a screening in time to save your life. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer in the late stages you may be entitled to compensation. Call our office today and we can get to the bottom of your situation and make sure that you get the justice that you deserve with your late cancer diagnosis. (903) 526-1600