93.1 KISS FM – Ask A Lawyer, Part 16

Ask A Lawyer - Michael Gopin

Female: You’re listening to “Mike and Tricia Mornings” on 93.1 KISS-FM.

Tricia: Okay. We have one more question for Michael Gopin in this “Ask a Lawyer” segment. And I got to tell you…I hope you’re not eating breakfast.

Mike: It’s an interesting question.

Tricia: It’s an interesting question. But it is a little…

Mike: Yeah. It may not be suitable for children.

Tricia: It is a little graphic. So you might want to put your spoon down. Jason, from Northeast El Paso, says, “I had an infection in my foot, and my doctor sent me home. A week later, I had my toes cut off. They sent me home again and I had my foot amputated. When they amputated my foot, I still had constant bleeding and it would stop and they would send me home. Is there anything I can do about this? I feel like the doctor didn’t do their due diligence when it came to my care.”

Michael Gopin: Well, I’m so sorry, Jason, to hear about your issues with your foot. Very, very serious problem, I’m sorry to hear about that. In terms of your case, we would have to do a thorough investigation of the entire facts of the treatment, of your previous medical history to determine if the doctors were negligent in this case. This is a medical malpractice type of case. We would have to gather all the records and send the information to a physician who would then determine if, in his opinion, there was negligence based on reasonable medical probability. If there was, then you’d have a potential case. You know, there’s a lot of questions, you know, with infections. You know, what the doctor could have done and if he did something different, would the outcome change? And so there’s lots of variables here.

Mike: I think that hold probability, that whole medical probability part, that plays a big in something like this.

Michael G0pin: Yeah. You have to…you can’t just do it just a little bit more, it has to be reasonable medical probability that their actions caused you to lose your toes and lose your foot. And the question is, you had this infection already, if the doctor did a different protocol, would the results have been the same or would it have changed? And that’s the key here. And…

Mike: Oh, that’s gotta be hard to prove, right? Because…

Michael Gopin: It’s very difficult to prove.

Tricia: Yeah.

Mike: I mean, you have to take a leap if you’re a judge or a jury listening to this, it would make a difference.

Michael Gopin: Right. Right. It just depends, you know, some mistakes are much more glaring than others. I don’t know if you had diabetes in this particular case and that could factor into it, your medical history. Your age also factors into it, your overall health. So there’s lots of issues going on here. And you would need a thorough examination of all the, you know, medical records and your past records to make a real determination.

Mike: Now, when somebody comes to you or another lawyer about something like medical malpractice, is it something they can just consult you with?

Michael Gopin: Oh, for sure.

Mike: Or is it something that…like, in other words, you hear, “Well, we won’t get paid if you don’t get paid?” Is it one of those kinds of situations?

Michael Gopin: Yes. That is the situation, so it’s on a contingent fee basis case. These cases are much, you know, different than a regular car accident case in terms of work involved, and expenses, and so forth. So, you know, it may take six months to determine if you have a case. So, and this type of case, you really need to come to an attorney early, right, you know, at the time it happened or right thereafter because it could take quite a while before they determine if you really even have a case that they can pursue. They changed the rules many years ago. So without an expert witness, you can’t even file a lawsuit these days.

Tricia: Oh, wow.

Michael Gopin: So you need to have that expert witness as basically a gateway to filing a lawsuit.

Mike: Okay. All right. Well, again, another great episode with Michael Gopin in “Ask a Lawyer.” A lot of information.

Michael Gopin: Well, good. I was glad to be here and keep those questions coming.

Mike: Yeah, please do. You can go to kisselpaso.com. There is a section where you can ask a lawyer and you can send us your questions. You can also do it via the app. You can also submit audio using the app. And it looks like we’ll see you again next month?

Michael Gopin: Yep, for sure.

Mike: Maybe twice next month, you know.

Michael Gopin: Okay, great.

Mike: Okay, then. “Ask a Lawyer” on “Mike and Tricia Mornings.”

Michael J. Gopin

Michael J. Gopin has practiced law in El Paso since 1987. Even after more than 30 years, he still remembers his first jury case. It was two weeks after receiving his license, when he represented a person whose life had been forever changed after being blinded in a work-related incident...


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