If you or a loved one has been injured or has passed away due to the negligence of a medical care professional, it is time you consider legal representation by a medical malpractice lawyer. In this article, we will review what medical malpractice is as well as the steps you must take to file a case.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional directly involved in giving care to a patient deviates from the standard of care, thus causing injury to that patient.
What is the standard of care?
The ‘standard of care’ is a legal term used by medical malpractice lawyers. This determines if proper precautions and procedures were taken by the medical facilitator. For example, if a doctor did not use sanitized tools during surgery, they clearly did not meet the standard of care.
Have you ever been a victim of medical malpractice?
If you or someone you know has been in a situation where she/he feels as though a caretaker may have been negligent, there are a few things to consider. Was there:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnose
- Neglect of proper testing
- Failure to recognize symptoms
- Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
- Surgical errors or wrong site injury
- Improper medication or dosage
- Unnecessary surgery
- Poor follow-ups or aftercare
- Premature discharge
- Disregard to patient history
If you or someone you know has had problems like these with their medical care, contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately.
How do you prove medical malpractice?
To prove medical malpractice, you must be able to show the following:
A doctor-patient relationship existed –
You hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to treat you.
The doctor was negligent –
The doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment.
The injury led to specific damages –
The patient cannot sue for malpractice if the patient didn’t suffer any harm, even if it is evident that the doctor performed below the expected standards. This includes physical pain, mental agony, additional medical bills, or lost work and lost earning capacity.
Requirements in medical malpractice cases
It is important to know the specific rules and regulations for medical malpractice cases.
There is a statute of limitations depending on each state – this can be anywhere from a few months to even a few years. This means that there is a limited amount of time to file your complaint.
What are common medical malpractice errors by doctors and hospitals?
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
When a condition is misdiagnosed or delayed, the patient can miss the timeframe in which their condition can be treated or miss opportunities for treatment that could have helped prevent serious harm or even death.
Negligent birth injuries such as failure to identify birth defects, ectopic pregnancies, or failure to diagnose a disease that could be contagious to the mother’s fetus, can be considered medical malpractice.
Medication errors affect approximately 1.5 million people in the United States every year. If you are given the wrong type of medication or the wrong dosage, it can be damaging to your body and mind.
If a surgeon punctured any internal organs, operated on the wrong body part, or left surgical instruments in the body, they should be held accountable. The nursing staff may also be negligent in administering post-op care – which could result in complications.
These errors can be more dangerous than surgical mistakes. Even a small error can result in permanent injury, brain damage, or even death. This can happen by failing to properly evaluate a patient’s medical history or failing to inform the patient of the risks involved.
What is the length and process of a medical malpractice suit?
Victims of medical malpractice often have serious financial issues directly related to their damages. The loss of income from the medical injuries in addition to medical expenses can send families into a downward financial spiral.
The process of a medical malpractice lawsuit may take anywhere from six months to a few years.
If you feel you are a victim of medical negligence and want to learn more about your rights as a patient, contact a medical malpractice lawyer. Rob Levine & Associates offers a