When you visit a doctor or other medical professional, you should be able to trust that they will properly diagnose any injuries or medical conditions you may have in a timely manner and prescribe the appropriate course of treatment. However, doctors may make mistakes like anyone else, and such mistakes may lead to serious injuries or even death for affected patients. Fortunately, law allows patients or the families of patients who suffer unnecessary injury or illness due to a doctor’s negligence to recover by filing a claim for medical malpractice.
Were you the victim of medical malpractice?
In order to prevail in a medical malpractice claim, a court must find that a medical professional acted negligently, meaning that their actions fell below a certain standard of care. This standard of care is the manner in which another reasonably skilled and competent professional with similar training would have acted. Some common examples of medical malpractice include:
- Failing to timely or correctly diagnose—If a doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition and sends a patient home, the patient may suffer additional complications that may have been prevented by timely treatment. Similarly, if a doctor misdiagnoses a condition and prescribes the incorrect treatment, a patient may experience unnecessary complications. Additionally, patients who suffer misdiagnosis may even have their condition exacerbated by incorrect medication or procedures.
- Medication errors—Negligent acts involving medication may include prescribing an improper dosage, failing to correctly administer the prescribed dosage, mixing up medication between patients, using malfunctioning intravenous pumps or other equipment, and more. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies estimates that 1.5 million patients suffer injury from medication errors every year.
- Childbirth Injuries—Many mistakes may occur during pregnancy or birth that may unnecessarily injure the mother, child, or both. Such mistakes include failing to diagnose birth defects, failing to identify prenatal conditions of the mother, failing to properly monitor signs of a child’s distress during birth, not ordering a caesarean section in a timely manner, and more. These errors may threaten the life of the mother or child, or may leave a child with permanent conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
- Errors during surgery—Surgical mistakes may include improper administration of anesthesia, failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs, puncturing organs, inadvertently leaving objects inside a patient, or even performing the incorrect surgery on a patient.
These are, of course, only some examples of mistakes that a doctor can make that may lead to a medical malpractice claim. If you have suffered unnecessary injury due to medical malpractice, you deserve to hold any negligent medical professionals responsible for any related losses.
How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
Medical malpractice claims may be complicated and may require numerous resources, such as expert witnesses and thorough, time-consuming investigation of medical records. Most injured patients do not have access to such resources and, therefore, the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney can be invaluable if you have suffered injury at the hands of a medical professional. Additionally, a lawyer can help you communicate and negotiate with insurance companies and in mediation sessions and settlement conferences to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement or award in your case. Please do not hesitate to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer for a free consultation today.