When you visit a doctor, you are likely expecting a certain level of care. After all, doctors must go through rigorous schooling and training to become a doctor. When you realize that your doctor may have made a potentially life-threatening mistake and you have been harmed as a result of their negligence, you may be understandably reeling. If you find yourself in this position, you should contact an attorney right away. Morgan & Morgan is available to help. We have been handling medical malpractice cases for decades and will do whatever it takes to make sure justice is served. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free consultation.
What Is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is a necessary element that must be present to lead to a successful medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice occurs when a practitioner’s negligence causes some kind of injury to the patient. It does not matter if this negligence was intentional or unintentional. Some examples of medical malpractice can include making a patient’s condition worse, making the patient need additional medical treatment, or causing unexpected complications.
What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice?
If you believe that your doctor was negligent in your care and the result was that you were injured in some way, then you may have been a victim of medical malpractice. It can be difficult to determine if you were involved in medical negligence or malpractice, but some of the most common cases of medical malpractice include:
1. Birth complications
Injuries during birth happen most often during labor and delivery. Many mistakes can happen during birth, such as improper monitoring of the baby or mother, too much force on the doctor’s part, and other instances of malpractice.
Injuries can occur such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and damaged nerves. For some infants, the consequences of malpractice can be severe, resulting in cerebral palsy, facial paralysis, oxygen deprivation, swelling of the scalp, and hemorrhages.
2. Incorrect Diagnoses
If a doctor makes the wrong diagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis because they failed to notice something that another doctor working under similar circumstances would have, consequences can be severe for a patient. This lack of carefulness can qualify as medical malpractice.
According to a study in the BMJ Quality and Safety, about 12 million adults seeking medical care each year are misdiagnosed. In other words, 1 out of 20 adult patients are misdiagnosed every year. The study also found that in half of these cases, the misdiagnosis had a strong potential to result in serious harm to the patient.
3. Medication errors
Approximately 1.3 million people are injured each year as a result of medication errors. There are a variety of ways in which medication errors can occur. For some patients, doctors or pharmacists simply give them the incorrect medication for the issue they are facing. Another common issue is dosage mistakes, whether it be too much or too little of a drug. Sometimes, hospital equipment malfunctions can happen, resulting in some kind of dosage mistake or other error.
Often, age makes a difference in the case of medication errors. People older than 60 are more likely to receive the wrong type or dosage of medication. This is because older people are more likely to be on more medications than people under the age of 60.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
If you were injured and think you might have a medical malpractice claim, you might be wondering what is a medical malpractice statute and why is it important? The statutes lay out the rules for what you must prove to build your case. In a medical malpractice claim, a few elements must be present to build an effective case. It is not as simple as having a bad outcome to a course of treatment from a healthcare provider.
First, you must prove that your doctor had a legal responsibility to care for you as the patient. Then, you must prove that the practitioner took actions or inactions that fell below the medical standard expected of them (negligence). Finally, you must prove that as a result of their action or inaction, you were harmed or had a serious injury.
Evidence is necessary for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. It may be helpful to retrieve documentation such as records and bills from your treatment, documentation proving loss of income as you were recovering from the malpractice, and some kind of account of the pain and suffering or mental anguish you faced.