Category Archives: Medical Malpractice

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Medical MalpracticePersonal Injury

When you walk into a doctor’s office, you put your utmost trust in the medical professionals to keep you safe. You make the appointment to feel better and keep your body and mind healthy.

So what happens when the medical professional is the root cause of your pain and suffering? For a variety of reasons, medical malpractice happens. Medical errors cost Americans over $210,000,000,000 with around 250,000 deaths each year. As doctor fatigue sets in, medical malpractice cases are on the rise.

Here is everything you need to know about what to do when you are injured by a medical professional:

Gavel medical malpractice

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a professional breaches the applicable duty of care. A breach may entail negligence on the part of the medical professional and that negligence proximately causes  the patient to become injured.

The medical worker’s performance deviates from the standard procedures of those who have experience in the field. These errors can cause permanent, life-altering, and life-threatening injuries to patients. In worst-case scenarios, medical negligence can lead to death.

The most common medical workers that breach the standard of care can include but are not limited to:

  • Nursing home staff
  • Doctors and physicians
  • Dentists
  • Lab technicians
  • Chiropractors
  • Technician
  • Hospital workers
  • And more

Common Injuries Due to Medical Errors

A variety of injuries can occur due to medical malpractice. When medical negligence occurs at the hands of a professional, the most common injuries can include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical error
  • Failure to diagnose properly
  • Anesthesia error
  • Failure to perform
  • Failure to order proper medical tests
  • Improper dosage/type of medication
  • Incorrect treatment procedures
  • Botched surgery
  • Leaving a surgical device inside a patient
  • Improper use of medical devices
  • Improper administration of medication
  • Failure to obtain informed consent

The aforementioned are merely a handful of the different types of medical negligence injuries that happen. Medical staff must be properly trained and updated on new procedures to continue ensuring the safety and health of their patients—or injury and death can happen.

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When Does Medical Negligence Become Malpractice?

Medical errors and negligence become malpractice based on the four elements of medical malpractice. The four elements include:

  • The provider owes a duty of standard care to a patient
  • The provider fell below the standard duty of care where medical negligence is committed
  • The medical negligence and errors are the direct cause of the injury
  • The patient becomes injured and suffers damages they can be compensated for

If the patient became injured after being handled by a medical professional, it may be a form of medical malpractice. A reputable personal injury lawyer can assist you with the details of your unique case.

Who Can Be Sued in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Multiple parties can be named in a medical malpractice case. The most common is the medical provider who practiced on the patient. Whether it be a failure to obtain an informed consent or botching a surgical intervention, they can be directly held liable for the patient’s injuries.

Additional parties that can be held responsible include the hospital, nursing home, medical facility, other medical professionals and staff, and any other entity that contributed to the negligent treatment and resulted in the injury of the patient. It is not uncommon for the injured party to sue both the medical physician and the medical facility where they were treated and hurt.

Depending on the specifics of your case, other parties can be held responsible for your injuries and can owe you financial restitution for your harms and losses.

What Damages Can You Recover?

When you are injured in a medical malpractice situation, your quality of life can quickly diminish. You can hold several wrongdoers accountable and pursue financial restitution for the harms and losses you’ve been forced to endure.

The most common damages an injured party can recover include:

  • Loss of wages
  • Potential future loss of wages due to inability to continue working
  • Loss of dependency/consortium
  • Medical bills
  • Hospital fees
  • Future medical bills and life-long care and rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Wrongful death
  • And more

Your medical malpractice attorney can assist you with the proper course of action to get the damage you need to heal and get your life back on track.

Does Medical Malpractice Have Any Legal Defenses?

In short, several medical malpractice defenses exist. You bear the burden of proof to prove to the court that the negligence of the medical worker caused you an injury.

The most common medical defenses in medical malpractice cases include:

Patient contributory negligence

If the patient contributed to the negligence of the injury, they may not be able to recover damages. If the hospital or medical staff can show that the patient also is to blame for the injury, they may have a valid defense against the malpractice claim. Whether contributory negligence impacts the viability of your potential medical malpractice claim is an issue that should be discussed with your attorney. This is because some states do not adhere to the contributory negligence doctrine and have adopted a comparative negligence standard.

Good Samaritan laws

Many states boast “Good Samaritan” laws, which protect people who come to the aid of an injured person. This can include nurses, medical professionals, and doctors who aid in emergency situations. They will then be protected from civil liability during emergency response.

Statute of limitations

State-by-state laws vary in terms of the statute of limitations, which refers to the amount of time an injured party has to file a legal claim against the negligent party. The moment the clock starts ticking is when the accident occurs. Most commonly, medical malpractice cases have to be filed within two years. It is important to file before te statute of limitations runs out. If you attempt to file suit after the statutory period,  your case might be tossed out and you can no longer pursue damages.

Medical Malpractice

Bottom Line

Medical malpractice can be painful and life-changing. You may need therapy or rehabilitation to right the wrongs of the medical person who was negligent during your course of treatment.

You should be able to trust medical personnel, but when negligence occurs, injuries follow. With the right attorney, you may be eligible to recover damages for your injuries so you can heal and hold the liable parties accountable for their errors.