The medical profession is among the most sensitive fields because it involves people entrusting their lives to practitioners. While most medical practitioners mean well, errors sometimes occur, leading to injuries or even death.
According to statistics, medical malpractices come third in the leading causes of death. Persons that have suffered harm at the hands of a doctor are within their rights to sue for damages resulting from medical malpractice.
But to prove medical malpractice, a claimant has to prove that the treating doctor or the facility deviated from the acceptable standards of treatment and that the deviation caused them harm.
Start by Talking to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
While you may be eligible for compensation if you have been a victim of medical malpractice, getting what you deserve starts with filing a lawsuit. Unlike other personal injury claims, medical malpractice lawsuits can be pretty challenging.
First, the burden of proof is very high. In most cases, lawyers have to enlist expert witnesses’ services to prove their case. Also, medical professionals are some of the most trusted members of society, meaning the jury will more likely give them the benefit of the doubt.
With such challenges, a general personal injury attorney may not be best suited for a medical malpractice case. Instead, it would be best to contact a medical malpractice lawyer whose record of success in medical malpractice cases you can authenticate.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Misdiagnosis and Late Diagnosis
Misdiagnosis is the most common medical malpractice. It often occurs when the treating doctor fails to diagnose the correct illness allowing the condition to worsen or have them receive the wrong kind of treatment, which could cause harm to the patient.
A misdiagnosis can also result in a late diagnosis, another form of medical malpractice. An excellent example is if a patient has cancer, and the treating doctor fails to diagnose it and offers treatment for something else instead but later discovers, or another doctor discovers it was cancer all along. In such a case, the victim could file a late diagnosis medical malpractice lawsuit.
The most obvious medical malpractice errors occur during surgery. Unfortunately, these errors can significantly impact the victim’s life quality.
In almost all cases, usually before surgery, a patient has to sign a consent form that stipulates the dangers of going into surgery, including death. But signing a consent form doesn’t absolve the treating doctor’s duty of care.
They are accountable for harm resulting from their negligence. Common surgical errors include operating on the wrong part, operating on the wrong patient, performing unnecessary surgery, anesthesia errors, leaving medical equipment in a patient’s body, and providing inadequate after-surgery care.
Failure to Treat
There are situations where a doctor makes the correct diagnosis but fails to offer a patient the right treatment. This situation often plays out when the treating doctor prioritizes profits over patient health and safety.
A good example of failure to treat is when a doctor has more patients than they can handle, and they:
- Decide to release a patient too soon, resulting in harm,
- Fail to offer proper follow-up care after release from the hospital,
- Fail to refer patients to a practitioner or facility that could better handle their condition
- Fail to consider a patient’s history when administering treatment
For most expectant mothers, childbirth is usually one of the most highly anticipated moments. Unfortunately, things can go wrong at birth resulting in much devastation for the mother and other members of their families. Unfortunately, some birth injuries lead to the baby’s death or lifelong disabilities.
Birth injuries often result from failure to prescribe the correct procedure of delivery based on the circumstances, improper use of birthing aids, failure to attend or delay in attending to a delivering mother, etc. Common birth injuries include cerebral palsy, fractures, paralysis, developmental disorders, and nerve damage.