Published on March 1st, 2021 | by Sumit Bhowal0
Everything You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice
If you enjoy watching medical dramas or just have an interest in that particular field, then you have probably heard about malpractice. However, for those that haven’t been in a hospital before, the concept can be challenging to understand. In fact, it may shock you to discover that accidents (which include negligence) are the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer.
If you want to learn more about medical malpractice, then keep on reading. Below, we are going to talk about everything you need to know.
Let’s get started!
What it is
Medical malpractice is the term used when a medical professional such as a doctor or nurse breaches the recognized standard of care. This isn’t something like a small accident, but instead, a completely unreasonable issue. Think of it as something that would have been handled entirely differently by another medical professional.
Someone that has committed medical malpractice is being negligent to their patient. This means they are not taking care of them as they should be. The result of this is some type of injury or loss.
There are many types of medical malpractice, but some are more common than others. Here are a few examples:
Misdiagnosis occurs when a trained professional fails to identify a condition for an extended period of time. This then causes the patient to either miss out on treatment or become significantly ill. Not all misdiagnoses are the result of medical malpractice, as there are many complicated conditions out there. It really depends on the situation and if another doctor would have made the same mistake.
During pregnancy and childbirth, medical malpractice occurs when severe injuries are caused to the fetus due to negligence. This could be but is not limited to brain injuries, fractured bones, and paralysis. An example of this would be a doctor who fails to treat a condition, which then leads to further injuries.
There is no denying that surgeries are complicated, but if something severe were to happen, say, for example, they operated on the wrong body part or left surgical equipment inside, it may classify as negligence. This is because it could lead to infection, incorrect recovery, and even more severe and life-threatening conditions.
Prescription drug errors
If a doctor makes a significant mistake on a prescription or administers a drug inappropriately, medical malpractice may have occurred. While accidents do happen, this medication error is usually a big mistake that should have been easily identifiable.
How to avoid it
While it is impossible to know when medical malpractice will occur, you can take some steps to identify it and lessen the likelihood like by setting certain procedures for primary care providers. For example, by documenting your symptoms and researching your condition, you can get second opinions from other doctors. Remember, you should never feel scared to speak up. If something seems wrong, trust your gut and listen to your body.
How common it is
According to Keller & Keller, an estimated 225,000 people die each year from some type of medical malpractice, including the things we discussed above. Alongside this, only 2% of people who have experienced it file claims. The statistics certainly are shocking, but we can all remain vigilant and learn to stand up for ourselves by learning more about it. Check out these other personal injury stats 2020 for more information.
What to do if you experience it
The first thing you need to do if you suspect medical malpractice is to speak to a personal injury lawyer like these professionals at Larmoyeux & Bone. There is a time limit on when you can file a lawsuit in most states, so if you leave it too late, you may not be eligible for compensation.
Remember, in order to prove your case, you need to determine that malpractice occurred. This means there needs to be a doctor-patient relationship, and you have to present proof of the damages that happened to you. It can definitely be complicated, but the right professionals will guide you through it.
What the final outcome will be
It’s hard to predict the final outcome of a medical malpractice case as it depends on various factors. In some situations, lawsuits can be settled before trial to avoid the added expenses. However, that doesn’t always happen.
If it goes to court and you win your case, you should receive compensation for any injury/loss that occurred to you. Again, the amount for this will determine on the situation at hand.