Medical malpractice happens when a health care provider, such as a nurse, doctor, or a hospital, deviates from the “standard care” and causes injury to the patient. The error could be in the form of dosage miscalculation, diagnosis, health management, treatment, or aftercare. As per the data, approximately 15,000-19,000 lawsuits are filed each year against doctors in the USA claiming medical malpractice or negligence.
Here is a brief guide to tell you a few things about medical malpractice in the USA:
What are the important factors in medical malpractice claims?
- Doctor-patient relationship exists
A doctor-patient relationship must be established in a medical malpractice lawsuit since it shows that the healthcare provider had a legal obligation to treat the patient within the accepted standard of care based on the provider’s skill and training level.
- Proof of negligent care
You need to provide evidence that there was a deviation in the standard of care. This could be done through an experienced medical malpractice attorney and one or more expert witnesses.
- Prove the negligent care directly caused the harm
Apart from establishing that the care fell short of the expected standard of are, you or your estate must prove that the negligent care directly caused you to suffer an injury, illness, or death.
- Measurable damages
The damages you suffered due to negligent care must be quantifiable and demonstrable. Patients must be able to quantify any increase in medical care costs (medical bills, physical therapy service bills, etc) or lost wages due to the injury or illness. To prove justification of financial compensation, you or your estate needs to inform the court of the monetary value of your preventable injury, illness, or death.
What are the most common medical errors?
Misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose: Failure to take a thorough patient history, review a patient’s medical records and recognize common symptoms often lead to an incorrect diagnosis. Some examples of missed diagnoses include heart attack, cancer, depression, celiac disease, stroke, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and thyroid conditions. Likewise, a delayed diagnosis happens when a disease or ailment was not diagnosed within a reasonable amount of time.
Birth and prenatal mistakes: Failure to discover a prenatal genetic condition, perform timely C-sections, or treat preeclampsia, may cause stillbirth and infertility.
Surgical and anesthesia errors: Leaving surgical tools inside a patient, operating on the wrong body part, and causing infection due to unsterilized equipment, are all serious surgical errors. Giving too little anesthesia may also cause a patient to wake during surgery, leading to brain damage or death.
Prescription drug and dosage miscalculation: Any miscalculation in dosage can cause the patient to suffer serious complications or side effects.
Failing to provide necessary care: Failure by the healthcare provider to ignore the needs of a patient may result in malnutrition, infections, bedsores, and amputations.
How can I find out if I have a case?
It is important to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. You need to inform your lawyer of the exact sequence of events from the first time you visited your doctor. How was your illness or injury treated? What were you told about your treatment? Did you follow your healthcare provider’s instructions? What happened to you?
About Joseph Discepola
JPD Injury Law, created by Joseph Patrick Discepola, aims to help personal injury clients get the justice they deserve. Unlike many other law firms, Joseph will listen to your concerns and develop a personalized and effective strategy to help you on your road to recovery. Joseph, a seasoned litigation and trial attorney, uses his experience, technology, and a network of experts, to achieve the outcome you deserve.
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