What is medical malpractice?
A medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or any other healthcare giver fails to provide appropriate treatment or gives substandard treatment that results in an injury, complication or even death to the patient. The malpractice usually involves one or two errors made by the caregiver during diagnosis, prescription and treatment.
According to regulations, medical institutions as well as professionals must provide care that meets specific standards. They are not held liable for any harm or discomfort a patient experiences. However, they are legally responsible for any harm or discomfort a patient experiences as a result of their failure to observe the standards of care.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are five common types of medical malpractice claims. They are;
• Misdiagnosis. This is where the caregiver’s negligence causes him to overlook obvious symptoms when giving a diagnosis, making the patient’s condition to worsen. A majority of misdiagnosis cases lead to the patient recovering his compensation.
• Violation of care standards. This malpractice occurs when a caregiver fails to get informed consent from the patient before beginning treatment. It also occurs when the caregiver fails to inspect the machines that malfunction.
• Complications. This occurs during minor and major surgeries. It involves an instance where the incompetent surgeon causes injuries to the patient.
• Medication errors. These involve errors made when prescribing medicines. The caregiver may prescribe the wrong drug that later causes harm to the patient. It also occurs when the caregiver fails to ask the patient basic questions, like whether he is allergic to certain drugs.
• Management errors. These involve failure to monitor the condition of the patient. They may also involve failure by the health facility to monitor its nurses or physicians.
How to Identify Medical Malpractice
According to healthcare regulations, for a medical malpractice to occur, some factors must be considered. They include;
• Lack of standard medical care. Every healthcare giver must observe certain standards in their practice, or they risk being accused of negligence.
• An injury occurs due to negligence. The patient must prove beyond any reasonable doubts that he suffered injuries or harm due to the caregiver’s negligence. The patient has no case if no harm or injury occurs.
• The presence of damaging consequences. A patient must show that the injury resulted in significant damages. The damages may include long-term suffering, constant pain, disability or loss of wages.
In order for a medical malpractice claim to be valid, it must show there was negligence, causation and damages. Negligence and causation should be determined by a medical expert with the same specialty as the one accused. The damages must be substantial enough.
What to do if you are a Victim of Medical Malpractice
The first thing you need to do is contact a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer will then contact the caregiver on your behalf to get an understanding of what might have gone wrong. In case the lawyer does not get any helpful information from the caregiver, he will request you to get a medical assessment from another expert who is specialized in the same field as the negligent caregiver. The other expert will assess your situation and issue a certificate of merit to determine whether the injuries you suffered were due to negligence. The lawyer will file the certificate to show that you spoke with another medical expert and that what you did has merit.
Finding a qualified personal injury lawyer will mean the difference between getting the compensation you deserve of walking away without anything. A good lawyer will discuss with you all the facts surrounding the case and brainstorm its strengths and weaknesses before taking the next step. Most lawyers offer free initial medical malpractice evaluation. So don’t worry about paying anything during your first visit.