Medical errors made by healthcare providers result in a high number of injuries and deaths every year. Researchers at Johns Hopkins estimate that there are more than 250,000 deaths due to malpractice each year.
Medical malpractice occurs when there is professional negligence by the healthcare provider or facility which results in injury or death.
Read on to learn more about medical malpractice and reasons why you may need a medical malpractice lawyer.
WHAT IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to take the appropriate action for a patient’s care or provides treatment that differs from the accepted standards of practice. The medical professional can be a nurse, doctor or any other person in charge of taking care of the patient. The medical professional’s neglect may cause harm or injury to the patient and may even cause death.
Most medical malpractice cases involve an error, in either diagnosis, treatment or medicine dosage.
To receive the five signs that you may be a victim of medical malpractice, download our guidebook below.
WHAT ARE MEDICAL STANDARDS OF CARE?
Medical care is very complex. Because of this, there are standards that the medical community agree upon following in almost any given medical situation.
Medical professionals are required to take the Hippocratic Oath, which covers important ethical issues between medical professionals and patients. The oath states, “...to treat the ill to the best of one’s ability and to preserve the patient’s privacy…”
There are predetermined steps that healthcare professionals should perform to diagnose and treat the patient.
If these steps are not taken, medical malpractice can occur. To establish a medical malpractice case, these questions must be investigated:
- Was an investigation properly conducted, and did the doctor properly perform the expected steps?
- Was a diagnosis properly and timely made?
- Was treatment provided in a timely manner?
- Was the patient informed of risks?
- Did the healthcare facility provide a healthcare professional that is qualified to provide the necessary care?
IS YOUR CASE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
Being dissatisfied with provided medical treatment is not the same as medical malpractice. Nor is a bad medical result necessarily an indication of malpractice.
Malpractice is failure of care for the patient according to the established standards. A result of this failure, injury with consequences occur.
Signs that medical malpractice may have been committed include:
- Failure to diagnose the patient’s medical condition. Healthcare providers should follow protocol for confirmation of initial diagnosis.
- Misreading or ignoring laboratory results.
- The medical professional failed to care for the patient according to certain standards.
- Resulting damages. The harm or injury caused by the medical professional negligence caused pain, inability to work, disability and suffering.
- Poor documentation. The medical professional must complete accurate documentation of patient care.
- The patient suffers from harm or injury during or after the treatment.
- Medication error. Errors can vary from the initial prescription to the administration of the drug, but most likely dosage problems.
When injury results from a medical treatment that differs from the accepted standards of practice, the victim may be entitled to compensation. Medical malpractice lawsuits can help in the recovery of damages to compensate for pain, in addition to lost wages and medical bills.
REASONS WHY YOU NEED MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER
When choosing a lawyer, you should trust and be confident that your lawyer will do good work in representing you and your family.
It is important that you have the ability to develop a personal and professional relationship with your attorney and that lines of communication are open at all times.
Your lawyer must be available and responsive when you need him or her. Lawyers have an ethical obligation to meet those requirements.
A lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice:
- Knows state laws
- Can identify medical malpractice more easily
- Can build out your case
- Can talk to insurance companies for you
- Has a network of medical professionals available for consultation and evaluation of cases
TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Most medical malpractice suits can be put into one of the following categories of medical professional negligence:
- Medical Misdiagnosis
- Negligence affecting pregnancy and childbirth
- Mistakes prescribing and administering medication
- Surgical errors
Misdiagnosis can occur with complex conditions such as tumors or masses inside the body because patients do not always have a complete list of symptoms.
The consequences of misdiagnosis can be life threatening or even fatal because the medical professional has been spending time treating the wrong condition.
Negligence affecting pregnancy and childbirth
There is a lot that could go wrong during a pregnancy and delivery. Some of the leading types of medical practice during pregnancy and childbirth are due to the following medical problems:
- Excessive and unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Surgical negligence during a caesarian section (C-section)
- Nerve injury of the baby during labor
- Excessively long labor that causes injury to the mother or baby
Mistakes prescribing and administering medication
Medication errors can result from the medical professional or pharmacy administering the wrong medication or the wrong amount.
The most common surgical errors are damaging a nerve, failing to control bleeding and leaving a medical sponge inside the body.
The medical professional could also give the patient too much, too little or the wrong type of anesthesia.
STEALEY LAW & MEDIATION | PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER IN WEST VIRGINIA
Medical malpractice is very complex, and navigating the case can be confusing, overwhelming and emotional. At Stealey Law and Mediation, you will personally meet Jim Stealey to discuss your case so you will feel more relaxed.
We will work closely with qualified medical experts to help with litigation in and out of the courtroom. We handle medical malpractice cases resulting in major medical injuries or death. We will also work closely with you and your family to provide the correct consultation needed when important decisions must be made.
Think you have a medical malpractice case in West Virginia? Call us today at: 304-485-3127, or click below to schedule a consultation: