When you’re not feeling well, you trust that a physician will take good care of you. Unfortunately, some people go to their doctor for healthcare and walk out with a health scare.
Medical malpractice is a serious issue, and medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Those kinds of stats are scary, which is why it’s important to take action as soon as possible.
If you believe you are the victim of carelessness and you’re asking yourself, “What is malpractice?”, this article has the answers. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to give a patient the proper standard of care, which leads to injury, harm, or death. It’s caused by the negligence of a doctor, hospital, pharmacy, or any medical facility.
Malpractice creates issues like surgery being performed on the wrong body part, patient suicide, or even death.
These situations don’t mean there was malicious intent on the part of the healthcare professional. But it does mean that the individual could have prevented the outcome if the correct steps were taken.
According to the law, these are the primary characteristics of medical malpractice:
A Standard of Care Violation
Under the law, there are certain medical standards that must be upheld. There’s a mandate recognized by all health professionals that’s the acceptable level of medical treatment. It’s known as the standard of care.
Every patient has the right to expect health professionals to provide the proper level of care according to those standards. If it is determined that the quality level wasn’t met, then medical malpractice is assumed.
Injury Caused by Negligence
To validate a medical malpractice claim, you have to prove that a healthcare professional violated the standard of care. It’s the patient’s duty to also prove that the injury would not have happened if the negligence did not occur.
If an individual is unhappy with the results of a surgery or procedure, that’s not grounds for a malpractice claim. There must be evidence to show that any injury was caused by an error on the health professional’s part.
Injury Caused Substantial Damage
To have a viable medical malpractice case, the patient has to show that there were significant damages caused by carelessness.
Furthermore, a medical malpractice claim should show that the injury created unusual pain, loss of income, hardship, and substantial medical bills.
What Is Malpractice? Common Examples
If you feel like you were the victim of carelessness, there are several indicators to alert you. Are you wondering,” What is considered malpractice for an attorney?”, below are some examples:
Failure to Diagnose Correctly
One of the primary examples of medical malpractice is when a disease is undiagnosed. If a patient goes to a physician and they dismiss the early signs of an illness or ignore a patient’s symptoms, it can lead to severe complications or fatality.
This situation is particularly true regarding aggressive diseases like cancer. In these cases, treatment is essential in the early stages to help manage the condition. If a diagnosis is delayed, it makes it more challenging to effectively treat the patient.
Another serious malpractice issue is misdiagnosing. When a doctor assumes that a patient’s symptoms are for the wrong disease, it can cause the incorrect medication to be administered and improper treatment.
Not to mention, the patient could be severely injured as a result. Any person whose condition is misdiagnosed in the early stages, and it leads to health problems, they are a victim of medical malpractice.
Furthermore, if an individual’s symptoms don’t match the diagnosis, that’s an issue as well. If the symptoms are not similar to the diagnosis, it’s important for the patient to get a second opinion as soon as possible.
Improper Medication Type or Dosage
Health complications can occur when a physician prescribes a patient the wrong medication or the improper dosage. If this happens, the incorrect prescription could negatively interact with current meds and cause an overdose, medical complications, or even death.
Every medical professional is responsible for double-checking to make sure that the drugs prescribed match the patient’s condition.
Lack of Information
Healthcare professionals must explain to patients the benefits and potential risks of any treatment that they undergo. If a person suffers from complications during a procedure and they weren’t adequately informed about the cons, that’s a lack of informed consent.
In most cases, your lack of information is also considered malpractice. In these situations, the patient has to prove that they were not given proper information about the risks. They must also show that if the doctor had given the details, they would not have undergone the procedure.
Other medical malpractice examples include:
- Surgical errors
- Failure to order the right testing
- Failure to recognize symptoms
- Discharging from the hospital too early
- Poor aftercare
- Misreading lab results
What Is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is a mistake that occurs when a healthcare professional unintentionally causes injury or harm to a patient.
For instance, if a nurse leaves a surgical tool in the body during a procedure, that’s considered negligence. It wasn’t the nurse’s intent to do it, but the mistake caused the individual harm.
Although malpractice and negligence are similar, malpractice violates the standard of care.
Medical Malpractice: Get Help on Your Side
Do you believe that you or your loved one is a victim of medical malpractice? If so, Reed &Reed Attorneys at Law can help to get you the compensation you deserve.
Carelessness caused by a health professional can create serious challenges for a patient, but you can fight back.
If you’re in the Brandon, Florida area and you have questions about how to move forward, contact us on our website.
We look forward to connecting with you soon!