There are more than 17,000 medical malpractice lawsuits filed each in the United States. These lawsuits involve surgeons, nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals who cause injuries or death to a patient through a negligent act. Medical malpractice can be life-threatening. Unfortunately, several cases go unreported because the victims, patients, or their dependent are not aware that the hospital made a mistake and should be held liable for negligence.
If you suspect that you or your family member is a victim of negligence while undergoing treatment, you should immediately speak to a medical malpractice attorney. These attorneys are experienced in handling medical malpractice cases and can guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit. Here are some of the most common types of medical malpractice mistakes that can help you know if you have a case.
Doctors and physicians are trained to make a diagnosis as fast as possible. In this situation, a doctor can make an incorrect diagnosis but later gets it right after the condition worsens. This puts the patient’s life at risk because the delayed diagnosis means that they cannot receive the right treatment at the right time. For example, if the doctor fails to see the signs of cancer or a tumor in the scans or failed to order some important tests, they can be liable for negligence.
Several malpractice cases fall under misdiagnosis. This is where a doctor examines a patient but is unable to diagnose the correct illness. The doctor can diagnose the patient with a condition they do not have or conclude that the patient has no discernible illness.
This counts as malpractice because it prevents a patient from getting the right treatment or getting a treatment that they do not need. Note that not all cases of misdiagnosis qualify as malpractice.
Failure to Treat
There are times when a doctor makes the right diagnosis but fails to give the right or adequate treatment. Such situations can constitute malpractice.
This mainly occurs when a doctor is handling several patients. The doctor might fail to treat all the patients with the right standard of care. They can fail to refer the patient to a specialist, discharge them too soon, or fail to recommend aftercare.
This is one of the most overwhelming types of cases. When expecting, parents are always looking forward to holding their babies in their arms. They never plan for the unexpected results of birth injuries caused by a healthcare professional’s negligence.
In the worst case, negligence can lead to the death of the fetus. If the injuries were preventable, the parents could sue for medical malpractice because some injuries can call for lifelong medical care, which is very expensive.
Medical Product Liability
When a medical device does not work as it should, the patient has the right to sue for liability. This can be due to inadequate or wrong designs or defective products. Accidents caused by bad devices can be fatal. If the manufacturer knowingly distributed defective products, the patient can sue for liability.
Each year, there are at least 4000 surgical errors in the United States. Examples of surgical errors under a medical malpractice claim can include the following:
- Unnecessary surgeries
- Incorrect procedures
- Using non-sterile surgical instruments
- Operating on the wrong area
- Leaving medical equipment inside the patient
- Incorrect amount of anesthesia
- Providing inadequate aftercare
- Damaging organs, nerves, or tissues during surgery
Surgical errors can be fatal or cause permanent damages. Signing a consent form before the surgery does mean that you should not sue for malpractice. The form does not protect the hospital from negligence.
Work with a Good Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases are complicated. You need the best legal help that you can get when making a claim. Hire an experienced medical malpractice attorney for the best outcome.