MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: WHAT IT IS, AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
Doctors and other healthcare professionals are expected to practice their profession under the medical standard of care, which means that they will provide you with the type of care that a competent professional in the same field would provide. While this does not sound like much, it is an important standard that both accommodates the uncertainties in the medical field while demanding the best of those who practice medicine.
Healthcare is a very challenging field, and with so many variables it is impossible to demand miracles, such as curing untreatable conditions. What the medical standard of care does demand, however, is that the doctor chooses and executes a treatment that another doctor in the same situation would have deemed appropriate.
While proving that the doctor failed to exercise the medical standard of care can be difficult, it usually comes down to the doctor behaving recklessly or negligently. There are three common medical malpractice claims:
- Improper diagnoses, when a doctor’s failure to diagnose properly under the medical standard of care results in harm to the patient.
- Treatment mistakes that a competent doctor would not have made in the same situation.
- Failing to obtain informed consent from a patient, either by failing to fully inform the individual or by administering treatment with the patient’s consent.
Common consequences of medical negligence include:
- Medication errors. When a pharmacist dispenses the wrong drug, when a nurse administers the wrong dosage, or a doctor prescribes an inappropriate medicine, the results can be life-threatening or even permanently disabling. This mistreatment must not be ignored.
- Ineffective treatment from incorrect diagnosis. If your physician treats you for indigestion when your real problem is stomach cancer, your life is jeopardized by the delay in getting you the right treatment. Hold an incompetent medical practitioner responsible for his mistakes!
- Birth injuries. Bringing new life into the world should be a joyous time, but when doctors make negligent mistakes, such as improper forceps or vacuum use or wrong drugs, your child can be affected for a lifetime. Get the compensation you deserve for birth injuries with our legal representation.
- Surgical mistakes. The medical field has made important advances over the years that has made surgery safer than ever. Nevertheless, we have all heard stories of errors in which the wrong limb was amputated, a patient received the wrong operation, or a careless surgeon left tools with the body that later causes a dangerous infection. If you have suffered a surgical infection or other medical mishap, you may be entitled to compensation.