hat if your doctor told you that you had a certain medical condition but it turns out that the doctor made a mistake and because of it the medical condition you actually do have has progressed to a much more serious condition?
What if a nurse practitioner failed to consider the interaction of the medication prescribed with the other medications you were taking and you became very ill as a result?
What if an anesthesiologist fails to properly monitor a patient’s dosage during surgery resulting in brain damage and permanent disability?
These are the kinds of medical mistakes that can be medical malpractice.
The medical malpractice lawyers at Deutchman & Drews, LLC understand how errors on the part of medical professionals can cause devastating results for unsuspecting patients. We make sure those injured by medical malpractice get the legal representation they need to recover for their losses.
When do Mistakes Become Medical Malpractice?
When a medical professional undertakes to provide care to a patient the professional assumes a legally enforceable obligation to administer a certain standard of care. If the professional fails to provide medical care that is consistent with the generally accepted standard, malpractice occurs.
The standard for any type of medical care given is that a patient receives what is considered reasonable under the circumstances. What is reasonable is usually based on what is customary practice in the medical profession given the particular condition being treated.
Who Can Commit Medical Malpractice?
Any professional who provides medical services directly to a patient or any of those who provide medical support services can commit medical malpractice.
The reality is that physicians are sued for medical malpractice most often. About 60% of doctors say they have been sued for malpractice. Those that specialize are more likely to be sued than those in general practice.
The top 5 medical specialties with the most malpractice lawsuits are:
- general surgery
- otolaryngology (ear, throat)
- specialized surgery
Common Ways Medical Malpractice Occurs
Most of the time when medical malpractice occurs, a mistake was made. Either something was done that should not have been done or something was not done that should have been done. However, medical malpractice can also result from intentional conduct by a medical professional. The following are frequent incidents of medical malpractice.
- unnecessary treatment – medications, testing, procedures given when not medically indicated
- incorrect diagnosis – 12,000,000 Americans receive the wrong diagnosis each year
- surgical errors – tools left in a patient, operating on the wrong body part, performing the wrong procedure
- incorrect treatment – wrong medications prescribed
How to Know if You Have a Claim for Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice does not occur just because a patient’s condition gets worse after treatment or because a prescribed treatment does not help a patient’s condition. If a medical professional acted reasonably under the circumstances then no legal wrong has occurred.
Even if a mistake was made, that is not enough to establish a medical malpractice claim. Harm must also occur as a direct result of the medical treatment that was given or not given.
Medical malpractice claims can be very complex and require extensive knowledge of medical conditions and treatment protocols in order to properly evaluate the conduct of the accused medical professional and the resulting harm to the patient.
Discussing your situation with an attorney experienced in handling medical malpractice claims will help you determine whether you have a claim and the likelihood that you will be able to recover.
Where to Go for Help with a Medical Malpractice Claim
Proving a medical malpractice claim requires specific knowledge and experience. You are basically challenging the medical profession when you accuse one of their own and doctors will tend to circle the wagons when they feel threatened.
You can’t afford not to work with a personal injury attorney that has been successful in handling medical malpractice cases. There is often a staggering amount of medical evidence that needs to be assimilated and reviewed. And expert medical opinions in your favor are essential if you are to prevail with your claim.
If you believe you have a claim for medical malpractice, you can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. There is a limited period of time to bring your claim so don’t delay. Call our office at 732-828-1300 or contact us here.