Even though medical practitioners complete many years of study and training, it doesn’t exempt them from the fact that they are human and prone to error. Yes, even doctors make medical mistakes. More often than not, this is the result of negligence.
Malpractice may be common within a plethora of medical fields. But what is far less known is the impact of these errors on patients. A victim of medical error has to live with the consequences of malpractice, both physically and emotionally.
Most people assume that medical errors only happen in hospital, but this is not the case. Learn more about the many types of medical malpractice that happen today and whether you can rightfully claim compensation.
Identifying Today’s Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice
What’s so tragic about medical malpractice is that most victims fail to claim compensation. This is because they are either not sure or aware that medical malpractice occurred. Some people assume that medical malpractice only happens in a hospital setting. Or, they wait too long to consult an accident lawyer.
Claiming for medical compensation is bound by a statute of limitations. This means you have to file your claim in a specific timeframe. That’s why it’s so important to find the right professional, such as accident lawyer John Fagan, to help get the ball rolling.
Here are the common forms of malpractice you can claim for today:
1. A Delayed Diagnosis of Disease/Illness
In short, this is where a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis of a disease, illness, or condition. Once the patient receives a correct diagnosis, this means the diagnosis has actually been delayed. As a result, their condition becomes worse. Based on the worsening of a patient’s health during this time, the original doctor is held liable for delayed diagnosis.
In order to prove a case of delayed diagnosis, it’s necessary to prove negligence. This means that a doctor must have assessed a patient on a below-par level that is incompetent.
2. A Misdiagnosis of Disease/Illness
One of the most commonly filed malpractice cases is medical misdiagnosis. This is where a doctor examines a patient but neglects to diagnose a person with the correct condition. A doctor may also diagnose a person as having no illness, or even diagnose them with a condition they do not have.
Misdiagnosis is a grave act of negligence because it prevents a person from receiving the correct treatment that they need. In some cases, this is the difference between life and death. On the other hand, a person can also receive treatment they don’t need, which could exacerbate their condition.
It’s important to note that not all cases of misdiagnosis fall into the category of malpractice. This is only the case if a doctor fails to meet industry standards on diagnoses.
3. Failure to Treat Appropriately
Even if a doctor manages to correctly diagnose a patient, they are not always treated as needed. Doctors are liable if the treatment they offer does not help a patient, or worsens their condition.
Failure-to-treat tends to happen when a doctor is spread too thin, or treating too many patients at once. In today’s world, this form of malpractice is known as putting profit over safety. As a result, a doctor’s accuracy, thoroughness, and diligence are not up to industry standard.
4. Medical Product Liability
In many cases of medical malpractice, a doctor is not to blame. Such is the case with medical product liability. Some patients may suffer due to the failure or poor design of a medical device — and this is not the doctor’s fault.
When medical devices do not work as they should, this results in injury. In some cases, it can also worsen a patient’s condition because the device is not delivering the health benefits it should. The unfortunate reality is that many patients may be injured by a medical device before a fault or defect is reported.
The manufacturer of the device is liable for compensation if they were aware or should have known about a product defect.
5. Injury at Birth
Birth injury is one of the most severe and tragic forms of medical malpractice. There are a range of different medical professionals involved in the gestation and birthing process, so this means that negligence can be tricky to pin down.
In some cases, a birth injury can be severe enough to cause the death of either the baby or the mother. But this type of malpractice takes many forms. For example, it can result from negligent prenatal care by an obstetrician. Or it can result during a traumatic childbirth.
If birth injuries are considered preventable, it’s most likely that negligence was involved and you have a case of medical malpractice.
6. Major Surgical Errors
Surgical errors are also fairly common. However, there are many different forms of surgical errors that comprise this type of malpractice.
This includes performing the incorrect procedure, or performing unnecessary surgery. It also includes the damage of organs, nerves, or tissues, or administering anesthesia incorrectly. Some surgeons may use non-sterile equipment, leave equipment inside patients, or offer inadequate post-op care.
In short, the scope for error when it comes to surgery is fairly large. But these types of errors can have a lasting impact on a person’s life. Even if you sign a consent form before surgery, it’s your surgeon’s moral imperative to perform at their best. Just because you know the risks, does not mean a doctor can drop their standards.
If these surgical errors could have been avoided, negligence is to blame for this type of medical malpractice.
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The bottom line is that it’s important to know the different types of medical malpractice if you are looking for the expertise of a health practitioner. With this knowledge, you can gauge whether you’ve received the best standard-of-care.
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