While modern medicine has doubtlessly extended and saved countless lives, negligence or malpractice in the medical field can be quite harmful to the patient who are putting their trust in a healthcare practitioner.
Believe it or not, the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical errors. That means that after heart disease and cancer, most Americans are killed by medical negligence or malpractice.
What is medical negligence? How do you know if you should contact a lawyer?
We’ll answer these and other questions in the article that follows.
What Is Medical Negligence?
What is medical malpractice and negligence? Basically, medical negligence is one element that is legally required to prove a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice is when a doctor, healthcare professional, or hospital causes an injury to a patient through omission or a negligent act.
Proving medical negligence alone isn’t enough to have a valid medical malpractice case. If it can be proven that this negligence caused injury or harm to an individual, however, there might be a case.
Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. The treatment they provide is required to be in line with the “medical standard of care.”
It’s a surgeon, Dr., nurse, dentist, or any other healthcare or medical professional deviates from the accepted standard of care in their job, then this is considered negligence. Medical negligence does not always lead to injury or harm to a patient. This means that if the health of the patient is not impacted by the negligence of a medical professional, then there are not grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
What Is the Time Limit For Medical Negligence Claims?
The deadline for filing personal injury cases are going to vary from state to state. These deadlines applied to filing personal injury claims are known as “statute of limitations.”
In most states, there are three or four-part statute of limitations in regard to medical malpractice claims. This makes understanding the deadlines even more complicated in these medical malpractice cases. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you to understand the statute of limitations and how that impacts your medical malpractice claim in your state.
What Is the Average Payout For Medical Negligence?
There is no clear average payout for medical malpractice cases. It’s important to understand that there are obstacles facing anyone who is considering filing a medical malpractice claim. Many studies have found that healthcare professionals have a higher chance of winning medical malpractice suits than patients making the claim.
There are a number of factors that influence the strength of your case. In order to file, you will need evidence to support that:
- The medical professional as a duty to the patient
- This duty was breached by the medical professional
- Negligence was what caused harm or injury to the patient
- The patient suffered compensatable losses
A case with extensive witnesses and documents will have a much better chance of winning someone who does not have much in the way of witnesses or records. The amount that is received in a settlement if the plaintiff does when the case will be determined in part by the extent of the injury.
What Is an Example of Negligence in the Medical Field?
There are countless examples of what medical negligence and medical malpractice can look like. Let’s take a look at some examples of medical negligence that could lead to a medical malpractice claim:
- Unnecessary surgery
- Wrong sites or surgical error surgery
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Ignoring or mistreating laboratory results
- Poor aftercare or follow-up
- Premature discharge
- Improper dosage or medication
- Failure to order proper testing
- Not taking or disregarding appropriate patient history
- Failure to recognize symptoms
What these general examples look like in practice could be an anesthesia error, a mistake made during childbirth, undiagnosed heart disease, or much, much more.
7 Signs You Should Contact a Lawyer
When you go to a hospital or a medical facility, you are putting your trust in the medical professionals that are treating you. In the scenario, you are putting your life in their hand and negligence could lead to injury, health consequences, or even death.
Are you wondering whether you should seek counsel from an attorney for a potential case of medical malpractice? Here are seven signs that you should probably contact a lawyer:
- If a loved one died as a result of malpractice
- If errors were made during the surgery
- If you are neglected due to the medical facility being understaffed
- If there was a lack of informed consent
- If fault was admitted
- If new symptoms arise after malpractice
- If there was a failure to diagnose the condition
These are not the only signs that you should contact a lawyer, but they are good jumping-off point for understanding when you might have a medical malpractice case. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer is the type of attorney you will want for a medical malpractice case.
Are You Looking For an Attorney After You’ve Experienced Medical Malpractice?
When you’ve had an experience at a hospital or medical facility that went wrong, it’s common to wonder: what is medical negligence? While medical negligence alone is not enough to bring a medical malpractice case, it is the factor on which many medical malpractice cases hinge.
If you or a loved one has been injured or harmed because of the negligence of a medical professional, you’ll want to seek legal counsel right away.
Finding an experienced personal injury attorney can have a major impact on the outcome of your medical malpractice claim. Finding a lawyer right away is crucial, as the statute of limitations could pass and you might no longer have the ability to file your medical malpractice claim. Contact the Law Office of Arturo Martinez, PC today for a free case evaluation.