Understanding Medical Malpractice Claims

When it comes to medical malpractice, most people believe that any negative outcome of the treatment comes under this category. However, you may not file a medical malpractice claim simply because you didn’t get the result you expected from treatment.  Even if your doctor or any other medical professional made a mistake during your treatment, you may not file a medical malpractice lawsuit unless you have proof. Now you may wonder what exactly medical malpractice is and when you’re entitled to receive the compensation. So, keep reading to clear your doubts.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or any other health care professional fails to provide appropriate treatment- either due to mistake or negligence that causes harm, injury, or death to a patient. The health care professional may fail to properly diagnose the issue or give substandard treatment. So, any medical error- in diagnosis, medication dosage, surgery, treatment, or aftercare comes under the category of medical negligence or malpractice. In most states, patients who suffer any harm due to the negligence of a health care professional are entitled to recover compensation from the at-fault party for their sub-standard treatment.

Different states and countries may have different standards and regulations for medical malpractice but in most regions, the plaintiff (the person who files the claim) needs to bring evidence before filing for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Simply because something goes wrong doesn’t always mean the patient has a legitimate medical malpractice claim. And for this reason, it becomes crucial to consult a personal injury lawyer to figure out whether or not you have grounds to make a claim.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

As we all know, sometimes treating a patient or saving their lives is beyond the control of a doctor. If the doctor did all he/she could have and carried out a course of treatment responsibly then you may not say that they have committed medical malpractice. You may file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the following situations:

  • misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
  • prescribing incorrect dosage or the wrong medication
  • unnecessary or incorrect surgery
  • premature discharge
  • not following up
  • leaving things inside the patient’s body after surgery
  • potentially fatal infections acquired in the hospital
  • pressure ulcers, or bedsores
  • failure to recognize clinical symptoms
  • not referring the patient to a specialist
  • Lost test results.
  • Dropping or mishandling a baby during or after birth
  • and more

Informed Consent

In some treatments and surgeries, a doctor must get consent from the patient or their family members (if the patient is not in the condition to give consent). A failure to get the consent of the patient before a medical procedure that results in harm or injury is also considered medical malpractice. Sometimes, even if the surgery or therapy was carried out perfectly, there may be a side effect of the treatment. If the patient is informed of all the risks involved, the patient may have opted not to go ahead.