If you’ve suffered as a result of medical malpractice, you’re not alone. A recent study found that more than 250,000 individuals die annually as a result of medical malpractice and negligence.
To help you get swift justice, we’ve explored everything you need to know about medical injuries, including common injuries and when to hire an attorney. That way, you can take the next steps to get compensation for your medical injury.
Now, read on to learn about medical malpractice and negligence.
Common Medical Injuries
A medical injury is defined as any adverse consequence caused by a medical professional who was negligent or made medical errors when rendering a service. Numerous medical injuries happen, but some are not as common as others.
Below, we’ve listed and described six common medical injuries.
1. Failure to Diagnose
A failure to diagnose transpires when a doctor conducts the required tests for a potential condition, then does not observe the symptoms and leaves the patient untreated. A good example is when a patient comes in exhibiting signs of cancer, but the doctor fails to spot the cancerous lesions on an X-ray or other scans.
By failing to diagnose the condition, it delays the patient’s treatment and, therefore, their possible recovery. Meaning a failure to diagnose could have fatal consequences.
Misdiagnosis occurs when a medical provider incorrectly diagnoses a disease or injury. This not only leads to improper care but can even lead to a decline in overall health.
After all, if a physician prescribed medication for an illness you didn’t have, your condition wasn’t being properly treated, and that medication may cause side effects or even worsen your condition. Misdiagnosis, therefore, delays effective treatment and causes unneeded confusion for the patient.
3. Surgical Errors
A surgical error happens when a surgeon makes a preventable mistake during surgery. This error could be making an accidental incision, leaving foreign objects in the body, or giving a patient the wrong dose of anesthesia.
Surgical errors can have both mild and severe consequences. For instance, if the wrong dose of anesthesia is given, you could start hallucinating, have a stroke, or have a brain injury. The consequences of this mistake alone could cause not only a decline in physical health but mental health as well.
4. Unnecessary Surgeries
Unnecessary surgeries often occur when surgery is recommended and then performed, but the procedure provides the patient with no medical value. Surgery can also be considered unnecessary if it is executed without the patient’s direct consent.
Some physicians even recommend surgeries to increase their profits by tricking the insurance company to cover surgeries that weren’t medically needed. Some of the most common unneeded surgeries include stents, knee replacements, and a hysterectomy. Having unnecessary surgery can cause unneeded side effects like infection, loss of mobility, and increased pain in a patient.
5. Childbirth Errors
Childbirth errors happen when the wrong dosage of medication is given or mistakes are made when retrieving the newborn. These mistakes may include the incorrect use of vacuum extractors, forceps and incorrectly performing a c-section.
Childbirth errors can worsen both your health and your child’s overall health. It can also cause long-lasting illness or injuries and, in rare circumstances, cause death. As a result, childbirth errors should be taken seriously and reported immediately.
6. Medication Errors
Medication errors occur when a patient is given too much or too little of the prescribed medication. This error can cause side effects from worsening symptoms to infections and, in some cases, death.
Medication errors can also involve giving a patient the wrong medication. When this happens, it’s incredibly serious as some medications worsen the side effects of other medications or could cause an allergic reaction. As a result, you could have a stroke, start seizing, or develop a life-threatening reaction to the drug.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
Proving medical malpractice is quite difficult and often requires a lot of evidence. Below are the four components needed to prove a successful medical injury case.
You must display that you had a provider-patient relationship with the accused provider. Meaning you must show that you sought their care and the provider agreed to treat you. The easiest way to prove duty of care is by providing visit summary documentation.
A visit summary details the symptoms you sought care for, the topics or tests discussed during the visit, and what the doctor recommends going forward. This documentation displays the provider-patient relationship and officially documents what happened during the visit.
Once you’ve established that a duty of care was owed, you must prove the doctor breached that duty of standard care. Typically, the standard of care is defined by the care that a competent professional would have issued in similar circumstances.
For instance, did the doctor ignore crucial information that a competent doctor wouldn’t? If the answer is yes, then the doctor breached the standard care of duty. To prove this breach, you’ll likely need witness accounts or other doctors’ testimony highlighting the fact the doctor performed their duties with error or negligence.
Causation can be the hardest to prove as it requires proof that your provider’s negligence caused your injuries rather than stress or other medical illness. To prove causation, display your medical records and how your health declined once the provider treated you.
You also might need other physicians to testify to how the doctor’s treatment and care led to a decline in health. The testimony will thus display that the doctor wasn’t competent and that their actions directly affected you and your health.
You must prove you have suffered from the substandard treatment. This can be proved by stating the prescribed medications the physician recommended and the side effects you suffered as a result. You should also provide medical records to back up your statements and prove that you complained about worsening symptoms.
If your suffering affected you financially or professionally, you could get additional compensation. So make sure you keep a copy of your medical bills, the time off you had to take, and your weekly or bi-weekly paychecks. These documents can prove that you suffered physically and mentally and that your life was completely affected by medical malpractice or negligence.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
Medical malpractice and negligence is an extremely complex area of the law. With an experienced and knowledgeable attorney by your side, you’ll have a better chance of trying your case and winning.
An attorney will not only help but will do many of the tedious tasks, like filing the needed paperwork with the court and assessing how to present your case. An attorney will even help to gather evidence by finding witnesses and expert testimonies to strengthen your case.
By hiring an attorney, you don’t have to worry about the evidence you need or how to argue your case yourself. Not to mention, having an attorney to help guide you through the process will make the legal proceedings easier to understand and manage.
If money is an issue, a number of medical malpractice attorneys take cases on a contingency-only basis. Meaning there are no upfront costs and legal fees are not issued unless you win your case. Contingency-only attorneys are a great way to get yourself representation for a minimal cost.
When Should I Hire an Attorney?
Contact an attorney as soon as you realize medical malpractice or negligence caused you to develop additional illnesses or injuries. Like many other law specialties, medical malpractice does have a statute of limitations.
Medical malpractice cases need to be filled three years from the date of the procedure or three years from the date additional injuries were found.
If you wait until after three years, your case will be dismissed since it goes against the statute of limitations. As such, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney right away; that way, you can try your case and get compensation in a timely manner.
Try Your Medical Injury Case
Medical injuries should not go unpunished. If you’ve suffered from a serious or life-threatening medical injury, hire an attorney today to help try your case.
We at Medical Malpractice Help have helped numerous families fight for justice and win the damages they deserve. As attorneys, we know the cost of a legal case isn’t something everyone can afford, so with our practice, there are no up-front costs and no fees unless you win.
Contact us today for a free consultation to get the justice you’re owed.
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