Patients trust doctors and other healthcare professionals with their lives. When healthcare professionals make mistakes that cause a patient harm, it may be considered medical malpractice. Some mistakes lead to minor injuries, but others can cause life-threatening or fatal health complications.
Medical malpractice victims may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But, medical malpractice law is complex, so you will need representation from a personal injury attorney with experience in this specific field.
Elements of Medical Malpractice Claim
Doctors’ mistakes are not always considered medical malpractice. In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, a plaintiff must be able to show these four elements existed:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship between the defendant and the plaintiff.
- The doctor was negligent, which means he acted in a way that a competent doctor would not have acted under similar circumstances.
- You were injured as a result of the doctor’s negligence.
- You suffered some type of harm as a result of these injuries, including physical or emotional pain, unnecessary medical expenses, or lost wages.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur in a number of different situations. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:
Misdiagnosis/Failure to Diagnose
Healthcare professionals should be able to correctly diagnose a patient after analyzing his symptoms, reviewing his medical history, and performing necessary tests. However, if a healthcare professional does not diagnose the patient correctly, this could be considered medical malpractice if the mistake causes the patient harm.
Misdiagnosis can occur when a doctor fails to order the right tests, ask about the patient’s medical history, or listen to the patient’s description of his symptoms. It can also occur when a doctor does not perform regular health screenings on the patient or reads test results wrong.
Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists can be held liable for medication errors that injure a patient. Medication errors can occur when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medication. They can also occur when a nurse administers the incorrect medication or the wrong amount of the medication.
Surgeons have to go through years of training before they are allowed to operate on patients, but despite this training, they can still make mistakes. Surgical errors are preventable mistakes made during a surgery. For example, operating on the wrong person or body part would be considered a surgical error.
Failure to Warn Patients of Risks
Doctors are required to inform patients of any known risks associated with a treatment prior to beginning the procedure. If a doctor fails to warn a patient about the risks, and the patient is injured as a result of one of the risks, the patient may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Multiple parties may be held accountable in medical malpractice cases, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and hospitals. An experienced attorney can investigate your case to help identify the liable parties.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys
No one ever expects to suffer as a result of a doctor’s mistake, but unfortunately it happens to far too many people every year. If you have been injured by a negligent healthcare professional, it’s imperative that you contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, and Rowley today to discuss your case.