In ancient times, a new doctor had to take the Hippocratic Oath during which they swore to multiple healing gods to do everything in their power to help a patient. While that oath has been rewritten, it is still used today when a person graduates from medical school and doctors are expected to uphold a specific set of moral standards, one of the most well known being “do no harm”. Yet every day, patients are seriously hurt by the mistakes and errors in judgment that their doctor has made.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
It’s not just doctors who can commit medical malpractice – any medical professional or establishment that has caused injury to a patient either by acting negligently or the act of omission can be sued for medical malpractice. In order to be considered, the case must have the following qualities:
- There must have been a violation of the standard of care. For nearly every condition known to man, there is a generally accepted standard of care. For example, if a patient has a laceration, a doctor typically cleans the wound and if necessary, stitches it closed or glues it shut. It is reasonable to expect that the standard of care will be used by any medical professional but if they fail to do so, they may be considered negligent.
- Proof must be given that the negligent act caused an injury to the plaintiff. If the standard of care is violated, however, no injury was sustained, then there is no case.
- Records must show that the injury caused the plaintiff to sustain a loss. This loss may include the loss of income, the loss of the use of a limb or organ, disfigurement, scarring, past and future medical expenses, and even emotional trauma.
Common Forms Of Malpractice
Our firm has helped hundreds of medical malpractice victims in the past. Many cases involved:
It’s vitally important for doctors to diagnose a patient with the correct medical condition. Otherwise, the treatment for an incorrect diagnosis can actually do harm, not to mention that the correct condition will be left untreated and will be able to progress. A condition that may have once been easily treated can end up being a disabling or fatal if not discovered in a timely manner.
One of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions is cancer, including lung cancer, brain cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
It’s not uncommon for patients, especially the elderly, to be suffering from multiple medical conditions at one time. This means that they are frequently on several medications, however, if the drug interactions between those medications are not carefully checked, the patient can suffer serious side effects. This is why it is extremely important for doctors and pharmacists to double check all medications and supplements that are being taken.
It’s scary enough when the doctor tells you that you need to have a surgical procedure. But more and more often, patients have the added fear that their surgeon will make a mistake. It’s not uncommon for a patient to use a permanent marker to write on their own bodies indicating which limb or organ should be cut because they won’t be able to correct any errors once they are under anesthesia.
Just recently, a Pennsylvania woman was awarded $6 million after she underwent an unnecessary surgery because her x-rays were mixed up with another patient’s. She had arrived at the ER with abdominal pain and was told that her CT scan and x-ray indicated she was leaking fluid into her abdomen due to a possibly burst appendix. During surgery, the doctors found nothing abnormal but removed the appendix anyway.
Incorrect surgeries, surgeries performed on the wrong body part, and even surgeries performed on the wrong patient happen regularly, meaning that healthy parts of a body are needlessly damaged.
When most people think of anesthesia, they imagine surgery – and rightfully so. Anesthesia is used to put a patient “under” so that they are unaware of the painful, but hopefully helpful, cuts being made into their body. However, there are other forms of anesthesia that are also common – like an epidural during labor.
Too much or too little of the anesthetic, or the epidural needle placed in the wrong part of the spine and leave a patient paralyzed of unable to breath on their own.
Injuries Sustained During Childbirth
Everyone imagines and hopes that their newborn will be healthy and perfect. Welcoming a new life into the world is supposed to be one of the most joyful events in a person’s life, but if a doctor makes a mistake during the delivery process, it can quickly turn into the one of the most devastating.
Common injuries include broken bones, cerebral palsy, oxygen deprivation, nerve damage, and hematomas.
How Much Is A Medical Malpractice Case Worth?
Every client asks us this question and our answer is always the same: Until we review your specific case we can’t give you a clear answer. There are many factors that contribute to any compensation awarded in medical malpractice claims and no two outcomes are the same.
When a plaintiff is compensated for the losses they have sustained, this compensation is called damages. Damages can be awarded for:
- The physical pain and suffering that the patient experienced due to the mistake made.
- The income the patient lost due to their inability to return to work for an extended period of time.
- Medical bills that occurred because of the damaged caused.
- Funeral or burial expenses if the patient died due to the mistake made.
- Emotional trauma sustained throughout the ordeal.
How Long Do I Have To Wait Before I Can File?
You don’t! In fact, it’s incredibly important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible because there is a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, which restricts the amount of time that you have to file.
Has Your Firm Had Many Successful Cases?
Absolutely! Our team has dedicated their careers to making sure that the victims of medical malpractice get what they so desperately need and deserve. You can expect detailed communication from us every step of the way and unequaled attention to detail.