If you or a loved one have been hurt because of a medical professionals mistake, you are likely wondering:
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When we go to the doctor, we are trusting that they will use their knowledge and years of experience practicing medicine to correctly diagnose and treat a medical condition. But even the best doctors are only human and they do make mistakes, mistakes which could seriously harm a patient or even cost them their life.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional:
But what does all of that mean, really? Basically, whenever a patient seeks help from a medical professional, that medical professional has a duty to provide them with the accepted standard of care, which means they must treat them the way that is accepted in general by the medical community. If they fail to do so and the patient suffers as a result, they may be named in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Common forms of medical malpractice include:
Misdiagnosis: When a patient presents with an illness, doctors use their symptoms to determine which tests should be ordered. Often, many different illnesses can have the same symptoms and all physicians should be aware of this, however, patients are frequently misdiagnosed and told they have a medical condition that they don’t.
Birth Injury: It’s no secret that labor and delivery can be a difficult and dangerous time for both mother and child. Doctors, nurses, and all other medical professionals need to be fully focused on all aspects of the situation because one small mistake can cost an otherwise healthy newborn their future.
Surgical Mistakes: Without surgery, many patients simply wouldn’t survive. However, surgeons need to be precise, otherwise, they may end up doing more harm than good.
Prescription Errors: Medications must be the correct dosage and both doctors and pharmacists must check to make sure a patient isn’t on a drug that may react poorly with a new medication.
Anesthesia Errors: Anesthesiologists don’t just put people under for surgeries – they also perform procedures like epidurals. If a mistake is made, a patient’s life can literally be in danger.
The bottom line is that when medical malpractice occurs, the patient who is harmed has the right to pursue legal action.
If you’re going to proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit, there are some important points to take note of. Perhaps most notably, you should seek out the expertise of a medical negligence attorney given the fact that these legal claims can be so complex.
Once the claims and litigation process is underway, your medical malpractice lawyer with likely begin with establishing that a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the medical professional. This step is critical as it establishes the foundation for a case to be built upon; that is, it proves that the doctor agreed to take the victim on as a patient before the malpractice took place.
Once the relationship is made concrete in a legal argument, then negligence by the doctor must be proven. Negligence speaks to situations in which the doctor should have acted in a proper way, following a standardized method in the medical field, but failed to do so. In most cases where victims look to sue for malpractice, some sort of medical expert will have to come in at this point to testify on their behalf and speak to the way in which the allegedly negligent doctor may have acted.
Lastly, your medical malpractice lawyer will have to establish that the negligence on behalf of the medical professional directly caused the injury. If this last point cannot be argued and, at minimum partially proven, then your malpractice lawsuit could fall apart. If nothing else, it could prevent a medical negligence victim from achieving the maximum compensation that they could have been entitled to.
The statute of limitations, which is the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a legal complaint against the party whose negligence hurt them, determines the time threshold for viable claims.
The specific time limit varies by state. In Pennsylvania, patients have two years to file their legal complaint. However, the clock “starts” when the patient discovers that medical malpractice occurs. If the legal paperwork isn’t filed within the statute of limitations, the victim of medical malpractice may no longer be able to recover the compensation they are owed.
Lawsuits can provide a plaintiff with the financial relief they desperately need. Compensation may cover post past and future:
In the event that the patient dies as a result of the medical malpractice, compensation may also cover:
Choosing an attorney is an important and personal decision that shouldn’t be rushed. When you work with Justice Guardians, you can be sure that we will treat you with the compassion that you deserve, that we will answer all of your questions, and that we will do everything in our power to ensure that you recover the maximum compensation possible.
Call our law firm now to learn more.
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