Healthcare providers should be some of the people we trust most in the entire world – after all, when we go to the doctor, we trust that we will be taken care of. In most circumstances, doctors and other health care providers validate that trust and take care of their patients in a respectable and safe manner. But in other cases, doctors do not take care of their patients very well, and medical malpractice occurs.
When a healthcare provider commits medical malpractice and causes injuries to a patient under their care, that healthcare provider should be brought to justice. Medical malpractice lawsuits provide that justice and also serve as an important deterrent against future malpractice that could save lives. If you or a loved one have been injured due to suspected malpractice, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to inquire about a potential lawsuit.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider acts in a manner that is not in accord with accepted standards of medical practice. Malpractice can occur in all types of healthcare settings, and it can be committed by any type of healthcare provider. To prove a medical malpractice case, a plaintiff generally must establish the following elements:
- A standard of care exists that shows how reasonable healthcare providers would treat patients in similar factual scenarios
- The health care provider in question violated that standard of care by their acts or failures to act
- The patient was injured because of those acts or failures
- The patient suffered injuries that were measurable and evident
Accepted Standards of Medical Care
In most medical malpractice cases, the first element tends to be the most important, which requires the establishment of a standard of care. To do so, plaintiffs are generally required to present expert evidence from other doctors who will testify as to how “reasonable” doctors would treat a similar patient in a similar background story.
The most common defense used by doctors in medical malpractice cases is that their actions were within their discretion – and that defense is sometimes valid because medical decisions are often discretionary. But when a doctor acts so far beyond reasonably accepted standards, that defense cannot and will not stand. Our team of attorneys is experienced in handling medical malpractice cases, and we can locate expert witnesses who will establish what actual standards of care are within any given healthcare setting.
Liability for Medical Malpractice
While most cases of medical malpractice are brought against doctors, medical malpractice can be committed by any type of healthcare professional. Sometimes, malpractice cases can be brought against groups of professionals or even an entire office, depending on the specific issues of any given case. Examples of defendants in medical malpractice cases include:
- Physicians, including general practitioners, specialists, and surgeons
- Nurses and nurse practitioners
- Physician assistants
- Hospital administrators and executives
- Anesthesiologists and surgery technicians
- Dentists and orthodontists
- Chiropractors and manipulative doctors
Oftentimes, it can be difficult to determine exactly where things went wrong in a medical malpractice case. In the simplest situations, a doctor makes one mistake during one procedure, and the error is pinpointed. But in other cases, an error may stem from an issue with a policy or a standard operating procedure that is more appropriately blamed on hospital administrators. A medical malpractice attorney can assist you in conducting background research on your claim to determine who is at fault, and in turn, from whom compensation should be sought.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur in any healthcare situation where errors or mistakes are made and injuries are caused. Thus, medical malpractice cases are extremely varied in factual backgrounds, but the most common examples of medical malpractice include the following:
- Surgical errors
- Failure to diagnose or treat a condition
- Wrongful prescribing
- Anesthesia errors, leading to painful procedures
- Birth injuries and birth trauma
- Wrongful diagnosis of major and traumatic conditions
Even though these situations are common, any time you suspect that medical malpractice has occurred, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Hospitals and their insurance companies are unfortunately skilled at hiding and covering up malpractice incidents, and there may be evidence to uncover that you aren’t fully aware of.
Signs of Medical Malpractice
Because medical malpractice is such a massive liability and publicity issue for doctors and hospitals, you may not even be aware that malpractice has possibly occurred. Generally, trusting your instincts is the best way to determine if something fishy has happened, and if you suspect malpractice, you should contact an attorney. Otherwise, here are some specific warning signs that may indicate a malpractice incident:
- Unexpected, severe, and seemingly unrelated “side effects” after a procedure
- Unusual behavior by your healthcare team
- Communication issues with your healthcare team, including a lack of clarity about issues that may have arisen
- Injuries that do not respond to treatments
- Unexpected complications or new side effects
If you suspect in any way that you may have fallen victim to medical malpractice, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Contact an Attorney Today to Set Up a Free Consultation
The first step in pursuing compensation for injuries caused by medical malpractice is contacting an attorney to set up a free consultation on your prospective case. When choosing a malpractice attorney, it is important that you work with a lawyer who will not be afraid to battle hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and the expensive lawyers they employ. Our team of fearless advocates is passionate about obtaining justice for our clients and fighting for justice is at the forefront of our personal injury law practice.
At Bailey Glasser, our legal expertise covers a broad spectrum of practice areas, including those pertaining to birth injury and dog bite incidents. Our birth injury lawyers are committed to supporting families navigating through the complexities of medical negligence, helping them seek justice and compensation for their child’s unfortunate circumstances. Moreover, we provide legal assistance to victims of dog bite incidents, aiming to ensure they receive fair compensation for their injuries and trauma. Regardless of your situation, our dedicated team is equipped to offer the diligent legal representation you deserve.
We offer free, no-risk consultations to prospective clients, and during a consultation, you can expect to tell your story and hear whether you may have a viable claim for compensation. Contact us today to set up a free consultation on your prospective medical malpractice case. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.