5 Types of Medical Malpractice to Be Aware Of
We trust our doctors to take care of us and ensure that we are as healthy as possible. But what happens if they make mistakes or fail outright? According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, there are about 225,000 deaths every year related to medical malpractice. This, among other things, is why people pursue personal injury cases related to medical malpractice.
While some may feel intimidated or even awkward when pursuing a personal injury case related to medical malpractice, this is why personal injury law exists. When people or their loved ones are injured due to medical malpractice, they may have to deal with high medical bills, as well as money lost due to time away from work. Additionally, they may never be able to work their same jobs ever again, and in some cases may never be able to work at all. In the worst-case scenarios, death can occur. Medical malpractice is complex, and you'll need a good personal injury attorney on your side to prove that it happened to you. Below are several types of medical malpractice that people need to know about.
1. Failure to Treat
In the case of failure to treat, a doctor is aware of a medical diagnosis but fails to treat it or recommend the proper treatment. This might sound hard to believe, but it does occur. Usually, this type of situation occurs when a doctor has too many patients on their hands. They may become overwhelmed and simply forget to recommend a treatment for a patient. But it's up to the doctor to ensure that they do not take on too many patients and subsequently put profits over safety. Personal injury law exists to ensure that if a doctor releases a patient too soon or neglects to refer a patient to a specialist or offer follow up treatments, they are held responsible for the consequences.
There are many cases of misdiagnosis in the United States. This can seriously affect patients on multiple levels. When a patient is misdiagnosed, they receive improper treatment that can actually make them sicker. Additionally, they may go without treatment at all. In some cases, healthy patients can also be misdiagnosed and receive treatment that they do not need. No matter what, misdiagnosis is the result of a doctor failing to do their diligence and ensuring that their patients are cared for properly.
3. Delayed Diagnosis
Many practitioners of personal injury law handle cases involving delayed diagnoses. Usually, a doctor in these cases will make the wrong diagnosis at first, but eventually will give the correct diagnosis. Therefore, it differs from a total misdiagnosis, but it's just as dangerous. In order for this type of case to be proven by a personal injury lawyer, the doctor must have somehow failed to run the same types of diagnostic tests and procedures that another doctor would have utilized. This will illustrate the incompetence of the doctor in question.
4. Surgical Errors
One of the main types of medical malpractice that occurs is the classic surgical error. While there are circumstances in which unforeseen issues arise during surgery, and doctors cannot be held responsible, surgical errors are quite different. If doctors perform incorrect procedures, perform unnecessary procedures, damage the patient's body, administer the incorrect amount of anesthesia, use non-sterile surgical instruments, leave medical equipment inside the patient, or fail to perform proper after-care following surgery, they could have committed medical malpractice.
5. Birth Injuries
Everyone is born, and as such there are millions of women giving birth every year. Birth should be fairly routine. But in some cases, the mother, the baby, or both can be hurt by irresponsible doctors, resulting in serious injury or even death. Negligence during childbirth, in which a doctor fails to provide adequate care even after the mother seeks it, is particularly common in the U.S. right now.
You are not wrong to seek compensation if you've been the victim of medical malpractice. Don't find yourself intimidated out of pursuing this type of case. Make sure that you get what you're owed.