Medical Malpractice Cases: Explaining Common Causes for Claims
As patients, we trust our doctors to make the right medical decisions for us. While healthcare providers largely meet those expectations, the unfortunate truth is that even people with medical degrees can make mistakes or fail to deliver on the minimum standard of care.
Although there are many reasons that you might need a Southern California personal injury attorney, a medical malpractice situation may be one of the most harrowing. In fact, there are approximately 225,000 people who die every year from medical malpractice. There are numerous situations that may fall under this category of law, but this post will outline some of the most common kinds of personal injury cases involving medical errors that impact people all throughout the United States.
Child Birth Injuries
The reckless or negligent actions of an OBGYN or other doctor can result in injuries (such as brain or nerve damage) to an infant, as well as injuries to the mother. If negligence during prenatal care or during birth can be proven, it may be possible to file a claim against the parties responsible. However, there are injuries that can occur during these periods that are not due to medical negligence. A failure to diagnose a birth defect or to respond to signs of fetal distress may warrant a medical malpractice suit if it can be proven that injuries occurred as a result. But some birth complications are unavoidable, meaning that not every injury can be automatically tied to malpractice. It's important to consult with your Southern California personal injury attorney to determine whether you might have a viable case.
While many surgeries may go off without a hitch, there are some that are marred by mistakes. Incision or surgery site errors and the presence of foreign objects (like surgical instruments) inside the body after healing may be more common than you'd think. These negligent circumstances can arise from poor planning and errors performed by the surgeon; infections, permanent damage, and death can occur as a result. Although not all surgical complications can be blamed on medical malpractice, mistakes made in the operating room may be classified as such.
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are common scenarios, which means they make up a good portion of medical malpractice cases in the United States. When a patient receives an incorrect diagnosis or a diagnosis isn't diagnosed at all for a significant period of time, that patient might miss out on potential treatment opportunities (and thus reduce the risk of injury of fatality). However, proving misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is far from easy. Your Southern California personal injury attorney will need to compare the actions (or lack of action, as the case may be) taken by your doctor to those taken by others within their same specialty. If your lawyer is able to prove that another doctor would not have made the same diagnostic errors under those same circumstances, it may be possible for you to file a malpractice claim against your healthcare provider.
Medication and Anesthesia Errors
Prescription errors, medication administration mistakes, and anesthesia errors can all cause harm to a patient. Even dosage mistakes, improper medication interaction, or malfunctioning medical equipment may result in injury -- and warrant the filing of a medical malpractice suit. Doctors and other healthcare professionals have a duty to investigate a patient's medical history, as well as to prescribe and to administer medication (or anesthesia) properly. If they fail to meet these expectations, patients may suffer permanent damage or even die. Those who have been injured as a result of these preventable errors should discuss their case with a lawyer right away.
While all personal injury cases come with a certain level of complexity, these situations often present additional challenges that require assistance from an experienced law professional. If you or someone you love has been a victim of a medical malpractice case, be sure to consult with a Southern California personal injury attorney right away.