Medical malpractice statistics reveal a saddening fact that happens in medical care facilities. Journal of patient safety in the US states that medical errors are the third leading cause of death after heart failure and melanoma.
Medical malpractice is a finite case leaving infinite evidence for proof. This is an estimate known through the wrong prescription for the medical treatment with the help of a medical summary. The negligent care, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, birth injuries, and wrong prescription of drugs need to be the stepping stones for compensation.
The fulcrum around agonizing medical malpractice complement deep queries on medical negligence, wrongful death, types of medical malpractice, medical malpractice attorney, medical malpractice cases, and compensation for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice meaning
The legal dictionary defines medical malpractice as an act or conduct of professional competence (health care provider, doctor, nurses, pharmacist, and medical bill administration) and results in provable damages to his/her client or patient. Such an error or omission may be through negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
Medical malpractice types
Medical malpractice is a leading cause of death in the US. The statistics illustrate that 17000 people fall prey to medical negligence or wrongful death annually. I wish to specify a few common types: nursing home abuse, delayed treatment, medication errors, and defective medical devices- of medical malpractice frequently creeping the country.
- Failure to diagnose an illness
Health care professionals need to diagnose the illness correctly for administering proper medication. If misdiagnosis happens, it will lead to life-threatening disease in the long run. For instance, a patient comes to the doctor with chest pain and misdiagnoses it as mere indigestion. It can even bring death to the patient. Misdiagnosis can be sued for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Medication error
Medication error leads to inappropriate prescription of drugs and dosages. Complex administration of drugs can lead to adverse consequences such as allergies, rashness, soreness in the body, and any other severe complication to physical and mental health. A medication error can be sued for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
For example, a doctor prescribes the medicine to patient-A, and the nurse administers the medication to the wrong patients. This is a shear medical negligence on the part of the nurse, which is to be sued for medical negligence tort.
- Failure to treat adequately
The medical professionals are trained to treat the patients as per the requirement. If their treatment does not match the standard of care for the specific illness, they can even lose a life. For instance, the patient had a hernia operation, which demanded that the patient is in the hospital for a few days to have the standard of care.
The healthcare administration realized that the patient had possessed a lack of insurance cover or wrong insurance claim. The health care provider requested the patient to be taken to home immediately. This incident caused the patient to have emotional distress and lack of adequate care leading to suffering and pain. S/he is eligible to sue for both medical malpractice lawsuits cum emotional distress lawsuits.
- Birth injuries
Birth injuries occur during the time of delivery. When the child cannot come out of the womb, the gynecologists excessively pull and push the baby’s head and neck. This can cause severe damage to both newborn and the mother.
The outcome of the birth injury comprises brachial palsy, forceps marks, cephalo-hematoma, facial paralysis, fractures, caput succedaneum, and sub-conjunctival hemorrhage. These are the physical injuries caused by the delivery, which can be sued for compensation.
- Surgical errors
Surgical errors are pervasive throughout the globe. Surgical errors happen due to the negligence of doctors. They may do surgery even when not required or sometimes keep surgical elements in the patient’s body. All these can lead to complex issues for the patient in the long run. Surgical errors are a grievous form of negligence tort, and it can be sued for a medical malpractice claim.
For example, while doing an operation, the doctor forgets to remove the surgical tools and stitches along with it. This is a severe form of medical negligence of the surgeon, which caused the surgical error.
Trending malpractice queries
Medical malpractice is a byproduct of medical negligence. Some medical malpractice cases can be easily identifiable, but most of them tend to emerge after a prolonged period of time, even sometimes after death. This burning issue henceforth requires a lot of consideration and patience to counter. This article will focus on some of the trending queries in the US.
What is considered medical malpractice?
There are very many incidents where doctors are not liable for a medical malpractice claim. However, doctors and healthcare providers are obliged to provide standard care and proper medication to the patients.
Failing to provide the right diagnosis and effective treatment will lead to physical harm and injury. Ultimately, the patient suffers hardships, mental distress, disability, loss of income, and maybe death. All these incidents can be sued under medical malpractice lawsuits for compensation.
How common is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a common phenomenon in the US. I shall concentrate from the viewpoint of sued medical malpractice lawsuits. Medical malpractice center reveals a shocking report that 15000 to 19000 medical malpractice lawsuits are filed against doctors annually in the US.
Trendsetters of economic and health policy research disclose that more than one in three physicians have a medical liability lawsuit against them at some point of their career before attaining the age of fifty. Men doctors are severely affected in terms of lawsuits than the female doctors.
There is 80 to 90 percent of medical malpractice cases go in favor of physicians due to lack of evidence. Only 10 percent of medical malpractice claims go for a further trial with a strong evidence note. Out of ten percent, hardly five percent get medical malpractice claims.
Is medical malpractice a criminal act?
Medical malpractice lies predominantly within civil lawsuits. In case the criminal negligence of a doctor or a nurse causes severe physical injuries or organ damages to the patients, leading to death proves beyond any reasonable doubt can come under the criminal act. This can fetch forth years of imprisonment with the penalty.
The claimant is not primarily interested in the doctor’s imprisonment but, for sure, interested in suing for a medical malpractice claim. Hence most of the medical negligence claim come under civil action. The intent of the healthcare provider is vital to decide the wrongful death of the patient. If the intent of the doctor is to kill the patient, while doing the surgery is paramount clear, then the medical malpractice case will come under the criminal act. This is one of the rarest of the rare cases.
What do medical malpractice lawyers do?
Medical malpractice lawyers are a kind of personal injury attorneys who help the client in civil litigation against professional medical malpractice for compensation. Medical malpractice lawyers develop a constant relationship with the medical experts for testimony, medical documents, and other paraphernalia to support the case.
Personal injury lawyers also arrange IMEs (Independent Medical Evaluator) and QMEs (Qualified Medical Evaluator) to assess the injured condition to see the pertaining complications and the improvement. He takes strong support from medical record review companies for a detailed medical chronology, narrative summary, demand letter, and deposition summary.
Medical malpractice attorneys will closely associate with the legal medical consultant to know the case thoroughly and understand medical write-ups about the plaintiff’s medical condition from the beginning to discharge.
Medical malpractice lawyers work very hard to collect all the data supporting the case before trial. A medical malpractice lawsuit is a complicated personal injury case in the US. Every detail is essential in the case for an accurate claim. Lawyers will constantly be watching the case very for its affirmative or pejorative move.
What is medical malpractice death?
The legal perspective suggests that medical malpractice death and wrongful death are two different legal entities. They can complement each other in medical death. Medical malpractice death occurs when the surgeon behaves least bothering about the legal duty of the care given to the patient.
For example, for the sake of a few dollars avoiding the past medical reports, the doctor goes for an operation. While doing an operation on a patient, the patient dies. This comes under medical malpractice death. The case of death mentioned in the example shows a strong cohesiveness of medical malpractice which resulted in a wrongful death.
Wrongful death has a wider context to uphold. Any death that takes place by the infliction of an external element is wrongful death. In relation to hospital, any death occurs due to the medical malpractice, or negligence is considered as wrongful death.
Is medical malpractice personal injury?
Medical malpractice and personal injuries are not one and the same. One succeeds the other. Medical malpractice causes personal injury. Medical malpractice is a neglect committed by the health care professionals in the hospitals or nursing homes. Medical malpractice has a limited horizon but personal injury is all embracing. Even the negligence tort arises out of car crash causing injury on the road is also personal injury.
For example, surgical error is a personal injury caused by medical malpractice. Medical malpractice leading to personal injury is sued in the civil court. They are not same but one leads the other.
What is medical malpractice insurance?
Medical malpractice insurance is known as professional indemnity insurance. It is a kind of financial coverage plan. It helps the medical professionals from any allegations of misconduct or wrongdoings in their professional services.
Professional indemnity insurance is a shield and protective cover to medical professionals. It assures full support to stand by the medical professional on misdiagnosis, medical errors, administering wrong dosages, birth injury, surgical errors, and any kinds of financial losses due to their medical negligence.
The medical practitioner looks for medical malpractice insurance coverage because any medical malpractice lawsuit filed against him/her is a costly affair. They may not be able to afford it. To avoid a heavy financial burden, they look for professional indemnity insurance.
What is the distinction between medical malpractice and medical negligence?
There is a distinction between medical malpractice and medical negligence in the context of life care treatment. There is a strong correlation between them. Medical malpractice is preceded by medical negligence.
Medical negligence is the neglect shown by the health care provider in assuring good care and support to the patient. The negligence that leads patients to undergo any harm or injury is medical malpractice. For example, a shocking incidence happened at a fertility clinic in New York. Nancy Andrew did not have baby for many years. She went to the fertility clinic to intermingle her embryo with her husband’s sperm. Nevertheless, the samples got mixed up, and she delivered a baby girl. Nancy found that there is no relationship between her husband and daughter. She filed a medical malpractice claim on the fertility clinic and the embryologist.
This is a true incident which took place in Ney York. Our point of discussion is on the distinction between medical malpractice and medical negligence. In this case, mixing of the DNA sample is the medical negligence committed by the embryologist and the healthcare service provider. While, Nancy Andrew’s lawsuit against the medical negligence is medical malpractice from the legal perspective.
How to sue for a medical malpractice claim?
Generally, medical negligence is dealt with in the civil court between the claimant and the defendant. Three valuable standards need to be fulfilled for a medical malpractice claim. The standards are as follows:-
- Doctors, nurses, or other health care providers had the duty to care for the sick.
- The negligent health care providers breached that duty of care towards the patient.
- The breach led to severe injury and damage.
- The result of injury led to further treatment, pain, mental distress, suffering, economic loss, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of wage or death.
These maxims need to be proved before the jury with all the available records, medical bills, and other relevant certifications by the help of a personal injury attorney.
Chances of winning medical malpractice claim
It is easy to sue for a medical malpractice claim. Winning the claim depends on the case strength and the capability of the medical malpractice attorney. You often read in the newspaper about the story of the winning cases. Nothing surfaces about the cases which have been nullified.
The legal survey tells that 95 percent of medical malpractice cases end up before the trial. Experts say that medical malpractice is the most complex personal injury case ever for compensation. If you are severely affected by medical negligence and do have the proof against the medical professionals, discuss the claim with the medical malpractice attorneys. You can have the chance of winning.
Patients can be victimized for the lack of care they receive in the medical care facility. Alexander Pope, an English poet, writes in the essay on criticism part-II that “to err is human, to forgive is divine”. This statement cannot be justified in terms of medical treatment. Healthcare providers need to be careful with all the facilities and the professionals hired to treat patients
Health care professionals study hard for many years to enrich theoretical cum practical knowledge. They, too, undergo years of practical experiences before plunging into actual service. There cannot be any major medical complications if they are truly caring. Medical malpractice destroys patients’ hope in the medical system and the healthcare providers.
Have you ever sued for a medical malpractice claim? Provide your valuable comments.