You trust your doctor with your health, which is essentially your livelihood. Rightly so—the United States is home to some of the best physicians on the planet.
However, even the most skilled and experienced professionals can still make mistakes. How do you know whether your doctor’s mistake can prompt a lawsuit?
Read on to learn more about medical malpractice.
When a medical professional commits negligence, it’s called medical malpractice. In the medical field, errors are made all the time. However, medical malpractice suits are prompted when certain medical errors could have been avoided if medical professionals would’ve taken better care and consideration for their patients.
When your doctor makes an error that’s preventable and you become injured as a result, you may have a viable medical malpractice case.
In order to have a legitimate medical malpractice case, the following elements must be present:
- You must have a duty of care owed to you
- That duty must’ve been breached
- You were proximately harmed as a result of the breach of duty
The legal term “proximate cause” refers to whether you would’ve been harmed if your doctor hadn’t acted negligently. In essence, if you would’ve been injured regardless of the malpractice action, then you don’t have a viable claim.
Duty of Care
Your doctor owes you a duty of care once your doctor-patient relationship is established. This occurs once your doctor voluntarily agrees to administer your care. When your doctor owes you a duty of care, they become liable for any injury that comes about due to any negligence throughout your treatment.
Different Kinds of Medical Malpractice
There are different ways your doctor can breach the duty of care that they legally owe you. The different kinds of medical malpractice claims are as follows:
- Failure to diagnose. If a proficient physician would’ve found your ailment or provided a different diagnosis, which, subsequently would’ve provided you with a better outcome than you experienced, you may have a legitimate medical malpractice case.
- Inadequate treatment. If your doctor treats you in such a way that another proficient physician never would, you may have a medical malpractice case. Similarly, if your doctor chooses the best treatment option for your ailment but fails to properly administer it, you may have a case.
- Neglect to warn you of known hazards. If your doctor decides not to warn you of the potential hazards associated with the recommended treatment, and as a result, you experience complications that you weren’t aware could be possible, you may have a case. Your doctor has a duty to warn you of the established risks of a procedure or treatment. This duty is referred to as the “duty of informed consent.”
Common Medical Malpractice Cases
There are several ways that doctors can make mistakes, although some instances seem to appear more than others. The following are common medical malpractice cases in alphabetical order:
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries
- Brain injuries
- Cancer misdiagnosis
- Catheter errors
- Dangerous medications
- Defective medical devices (including shoulder pain pumps)
- Diagnosis errors
- Doctor errors
- Duragesic/fentanyl pain patch overdose
- Emergency room errors
- Hospital errors
- Nursing home negligence
- Surgical negligence
- Pharmacy errors
- X-ray and radiology errors
- Vaccine litigation
We’re Here to Help
If you find yourself in a situation where your doctor provided inadequate care or made a mistake that caused you to experience an injury, you may be owed compensation. Our attorneys at Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C. are highly experienced in this area of the law and have helped many other people just like you achieve the justice they rightly deserved. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your case right away. Your health is not something you should compromise.
Call Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C. today at (816) 484-3776 for a free consultation regarding your case.