When a person completes medical school and graduates to become a doctor, they are sworn in using the Hippocratic oath of ethics. This oath binds them to provide their services professionally and ethically. Their number one priority should be the preservation of life.
When a doctor or any other medical professional fails to provide these services to the best of their judgment and places a patient in harm’s way, they violate this oath. This, therefore, becomes medical malpractice. In simple terms, medical malpractice is an act of negligence or omission by a healthcare provider that causes a patient to experience injury, harm, or hurt.
For example, if you walk into a doctor’s office and they dismiss your symptoms, refuse to provide you with medical care, misdiagnose your case, perform unnecessary surgical procedures, etc., it will be considered malpractice.
In this case, it is well within the affected patient’s rights to file a suit and earn compensation for their claims. If the malpractice resulted in the patient’s death, the immediate family members are eligible to file a lawsuit.
Who Is a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Learning that an error that was likely preventable by the hospital or health practitioner has led to permanent damage in a patient’s life brings about a myriad of feelings. These times can be overwhelming for the patients and their families. In this case, they must find experienced legal assistance.
A medical malpractice attorney is experienced in this field and will ensure the best possible outcome for the affected patient and their family. They help their clients through the claims process and resolve issues with their insurance companies. For a patient considering legal assistance, ensure that the person in question is skilled in this field and is licensed to practice.
Qualities of a Medical Malpractice Attorney
The process of filing a medical malpractice claim is quite complex. These qualities will help any affected person find experienced legal assistance.
- Legal Knowledge– A medical malpractice case takes years to resolve. The lawyer should be conversant with all the stages of the case and provide the best legal assistance that keeps the case moving forward.
- Medical Knowledge– A lawyer who is incompetent in medicine will likely harm the case’s progress. As much as they are lawyers, they must also know the medical field. This knowledge will help them review the case and identify the type of malpractice experienced by the patient.
- Experience as a Malpractice Attorney– Winning a medical malpractice case is difficult. It also doesn’t help the afflicted client that these cases could last three to five years in court. While searching for experienced legal assistance, ensure the law firm is able and willing to take the case to court instead of a quick settlement.
Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
According to research done by Johns Hopkins, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. From the data, malpractice accounts for over 250,000 deaths every year. This number is too large, considering that these deaths are entirely avoidable. These are the most common cases of malpractice:
- Misdiagnosis – This occurs when a health practitioner fails to recognize the symptoms of an ailment in time. This error also occurs when the health practitioner gives a patient an incorrect diagnosis, leading to permanent damage to their health. A misdiagnosis could lead to future complications in the health of the patient.
- Prescription errors – Incorrectly advising a patient on the type of drug and the amount required to be consumed could result in an exacerbated condition or possibly death. If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication to a patient or the right medication but at the wrong dosage, the patient has the right to file a suit.
- Surgical and procedural errors – A surgical room has many experienced professionals, and any one of them could have spotted a mistake and promptly informed the lead surgeon. Surgical errors include wrong site operations, unnecessary procedures, leaving tools inside a patient’s body, operating on the wrong patient, or failure to follow surgical procedures before, during, and after surgery.
The difference between life and death lies in a doctor’s decisions while treating a patient for injuries, diseases, or other ailments. Doctors are trusted to ensure the patient’s life is preserved to the best of their knowledge. If this is violated, they must be made to take responsibility for their actions. The affected clients can only receive their rightful compensation by finding experienced legal assistance to help with the claims process.
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