An in-depth case study was conducted, and it was found that around 1 in 3 healthcare professionals will face a medical malpractice lawsuit at some point in their careers. Of course, the reason for facing these lawsuits can range from negligence to misdiagnosing a client, but that doesn’t change the bottom line that a patient has been affected negatively while in the professional’s care.
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one has been the victim of malpractice, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find a guide that will help you understand medical malpractice.
As well as the steps that need to be taken to prove it and get the justice you seek.
Table of Contents
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a broad term that covers a range of issues. Still, in a general sense, it’s when someone has experienced a worsening of their ailment, been harmed, or in severe cases, died because the healthcare professional they trusted didn’t do their job correctly.
Medical malpractice happens more than you think, but that doesn’t mean that when it does, people begin searching for a personal injury lawyer to assist with the case.
Not all malpractice cases will turn into lawsuits because of the challenges people face when attempting to prove their cases. However, speaking with a personal injury lawyer will help to determine the best route to take in your situation. It’s not enough to say a doctor did something wrong that caused your ailment to worse.
You’ve got to prove without a shadow of a doubt that the doctor is directly linked to your problem.
We encourage you not to let this discourage you because you increase your chances of winning a medical malpractice case with the right lawyer on your side and proper evidence.
Types of Malpractice
There are several types of medical malpractice. The first step in your case is to determine which form of malpractice your case is going to fall under.
The first type is a delay in making the proper diagnosis. In the medical field, time is of the essence, and when a doctor makes the wrong diagnosis, it could mean a patient doesn’t receive the treatment they need in a timely manner.
Misdiagnosis is another common form of medical malpractice, and it’s when your primary care physician does diagnose you, but they make the wrong diagnosis. When the wrong diagnosis is made, you will receive the wrong treatment.
In this case, there is the chance that the treatment or medication you receive can lead to further damage, or your body can have an inverse reaction to what you’ve been prescribed. Birth injuries are malpractice because they can cause permanent injury or disfigurement to children that are being born.
These injuries can occur when a mother is giving birth, and an intervention is used out of poor decision-making on behalf of your doctor. Medical errors can also occur, meaning the staff caring for you conducts a procedure, and something goes wrong during the treatment.
This could mean they’re treating the wrong body part or need to take more time to prep the right supplies before treatment, which can lead to items being improperly sanitized, leading to infection or further contamination of the treatment area.
How Do Doctors, Healthcare Professionals Combat Medical Malpractice?
When healthcare professionals begin their careers, the last thing they want is to be sued. They’ve spent a lot of time studying and working hard to obtain their credentials, which means they will do what it takes to keep themselves and their reputation intact.
Due to the increase in medical malpractice cases, some physicians take a different approach to doing their jobs to combat this issue. The first way they combat it is through what is known as a positive defensive medical practice.
This is when they go above and beyond to provide care, sometimes doing too much to ensure their patients are provided what they need. On the other hand, some physicians exhibit negative defensive medical practices when they don’t do enough to provide the right amount of care for their patients.
Negative practice can cause you to pay more for the care you need.
Steps to Prove Medical Malpractice
Once you’ve determined you’re the victim of medical malpractice, it’s time to sit down with your attorney and begin to put your case together. The first step is to take some time and gather all of your medical records that are relevant to the case.
This is to determine the care you have or have not received that caused your injury. Once you’ve gathered the medical records, you can review whether your treatment was correctly done.
When requesting your medical records, most facilities require you to either ask verbally or submit a written request. After obtaining your medical records, you must review your area’s statute of limitations.
Depending on the law, your window to file your case could be between 2–5 years; after this time window has passed, you would no longer be able to file your lawsuit against the doctor. If your condition is ongoing, it’s crucial that you find a doctor you trust to provide the right form of treatment.
This will significantly help to improve your trust in those working within the medical field and help you gain better control of your condition. Your attorney will want to gather witnesses that can support your case and have them provide testimony against the medical professional.
However, you don’t need testimony from just anyone; the person has to be an expert witness, which means having a doctor specializing in your injury to provide insight. They’ll testify whether negligence on behalf of the doctor is why you’re in this situation, to begin with.
Understanding Medical Malpractice & The Next Steps You Should Take
Several components come with understanding medical malpractice. These include what it is and the various types that it can fall under. Once you have a better understanding, you can then work with a licensed lawyer to reach the potential outcome you’ve been searching for.
Want to know more about malpractice and whether you have a case? Check out other areas of our website for more information.