Medical Malpractice – What You Need to Know
Medical malpractice is defined as when a physician performs a medical procedure improperly or when a patient suffers damage due to an error made by the physician. This type of law has been around for many years and it is important that people know how to fight back in court against these claims.
As any malpractice attorney will tell you, medical malpractice is based on several elements. The first one is whether the physician has made an error or a mistake in a medical decision.
There is a fundamental difference between errors in diagnosis and treatment and mistakes in judgments about a patient’s welfare. Errors in diagnosis are usually because of the misconception that a medical problem can be diagnosed only by observation. A mistake, on the other hand, refers to any misdiagnosis that may result in harm to a patient.
Some mistakes are so serious that they do not involve any kind of negligence but rather are the result of specific fault on the part of the physician. Other examples of such mistakes are mistakes in the use of anesthesia, chemical substances used in surgery, or in the delivery of therapeutic drugs. These are also medical malpractice claims.
To make sure that the doctor is held liable, there is a requirement that state the medical diagnosis, the procedures performed and the results of the procedures. A doctor can be held liable for a mistake regarding the diagnosis of a particular disease even if he did not intend to commit a medical malpractice.
The most common error committed in the diagnosis of disease is the failure to recognize that some patients have an immunity to the disease. There are times when the medical professional is ignorant of this fact, or the patient does not mention it, or the condition is more severe than it should be in order to allow the medical professional to better evaluate the patient. Thus, for a malpractice claim to be valid, there has to be a suspicion that the medical professional made a mistake.
Another element in the diagnosis is the fact that a diagnosis of a disease that is in need of additional testing does not necessarily mean that the patient’s case is hopeless. For example, an unusual radiology scan or a colonoscopy might indicate that the patient has a serious bowel problem that requires further investigation. Medical professionals, however, sometimes make assumptions that are incorrect and treat the case as hopeless.
If a patient has experienced damage as a result of a mistake that was made by a medical professional, a medical malpractice claim can be filed by the patient. The doctor, however, cannot be held liable for the damage because it was caused by the patient’s failure to disclose information that he or she should have disclosed, or the medical professional’s mistaken belief.
Some professionals cannot be held liable for medical malpractice if they acted in good faith and only unintentionally harmed a patient. However, this would not protect them from being sued. A malpractice suit can be brought against anyone who has performed any kind of medical procedure in a professional capacity.
For example, an injured patient can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, an emergency room doctor, a radiologist or an anesthesiologist. Although these professionals might act in good faith, a patient could argue that they caused the injury. This would be true even if they had not intended to harm the patient.
Medical malpractice claims are usually settled out of court. Thus, patients who file a medical malpractice claim must be prepared to prove their case in court.
Since a lawsuit may affect the ability of the patient to continue with his or her life, it is vital that the patient is aware of the possible outcomes of filing a malpractice suit. A patient can prevent the possibility of becoming a statistic if he or she fully understands the legalities of filing a lawsuit.