5 Common Medical Malpractice Claims
We all turn to doctors and medical professionals to help us regain our health and feel better after an illness or injury. While medical professionals generally have your best interests in mind, medical malpractice is still a serious problem in the United States.
These five common medical malpractice claims demonstrate the ways you may get mistreated in clinical settings. Medical misdiagnosis, botched surgery, and other forms of medical malpractice are more frequent than you might think, yet recovering damages for your injuries is not always as straightforward and effortless.
A medical malpractice attorney can do everything in their power to assist you with an insurance claim. Medical malpractice lawsuits are not always easy to prove in a court of law, which makes hiring a qualified medical malpractice attorney even more important.
Contact Stewart & Stewart today for a free consultation. Our well respected Indiana law firm only takes payment once a case is settled and you receive a favorable outcome in your medical malpractice hearing.
The Dangers of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a breach of duty when a medical professional fails to provide competent care. When this duty gets breached, patients are subject to more serious injury, pain, and suffering. In worst-case scenarios, medical malpractice can result in wrongful death.
Medical malpractice is far more common in the United States than most people suspect. According to John Hopkins, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the country. They account for nearly 250,000 deaths a year—a statistic that the Journal of Patient Safety argues is far closer to 450,000 deaths a year.
While most doctors and nurses do everything in their power to provide the best quality of care for patients, mistakes still happen. Unfortunately, in the medical community, mistakes can lead to serious life-altering consequences or even death.
For this reason, victims of medical malpractice should seek damages for a misdiagnosis or botched surgery. A medical malpractice attorney like the team at Stewart & Stewart can work to recover damages that cover medical bills, treatment, missed time from work, and emotional damages. Contact Stewart & Stewart 24/7 at 1-866-926-2419.
Misdiagnosis is the most common form of medical malpractice in the United States. According to CBS News, approximately 12 million U.S. residents receive some form of a medical misdiagnosis every year.
While most medical misdiagnoses are not made on purpose, the effects are damaging. A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can result in unnecessary or wrong treatments. Consequently, the patient may suffer more or develop additional health problems that were not already present. Even worse, it fails to address the primary problem that leads the patient to seek medical treatment in the first place.
Modern Healthcare found that about one-third of all filed medical malpractice claims have something to do with a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. A misdiagnosis occurs when the physician fails to:
- Recognize clinical signs and symptoms.
- Order medical testing or seek additional information.
- Refer the patient to the correct specialist.
It is also common for medical settings to mislabel lab or test results, perform errors when conducting a test or evaluating data, or lose test results that contribute to a misdiagnosis. When a physician fails to deliver the correct form of care, he or she is liable for your injuries.
2. Failure To Treat
Medical professions have universal standards of care that they are expected to follow. The failure to treat violates the acceptable standards of care for medical treatment and therefore is another form of medical malpractice.
According to the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, a failure to treat is common in many malpractice insurance claims. Some examples of a failure to treat in medical settings include:
- Releasing a patient too soon from the hospital.
- Failing to provide instructions for follow-up care.
- Failing to order appropriate medical tests for patients.
- Neglecting to consider a patient’s medical history when prescribing medicine or treatment.
In more rare circumstances, a medical professional may be guilty of failure to treat when he or she takes on more patients than they can reasonably handle. However, these types of failure to treat cases are much harder to prove in court.
3. Prescription Errors
Prescription medication requires an official diagnosis and approval from a medical professional. Therefore, when mistakes are made involving prescription drugs, the patient may seek damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Some types of prescription drug errors include:
- Prescribing the wrong medication for a diagnosed condition.
- Prescribing an incorrect dosage.
- Failing to recognize potentially dangerous allergic reactions or drug interactions.
- Failing to recognize signs of addiction, abuse, or overdose.
Contact a medical malpractice attorney if you suspect prescription drug errors contributed to additional health problems or suffering.
4. Surgical Errors
Medical professionals perform countless surgical procedures each day. Fortunately, most of these operations go smoothly and without error. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky when it comes to the operating room.
Regardless, medical professionals have a duty of care to prevent you from harm, whether it’s an emergency or elective surgery. The same applies to basic outpatient procedures like a biopsy.
Some common forms of surgical or procedure errors include:
- Performing on the wrong part of the body.
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient.
- Reactions or problems with anesthesia.
- Medical devices, tools, or gauze left inside the patient.
All in all, medical professionals must follow accepted medical practices before, during, and after the surgery.
5. Childbirth Injuries
Pregnancy and childbirth are an exciting time for many people. Unfortunately, it is also a common period where injuries and medical negligence occur. Some examples of birth injuries include:
- Substandard prenatal care.
- Improper use of forceps or using excessive force removing a baby.
- The umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s mouth, nose, or neck.
- Failure to recognize fetal distress.
- Dropping, shaking, or mishandling a baby during or after birth.
- Failure to perform a C-section when necessary.
Please contact a medical malpractice attorney at Stewart & Stewart to discuss your needs and concerns. It’s difficult to receive a favorable outcome in medical malpractice cases without legal representation. Contact us today at 1-866-926-2419.