Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in America, making it clear that even doctors can make mistakes. For many patients, those mistakes take a physical, emotional, and financial toll.
Filing a medical malpractice claim is a logical step to take after a medical error disrupts your life in a substantial way. However, not all medical errors constitute medical malpractice–and it’s not an easy claim to prove.
How do you know if you have a case when medical malpractice seems like such a vague and confusing problem?
Read on for 7 common and serious medical malpractice examples. By taking a closer look at these examples, you can get a better understanding of what is and isn’t considered medical malpractice.
1. Dangerous Misdiagnosis
Many of us don’t realize it, but diagnosing a patient doesn’t always come down to an exact science. In order to come to a diagnosis, your doctor will consider many different possibilities that could be the source of your symptoms. Through observation, tests, and more, they will eliminate possibilities one by one.
Most diagnoses are accurate, but occasionally a doctor may land on the wrong one and begin treatment for something the patient doesn’t have. If this misdiagnosis puts a patient’s wellbeing at risk and could have been reasonably avoided, the patient has grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
2. Misinterpretted or Faulty Lab Results
In the digital age, medical professionals rely a great deal upon technology. It is to be expected that they will keep that technology in working order and know how to interpret the information that technology provides.
If medical professionals fail to maintain their lab equipment or fail to interpret lab results correctly, it can put their patients’ health at risk. If you are not given the proper treatment as a result of your lab results, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
3. Improper Surgical Performance
Believe it or not, but surgeons have botched their work pretty badly in the past. They might operate on the wrong patient, operate on the wrong site, or perform the wrong surgery altogether.
Improper surgical performance is almost always considered medical malpractice.
4. Improper Prescription Practices
Prescribing the wrong medication often goes hand in hand with misdiagnosing the patient. However, there have been instances in which a doctor prescribes the wrong medication out of pure negligence. In some cases, the issue has come down to recommending the wrong dosage to properly treat the patient.
When is this particularly problematic? You are most likely to build a successful claim if the prescription in question caused you undue harm or interfered in a dangerous way with another prescription you were already taking.
5. Failure to Listen to Symptoms or History
A good doctor should listen to all of the relevant facts before providing a professional medical opinion. This includes the patient’s symptoms as they describe them, their personal medical history, and the medical history of their f amily members.
If you feel that a doctor failed to get the full picture before providing a medical opinion, you may have a medical malpractice case. Once again, however, this failure to listen to you must have resulted in mistreatment or failure to provide harm-reducing treatment in order for the claim to hold water.
6. Poor Aftercare
Plenty of medical procedures require follow-up care, from surgeries to the prescription of high-risk drugs. While it is a patient’s job to make and keep an aftercare appointment, it is a medical professional’s job to make themselves available and remain attentive.
If you feel as though you were not given sufficient aftercare and suffered unnecessarily as a result, you may qualify for a medical malpractice claim.
7. Harmful Objects Left in Surgical Site
This one tends to surprise people the most and happens more often than you might think. There have been tons of recorded cases of surgeons leaving behind gloves, sponges, and even surgical tools inside the body of a patient they operated on.
Chances are that if you know that foreign object is there, it’s because it’s causing you harm. If that is the case, you should consider filing a medical malpractice claim.
What Do These Medical Malpractice Examples All Have in Common?
While some of these examples may seem fairly different from one another, there are a few things they all have in common. The first is that the actions of the medical professional were preventable within reason. The second is that the actions of the medical professional caused you harm.
In other words, you do not have a case if your treatment caused you harm but that harm was a distinct possibility regardless of the medical professional who treated you. You also do not have a case if the medical professional behaved negligently but did not cause you any harm. This is what makes medical malpractice cases so complicated.
What else do these examples have in common? Any patient affected by any one of them should always hire an attorney before filing their claim. If you believe that you have a medical malpractice claim on your hands, visit https://www.curcio-law.com/practice-areas/medical-malpractice/ and get the legal representation you deserve.
Victims of Medical Malpractice Deserve Compensation
As you can see from these medical malpractice examples, medical malpractice is a complicated and wide-ranging topic in the legal world. It’s not always easy to win this battle, especially without solid legal representation. Make sure that you work with experienced attorneys who can get you the compensation you deserve.
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Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zubuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.