You’ve likely heard of medical malpractice and maybe you have even seen a dramatization of a medical malpractice case on television. Now you’ve suffered a medical error and you are wondering if your situation would be considered medical malpractice. Of course, this is likely not your only question, as medical malpractice cases are notoriously difficult both in the impacts to the patient and their family as well as proving a claim.
If you have been injured as a result of an error made by a health care provider, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer from Wade Law can help you understand if the circumstances of your case make you eligible to obtain compensation and inform you of the services we can provide to assist you with your claim.
The Elements That Go into a Medical Malpractice Case
To be clear, not every mistake made by a doctor or other health care provider is considered medical malpractice. In order for you to be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim, the following elements must be present in your case.
The Provider-Patient Relationship
In order to have a successful malpractice claim, you must be able to show that a provider-patient relationship existed between you and your health care provider. If your provider was not officially treating you as a patient, which would require entering into an agreement for services, they cannot be found liable for your injuries.
There Was a Breach in the Standard of Care
The standard of care refers to the level and type of care that would be afforded to you by a similarly positioned health care provider with the same education and within the same medical community. Medical malpractice claims must show that the provider’s actions or failure to act breached the standard of care.
That Breach Caused Injury
Not only must it be proven that the at-fault provider’s actions or failure to act breached the standard of care, but you must also show that the breach resulted in injury. A medical malpractice claim cannot be filed unless you were injured by the error.
That Your Injury Resulted in Expenses and Impacts
Generally, medical malpractice claims are filed in cases where severe injury or death occurred as a result of the health care provider’s error. The reason for seeking compensation for the error is that you have incurred medical and other expenses as a result, in addition to facing negative quality-of-life impacts due to the injury.
For a free legal consultation, call (815) WADE-LAW
Types of Medical Malpractice You Can Sue for
Medical malpractice is a wide umbrella of different types of errors that can occur in a medical setting, such as a physician’s office, clinic, hospital, dental office, pharmacy, or another place where medical services are provided by licensed practitioners. Here is a look at some of the more common medical errors to result in a medical malpractice claim.
Diagnosis errors include:
- Missed diagnosis, which occurs when the provider fails to gather the correct information or order labs that would lead to the diagnosis, leaving the patient untreated
- Delayed diagnosis, which occurs when the provider fails to provide a diagnosis for reported symptoms in a timely manner that could improve the patient’s prognosis
- Misdiagnosis, which occurs when the provider wrongly interprets lab results and patient history to diagnose the patient with a condition other than the one they actually have
Prescription errors are also a common cause of medical malpractice claims, and include:
- Giving the wrong medication to the patient
- Giving the patient the wrong dose of medication
- Giving the patient medication that is known to interact negatively with other medicines they are taking and mentioned in their patient history
The surgery room is one place where you expect the utmost care. However, it is also often the site of medical errors such as:
- Wrong patient surgery
- Wrong-site surgery
- Anesthesia errors
- Leaving a surgical tool, sponge, or towel in the body cavity
It is not unusual for an infant to suffer birth trauma, regardless of the care being provided by the doctor and other medical staff. However, what is considered medical malpractice when it comes to birth injuries are:
- Injuries resulting from the doctor’s failure to perform a timely C-section when one is indicated
- Failure to adequately monitor the infant and mother’s vital signs during labor and delivery
- Failure to monitor the infant for signs of distress after birth
Improper Discharge or a Failure to Follow Up
Many medical malpractice cases are the result of what the provider did – or failed to do – when you were discharged from the hospital. Some examples include:
- Discharging you when there are red flags that you could be experiencing complications
- Failing to provide proper home care instructions after a surgical procedure
- Failing to provide a follow-up exam to determine whether the treatment was helping or hurting.
The Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
In order to obtain medical treatment, you must consent to the treatment as described by your provider. Health care providers are required to disclose the known risks associated with a particular course of treatment before obtaining your consent. If the provider fails to disclose the known risks and you experience them, you could have a medical malpractice claim, particularly if knowing those risks would have made you opt for a different treatment.
If You Were Injured Due to Medical Malpractice, Our Attorneys Can Help
Research indicates that medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., coming only behind COVID-19, cancer, and heart disease in frequency. If you’ve been injured as a result of a medical error, an experienced medical malpractice attorney from Wade Law can help you determine if you have a medical malpractice case during a free case evaluation.
We can also explain to you more about the legal process and the services we provide for our medical malpractice clients, including a contingent-fee billing method that allows you to withhold payment for our services until there is a positive outcome to your claim. For a free case evaluation, contact us.