What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare professional fails to provide their patient with appropriate medical treatment for their condition, or provides inadequate care, resulting in the worsening or additional condition, including death.
There are up to 20,000 medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S. every year. Most of the time, a medical malpractice case revolves around an error committed by the healthcare professional. When you hire a medical malpractice lawyer from our firm, one of the first tasks will be to determine the nature of the error. It may involve one or more of the following:
- Diagnosis The original diagnosis or a consequent one.
- Medication Dosage One that is too much or too little for the patient or is harmful to them, or is the wrong kind for the known condition.
- Medical Treatment The wrong kind or too much or too little. It predictably leads to more serious complications.
- Aftercare Insufficient, incorrect, too much or too little.
What is Not Considered Medical Malpractice?
A patient’s physician or healthcare provider is not liable for all health considerations all of the time under all circumstances. As a practical example, if a person develops cancer and seeks treatment from their caregiver, if they subsequently pass away from the cancer, it is unlikely that their surviving family members could successfully sue for medical malpractice. However, if the patient suffered from cancer in one of their lungs and the surgeon removes the non-cancerous lung by mistake, they could be held accountable for their error.
When Medical Malpractice Can Happen
The scenarios in which a doctor may commit medical malpractice is endless, but can most often occur regarding medicine, surgery, treatments, and diagnosis. A patient can be hurt if prescribed the wrong medication, given the incorrect dosage, allergies were not taken into consideration, or there was an oversight in dangerous interactions between the new and current medications.
A doctor can make a mistake during surgery by operating on the wrong area, leaving a tool inside the body accidentally or not closing up the incision site properly resulting in unnecessary bleeding and risking exposure to infectious bacteria.
Treatments that are not performed with a steady and accurate hand can leave the patient with a worsened condition. The course of treatment may even be correct, but the manner in which the doctor administered it was careless. An incorrect diagnosis can quickly become critical, particularly if the true condition needs a certain kind of treatment. A misdiagnosis can delay a patient from receiving the care needed in order to feel better or save their life.
Signs of Negligent Medical Care
It can be difficult to know whether you have been harmed by a physician’s negligent care if you cannot point to a specific action or lack of action that led to your injury, illness or exacerbation of an existing injury or illness. However, there may be indicators of medical negligence present, if you know where to look. A medical malpractice attorney can help you identify this.
For example, did you suffer an infection following a surgery? Although many people suffer post-surgical infections that are not related to negligence, some infections are caused by inadequate surgical hygiene. Another subtle example of medical negligence may come in the form of a misdiagnosis. If your physician did not initially realize that you had cancer and the cancer spread significantly before your doctor realized what was going on, that failure to diagnose the situation may be negligence. These are just two examples of how medical negligence that is not immediately obvious.
What is the Criteria for Filing A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Circumstances surrounding a medical malpractice case can be complex and nuanced. For this reason, we recommend you contact us to discuss your particular case. Our goal of that initial engagement, is to determine if your specific case meets the law’s eligibility criteria for a medical malpractice claim. While criteria varies slightly from state to state, generally speaking your case must include the following aspects:
- Existence of patient-doctor relationship – the doctor had a duty of care to the patient.
- The healthcare professional failed to provide the patient with the proper standard of healthcare. By law, the professional must adhere to standard medical care guidelines. If they fail to do this, they might be held liable for negligence.
- The patient suffered a serious injury as a direct result of the healthcare professional’s failure to provide proper healthcare.
- The resulting injury must be so serious that it causes the patient to suffer one or more of the following:
- Physical and/or emotional suffering
- Enduring hardship
- Chronic pain
- Significant loss of income due to being unable to work as a result of the injury.
- A temporary or permanent disability
The Challenges of Medical Malpractice Cases
If a doctor made an error when it came to a diagnosis or treatment plan, the health of the patient can greatly worsen due to the oversight, and potentially suffer life-threatening symptoms as a result of the mistake.
Whether you were treated reasonably or not by a medical provider is a very technical question, and only becomes more technical when sub-specialties or multiple specialties are involved. Multiple expert witnesses will be required to testify to exactly what should have happened, and why the occurrence of a seemingly-common complication or end result was not so “common” after all.
That is why the help of a medical malpractice attorney can be useful. Our team of attorneys can offer sound legal advice during this turbulent time. We are committed to helping patients seek compensation for medical negligence and will work diligently to help you obtain financial retribution.
Hiring a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Because medical malpractice lawsuits are nuanced and challenging, we highly recommend that you do not go through the legal process alone.
The process of hiring a medical malpractice attorney is probably more straightforward than you think.
Once you are ready, call us for a free consultation (888.845.9696). The call is absolutely free, and during that conversation, we will gather information that will help us determine whether or not you have a case that we can assist you with. In some instances, we can make that determination while on the phone. In other instances we will need to review the facts internally, and/or, we may request additional documents or supporting items to help us make that determination.
Once we have determined that we can be of assistance to you, you will have the option to retain our firm’s services. You do this by signing an attorney authorization contract. This is a document that can be signed electronically or in-person. The document outlines our contingency fee arrangement, but in short, we will only collect a fee if we achieve a successful outcome in our your case. As soon as we receive the signed retainer, we go to work for you!
Obtaining a Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a physician’s negligence, please reach out to us today.
Because every situation is unique, it can be difficult to tell at first glance whether or not someone’s suffering is tied to medical negligence. However, we will take the time necessary to determine whether you have a cause of action that we can help with, or not.
Call us today for a free consultation with a member of our medical malpractice team 888.845.9696.
We want to hold the at-fault doctor or medical staff member accountable for their failure to meet the medical standard of care. We can help you seek financial compensation for the negligence or carelessness that you experienced.
When you choose TorkLaw, you can feel confident in knowing that you are engaging with an experienced firm that has a number of resources available to it, to give your case every advantage. Some of our many resources include:
- Financial resources
- Licensed medical doctors
- Licensed medical professional (i.e. nurses, technicians, etc.)
- Private investigators
- Forensic expert witnesses
- Medical examiners
- Vocational experts
- Other expert witnesses
- Skilled paralegals
- + More
Regardless of your particular circumstances, there is a good chance that your medical malpractice case will require many one of these resources, and that is just what the medical malpractice lawyers from TorkLaw are prepared to offer.
For years, we have fought for the rights of malpractice victims and won. If you or a loved one has suffered from a medical error, we are here to help. Call now for a free consultation. We will listen to what you have to say, answer any questions you might have, and let you know what options are available to you. Due to the statute of limitations, time is of the essence, the sooner you reach out to us, the better. Call 888.845.9696.