A legal proceeding that seeks compensation for mistakes or negligent care or treatment from a healthcare provider is referred to in general terms as a medical malpractice lawsuit. These cases often involve incidents that have resulted in grave and long-term injuries or even fatality.
Medical malpractice cases can include a failure to diagnose a health issue, the misdiagnosis of a health issue, improper care or negligence in the treatment of an injury or health related concern, pregnancy and birth injuries, nursing home neglect or abuse, prescription errors, and defective drugs and medical devices.
At Kelly White Donofrio LLP, we are intimately familiar with the medical malpractice area of law, understand the high stakes involved and the traumatizing nature of these situations, and how best to get the compensation you deserve to help you move on.
According to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, as reported by NPR's Morning Edition, medical errors rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease and cancer. Many of these medical errors result in Medical Malpractice lawsuits; and although there are many types of Medical Malpractice lawsuits, the majority fall into one of the following categories:
Misdiagnosis / Delayed Diagnosis. A missed or delayed diagnosis can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for a patient receiving treatment from a medical professional. Often this occurs because patients do not always exhibit textbook symptoms for complex health conditions; reported claims commonly include issues with appendicitis, infections, tumors, cancer, heart disease, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms.
Pregnancy Complications and Birth Injuries. Physician or obstetrician negligence can lead to complications during pregnancy and childbirth that otherwise may have been avoidable and can result in harm to the fetus, the mother, or both. Negligent prenatal care can include a missed diagnosis of a medical condition of the mother, such as preeclampsia, lupus, or a contagious disease, such as herpes, or a failure to identify a birth defect. Negligence during childbirth can be just as serious, and may lead to postpartum hemorrhage in the mother, or fractured bones, nerve damage, seizure disorders, or cerebral palsy in the child. Childbirth mistakes include failing to recognize or respond to fetal distress, incorrect use of forceps or other delivery tools, and not ordering a caesarean when one is appropriate.
Surgical Errors. Inaccurate information on a patient’s chart, the wrong surgical draping, improper identification verification, or misreading any of this information or administrative procedures can lead to extreme surgical errors such as operating on the wrong body part, or even operating on the wrong patient. More common surgical errors include damaging a nerve, puncturing an organ, failure to control bleeding, and leaving a surgical instrument inside the patient. Anesthesia errors are also extremely dangerous, and can result in permanent brain damage or even death.
Medication Mistakes. Medication mistakes can occur in many ways and are a very common type of medical malpractice. A physician may prescribe the wrong medication, the wrong amount or dosage of medication, or the wrong combination of medicine based on a patient’s medical history. Medication errors can also occur when a nurse or physician’s assistant administers medicine to patients, or when a pharmacy fills a prescription.
The law recognizes that a medical professional can make an error. However, a medical mistake becomes medical malpractice whenever the care of a patient falls below accepted medical standards and causes a patient’s injury or death. There are strict time limits and case-merit requirements that must be met in order to file a lawsuit. Because these requirements can be complex and are strictly enforced by the courts, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible if you believe you or a loved one may be a victim of medical malpractice.
Photographs on this website may depict fictitious events. This website contains attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.