If you were hurt by a doctor, you might need to know about medical malpractice to determine if you have a case.
The most common types of medical malpractice cases are outlined below. In addition, if you’ve been injured in a recent procedure, you may be entitled to damages for injuries, pain, and suffering, and lost work time.
It’s estimated about ⅓ of all malpractice lawsuits involve misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. If your doctor misdiagnoses you, there could be severe health consequences.
A misdiagnosis can happen if the doctor doesn’t recognize that your signs and symptoms are related to a specific disease or illness. If this happens to you, it could be essential to talk to a medical malpractice attorney immediately.
For example, it’s common for some types of lung cancer to be initially misdiagnosed as a cold or pneumonia. When the doctor realizes the patient has cancer, it could be in stages III or IV and too late for treatment.
Your physician also may make errors related to a diagnosis, including mislabeling test or laboratory results, losing test results, or making the wrong conclusion about a chest X-ray or CT scan.
Your diagnosis must be timely and accurate to give you the best chance of recovery.
Failure To Treat
Doctors often make the correct diagnosis but don’t provide the proper treatment. A common issue is when a busy doctor sees 20 or more patients per day.
The physician may diagnose a person with, for example, the flu. But in the chaos of seeing so many patients, the doctor may forget to send over the person’s prescriptions.
Then the patient’s flu turns into pneumonia, and they must spend several weeks in the hospital. This is the kind of situation that can lead to severe outcomes, even death.
One of the most severe types of medical malpractice lawsuits is a birth injury. Parents are looking forward to having an addition to their family, and they get the home and nursery ready.
But a birth injury caused by the doctor’s negligence can lead to permanent damage. For instance, births still occur where the umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck.
This situation is quite common, and skilled doctors and surgeons know how to ensure the baby gets oxygen during the birth process. If the cord gets wrapped several times around the baby’s head, it can lead to cerebral palsy. Some other things that can happen include:
- Motor disorders
- Organ failure
- Heart problems
- High fever
Birth injuries also can happen if the doctor doesn’t give the mother the correct prenatal care.
Parents need compensation if the birth injury was due to negligence; medical costs could run into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Doctors and surgeons aren’t the only ones that can be accused of medical malpractice. There also can be malpractice when a medical device company improperly designs a product.
One of the more common medical device failures in recent years has been IVC filters. These devices are inserted into the inferior vena cava to prevent a blood clot from travelling into the heart, lungs, or brain.
But the filter can malfunction and make the problem worse, even leading to a dangerous blood clot itself.
A mistake by an anesthesiologist also can lead to serious medical outcomes. For example, using too much or the wrong anesthesia has led to blindness in some patients.
This is usually caused by a lack of oxygen to the optic nerve or retina.
If you think you were the victim of medical malpractice, talk to an attorney today to determine if you have a case.