Medical malpractice is one of the serious offenses that health care providers or professionals can commit to making them face lifetime imprisonment. The offense can happen when one neglects to offer the appropriate treatment, offers substandard treatment, or omits to take appropriate action that contributes to death, injury, or harm to a patient. However, medical negligence involves several aspects. Keep reading this guide to understand them.
Examples of medical negligence
- Failure to warn the patient about certain risks
- Failure to properly monitor the patient during surgery
- Leaving a foreign object inside the patient’s body
- Wrong-side or unnecessary surgery
- Poor aftercare or premature discharge
- Inadequate treatment a certain health complication
- Prescribing a wrong dosage or medication
- Failure to undertake proper communication with other medical providers or doctors
- Ignoring results or mixing test results
- Misdiagnosis of a condition or illness
People held accountable for medical negligence
- Treatment centers, clinics, urgent care centers, and hospitals
Elements of a medical negligence claim
There are certain aspects that you should prove to successfully establish a negligence claim. In most cases, you need to prove the following aspects:
The negligence of the medical expert caused your injury
For your medical malpractice lawsuit to become valid, you need to prove that you sustained an injury that could not have happened if the doctor had been careful in administering treatment. For instance, if you undergo a surgical procedure and immediately experience complications leading to injuries, you can claim that the medical provider’s negligence contributed to your injuries. In this case, an unfavorable outcome such as when the patient’s condition worsens, or one has an untreatable condition is not classified as malpractice.
Standard care violation
Most countries/regions have enacted laws that recognize certain medical standards as acceptable medical care by Prudent health care experts. Therefore, patients have a right to expect their doctors to deliver care that aligns with the set standards. That means, if you manage to determine that the health care professional did not meet the standard care violation, you might establish negligence.
The injury contributed to significant damage
Medical negligence claims to be costly to litigate since they need frequent testimony from disposing of medical experts and an extended period of dispositioning a testimony. Therefore, if you want your case to become viable, you need to demonstrate that you suffered significant damage emanating from an injury that happened due to medical negligence. The damages can be in the form of monetary and non-monetary expenses. In particular, you need to demonstrate that the injury contributed to your disability, emotional distress, huge medical bills, loss of legs or vision, and loss of consortium.
Statute of limitations
Generally, medical malpractice cases have a short statute of limitations, implying that you should file them immediately you experience or discover an injury. Normally, the period of filing for claims is between 1-2 years, but that can depend on the laws of your country. The short period might appear unfair to the patient, but medical malpractice evidence can easily fade after a short period. Also, the pain and discomfort that the patient will suffer from these cases are expected to be addressed quickly.
Some states provide a longer period for filing medical claims. For instance, the Massachusetts statute of limitations for medical malpractice is three years from when a patient discovers the injury. However, this state has an exception of providing a seven-year limit. Regardless of when the patient started to experience injuries or the malpractice happened, the absolute deadline to file a medical negligence claim is seven years. However, this state provides an expectation, especially when a patient discovers a retained foreign object in their body system. Apart from that, there are varied rules that apply to minors, and you can learn them by consulting your local lawyer.
Why Consult an attorney?
Medical malpractice lawsuits tend to be complex and technical and have short deadlines, which might compromise your case if you miss them. Therefore, you need to contact your local personal injury lawyer when you want to find a medical negligence claim. The lawyer can examine your case, attempt to seek a settlement on your behalf, and even help in filing a court case when the accused fails to agree with your demands.