You expect the medical professionals who treat you to be skilled and transparent. Yet, in far too many instances, those who work in the medical field make egregious errors that lead to patient harm. Those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves on the receiving end of medical malpractice can face tragic outcomes, too, including permanent disability, disfigurement, a worsened prognosis, and even the realistic possibility of death.
But if you’re like many who have come away from medical care worse off, then you’re probably wondering what constitutes medical malpractice. In this blog, we’ll look at the top five reasons for medical malpractice so that you know what to look out for and when to take legal action to protect your interests.
What are the main causes of medical malpractice?
Depending on the circumstances at hand, there can be many contributing factors to medical malpractice. However, there are some common categories that medical malpractice falls into, including the following:
- Failure to diagnose: Doctors and hospitals have multiple diagnostic tools at their disposal. Yet, all too often medical professionals fail to utilize testing options or they fail to properly read test results. In fact, one survey found that 31% of doctors who were surveyed indicated that this had been the basis of a lawsuit filed against them. So, if you’ve walked away from receiving medical care only to later be diagnosed with an advanced stage condition, then you’ll want to scrutinize your medical records to see if there was an error made.
- Surgical error: Although doctors take an oath to do no harm, they oftentimes make mistakes that leave patients with physical injuries. For example, a surgical error could lead to a nicked organ or an improper incision that leads to otherwise avoidable infection. If you were harmed during your treatment, then you should consider the type of care you received and whether it breached the applicable duty of care.
- Medication errors: When properly utilized, medication can help you fight pain, infection, and a whole host of other medical conditions. But when you’re given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of the right medication, the results can be catastrophic. You might suffer organ damage, or your condition might fester, either of which can leave you in a dire predicament moving forward.
- Birth injuries: Babies are fragile, and so are their mothers during the birthing process. That’s why doctors and nurses have to exercise a lot of care when providing treatment during birth. Sometimes, though, babies are improperly monitored when the mother goes into labor, or improper extraction methods are used, both of which can cause extensive harm to the child, including bone fractures and brain damage.
- Lack of informed consent: Before being treated, your doctor should explain your treatment options, identifying the potential risks and rewards of each. Only then can you make a fully informed decision that’s right for you. Sometimes, though, doctors improperly educate their patients before treating them, or they perform operations without even asking the patient if it’s okay to do so. This constitutes medical malpractice.
Be ready to act on your medical malpractice claim
If you want find accountability and recover compensation to help offset your damages, then you need to be prepared to pursue a medical malpractice case. These claims are often complicated and can raise challenges, though, which is why you need to be diligent about building your claim and presenting persuasive arguments. Help is available if you need it to competently and confidently navigate your case.