Medical practitioners are often trusted by most patients and having faith in them in their practice is quite alright, many doctors’ unprofessional conduct does alter and affect the faith.
As human beings, we are all bound to make mistakes but a doctor’s mistakes are quite fatal as they could cost patients severe injuries or deaths. It’s not always all medical mistakes that can lead to malpractice and as such wouldn’t warrant legal action.
In this post you will get to know the legal actions you can take after a medical mistake but before that…
What Is A Medical Mistake Or Malpractice?
A medical mistake occurs when a medical practitioner, provider, or other medical institution makes mistakes that cause injury to a patient or the loss of life of a patient either through careless actions or omissions. Psst: get your doctor mistake attorney here.
The following are examples of medical mistakes
- A wrong diagnosis leads to the injury of a patient.
- Wrongful medical assessment of the patient.
- Ineffective follow-up or aftercare.
- Mistakes occur during therapy.
- Wrongful interpretation of laboratory results or complete disregard of the said result.
- Surgery when not required or performing surgery at the wrong location.
- Prescribing the wrong dosage of medicines.
- Not obtaining a patient history.
- Failure to carry out appropriate tests.
When Can Legal Action Be Instituted?
Before a patient can institute legal action, the following criteria must be present as a lack of said criteria will lead to striking out of the suit. Below are the criteria essential for filing or instituting medical malpractice.
The Lack Of Standard Of Care
By law, medical practices are expected to follow certain professional norms and appropriate medical care by a medical practitioner. These norms are what is being called Standard Of Care.
Whenever a patient notices that this said standard of care is not followed by the letter, such a patient can institute a medical malpractice action through his or her malpractice attorney to claim damages.
Injuries Due To Negligence
It is not essential if a patient’s claims are substantiated by a lack of standard of care, the law requires such a patient to prove that his or her injuries occur due to negligence or carelessness on the part of the healthcare provider.
It is not outright misconduct if there occurs a negative result in a patient after being treated by a practitioner. The patient must show cause that the harm was caused by carelessness on the part of the healthcare provider. Also, you should understand that there will be no case if the hard caused by carelessness did not lead to or produce an injury.
Significant Damages or Injuries
For a medical malpractice action to succeed in court, the patient or plaintiff must be able to prove that there are significant damages or injuries suffered from the said carelessness or negligence. Medical malpractice suit involves a lot of work such as bringing in medical experts’ evidence and hours of questioning testimony and as such required painstaking preparation.
The cost of instituting a medical malpractice lawsuit may even be more than the compensation if the losses are small. Therefore, the patient or plaintiff must be able 5o prove that the damage resulted in impairment, lost earnings, excruciating pain, difficulty, or substantial medical cost afterward in order to succeed in a negligence claim.
Who Can Institute A Legal Action For Medical Mistake?
The patient who suffered from the negligence has the right to institute a lawsuit on medical negligence. Likewise, the heirs of the deceased patient can file a legal action for medical malpractice. Also, anyone who suffers a considerable loss or direct damages from the practice of a healthcare provider can institute an action to get compensation for the said negligence.
Note that the statute of limitation for instituting an action for medical malpractice is between two to three years after detecting the injury in the case of gradual occurrence of the symptoms or after the medical mistake. This is largely dependent on the state the malpractice occurs. The damages that can be claimed are mostly compensation for the loss of life, limbs, or any part of the body and or loss of earnings.