Medical Malpractice Defined
Doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals owe their clients a duty to use reasonable care. The precise standard they must meet is the care that other reasonably prudent medical professionals would exercise in the circumstances. In short, your doctor should be at least as careful as other doctors in the community.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
No two medical malpractice cases are exactly alike. Nevertheless, we see some common scenarios where doctors make similar mistakes over and over:
- Failure to diagnose a condition. A doctor might miss a diagnosis despite having sufficient information. Sometimes, a doctor might make a diagnosis but make a wrong one.
- Medication errors. The doctor might prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong amount. Other medical staff can make mistakes dispensing the medicine.
- Surgery errors. Anesthesia might be administered improperly, and surgeons can make mistakes during surgery, such as leaving implements inside you or treating the wrong body part.
- Blood test and lab errors. Technicians might not read the results properly or fail to perform requested tests.
- Improper sterilization. This can lead to widespread infections, many of which are deadly.
- Birth injuries. Many things can go wrong during labor and delivery that can injure either the baby or the mother.
- Inadequate follow-up. After surgery, a doctor might not follow up or take your complaints seriously, resulting in injury.
The key is to show that the medical professional made a mistake that a reasonably competent medical professional would not have made in similar circumstances. If not, then you do not have a malpractice case.
Furthermore, the mistake must have caused you damage. For example, a doctor might have made a mistake during surgery that nevertheless does not cause any additional injury, so you cannot sue to receive compensation.