Medical error is the third-highest cause of death in America. This may come as a shock to many, but negligence and malpractice are commonplace. Technological advances have reduced the amount of human error, but incompetence and negligence are still a problem.
The most common examples of medical malpractice have less to do with the tools involved than the decision-making. Focus and cognitive ability are often hampered with the long hours that staff often work. Whatever the case, the stakes are very high in the medical profession.
Were you ever a victim of medical malpractice?
Top Examples of Medical Malpractice
These are the most common examples of medical errors that lawyers in Jacksonville see. You may have a case if you’ve experienced anything in these categories of malpractice.
Types of Misdiagnosis
By far the most frequent instance of medical malpractice will come in the form of misdiagnosis. Doctors aren’t always going to know exactly what is the cause of your medical condition. It’s not as intense or accurate as the hit TV show House, but doctors do have to make an educated guess.
A lot of symptoms get mistaken for more common diseases when patients could have a more serious, rare condition. Malpractice claims stem from either misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Delayed means the wrong diagnosis isn’t discovered until after the patient is discharged.
In order to win your case, you would need to prove that the doctor did not follow proper procedures. A doctor needs to perform a certain standard of care to make an accurate diagnosis. If they made a sound attempt at correctly identifying the illness, they aren’t guilty of making the wrong diagnosis.
This can get very tricky, especially when emotions are involved. The plaintiff will need to prove that the doctor:
- Didn’t perform a differential diagnosis.
- Misread critical information.
- Failed to perform necessary tests.
- Ask the right questions from patients and other doctors.
There are situations where a physician neglected to effectively analyze a disease in the tests requested by the specialist. In these circumstances, the physician isn’t charged, yet the techs can for malpractice.
There are three different ways to find mistakes that caused misdiagnosis:
- The hardware utilized for testing was old or broken
- Erroneous perusing of test outcomes
- Contaminated tests
- Injuries at birth
Birth complications are another regular malpractice occurrence. A significant number of fetal wounds are caused by inexperience or carelessness. Mothers can experience nerve, mental, and physical injuries during labor.
There are also a lot of variables and underlying conditions that contribute to these injuries during labor. Labor malpractice cases fall into two principal classes, in light of when the event happened:
During pregnancy and leading up to childbirth, all medical professionals are included in this category. The nurses, GP, and obstetricians all play a part in preventing serious complications. Any errors leading up to birth can result in possible defects, diseases, an ectopic pregnancy, or abortion.
The connection between pre-birth malpractice and long-term health problems is difficult but can result in large settlements.
During Birth Malpractice
Mistakes made while delivering the baby are often made due to poor oversight and missing information. Some doctors ignore warning signs under unique circumstances and proceed as usual.
These mistakes can result in fetal distress, unnecessary C-sections, and various birth complications. These complications can threaten both the baby’s and mother’s life. Proving these forms of malpractice is easier when the birth is recorded.
Visual evidence is the most impactful kind when proving a medical malpractice case.
A standout amongst the most well-known medicinal malpractice claims, errors made in recommending or giving medications is a big issue. While most mistakes happen in patients beyond 60 years old, it happens to those in other demographics too.
For the most part, these missteps are made when a specialist or nurse neglects to appropriately audit the patient’s history. They recommend a medication that works negatively against another the patient is taking, or erroneously endorse the wrong medication. Improper dosage is another problem, which puts patients at risk for addiction and overdose.
The source of this problem is poor communication. The doctor not communicating clearly to the pharmacy writes the wrong information for prescription, and etc. These small mistakes can result in huge consequences for the patient.
Tragically, medical procedure errors are another area of malpractice patients may not know about. While the greater part is non-dangerous issues, i.e. unplanned nerve impact, and leaving an item in a wound. These are often small, inert items, such as a cotton swab.
There are other, considerably more significant issues. Some cases are made for errors that cause death or working on the wrong body part or even the wrong patient. While less common than other mistakes on our list, it happens a lot due to understaffed facilities.
These sorts of mistakes can be terrifying, and even deadly. That is the reason there is a high number of malpractice arguments against them. Errors in anesthesia have to do with an anesthesiologist, not the lead doctor.
Much of the time, an anesthesiologist may neglect to peruse the patient’s chart or history completely and endorse the wrong drug. The patient could be oversensitive to or cause an interaction with an anesthetic if proper care isn’t taken. Anesthesia is a very delicate science, control of strength and volume is important.
Too much and the patient’s lungs could stop pumping, too little and they could go into shock. There have additionally been medicinal malpractice claims against anesthesiologists who have not cautioned the patients of the dangers included.
Even if they did it in the patient’s best interest, the anesthesiologist can get sued for medical malpractice.
While being inside a hospital is the best place to be in if you’re injured or sick, it can also be an insulator for contamination. If someone brings in an airborne illness in with them, it could spread quickly. Hospitals are designed to minimize this risk, with procedures to prevent an outbreak.
Still, hospitals can and do become the source of major infections. When it comes to a malpractice case, it has to meet one of these criteria:
- As long as 48 hours after medical clinic affirmation.
- As long as three days after release.
- As long as 30 days after a medical procedure.
- In an office that the patient was admitted to for reasons other than the contamination.
The most common sources for infections come via open wounds, catheter-related infections, post-surgery, and ventilator contaminations. Usually, these infections are strictly bacterial infections limited to the entry point. More serious infections include upper or lower respiratory tract infection, sepsis, and infected limbic system.
These limits are not associated with Florida’s statute of limitations. They only pertain to hospital and medical liabilities.
Building a Case for Medical Malpractice
As we outlined at the beginning of this guide, medical malpractice involves proof of negligence. A mistake or error that leads to death or illness is not necessarily malpractice. You need to prove that proper steps were not taken or pertinent information was ignored.
Keep all records of treatment, prescription bottles, and gather witness testimonials. You’re going to need a strong case that extends beyond hearsay or personal opinion. Medical malpractice cases aren’t especially difficult to win, though.
The average payout has increased to over $350,000 in 2009-2014. That’s up from $287,000 in the late 90s. If you ever hope to seek justice for a medical malpractice case, you’ll need some help.
Expert Medical Witnesses
Having a medical expert that can independently give their professional opinion is huge. Medical procedures and laws are difficult to navigate without a skilled medical expert. They don’t necessarily need to have held the exact same position as the physician on trial, either.
As long as the medical expert has an equivalent degree and periphery experience, it helps your case. This is especially true for making the case in front of a jury. You’re going to need someone who can explain medical matters in accessible language.
Couple the expert witness testimony with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer and you have a strong team. A medical expert is also important for constructing your case before it goes to trial.
Attorneys to Fight for Your Rights
These examples of medical malpractice can happen to anyone. If you or a loved one is harmed due to faulty or irresponsible care, you deserve compensation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small local clinic or a major hospital.
Medical malpractice cases also include compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and any emotional consequences as a result. You’ll need an attorney who has experience with personal injury cases dealing with the healthcare industry. Contact First Coast Accident Lawyers for a free consultation and examination of your malpractice case.