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What constitutes medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2017 | Medical Malpractice

If you feel as if you have been injured at the hands of an incompetent doctor, you may be wondering what your options are. Is the injury you received an actionable medical negligence claim or is it an honest accident? Is the injury directly traceable to the physician or could it have been brought about by a number of causes? These are the questions you may be asking yourself as you consider what steps to take next in your potential medical malpractice lawsuit.

Arming yourself with knowledge beforehand can help you determine which claim, if any, you can file against your medical professional. You can bring a medical malpractice claim against doctors, hospitals, nurses or any medical professional. These claims can fall in a few broad categories, including medical error, failure to diagnose, prescribing the wrong medication, infection and medical battery.

Medical error

You may be dealing with a potential worst-case scenario when a medical error occurs. Examples such as your doctor removing the wrong limb or performing the wrong surgery can exponentially compound your suffering and add insult to injury. Although a case of medical intervention gone wrong seems like a no-brainer for medical negligence, not every case will qualify. This claim will only be actionable when there is evidence suggesting that a doctor or medical professional failed to exercise reasonable care.

Failure to diagnose

You depend on medical professionals to have the knowledge and experience to be able to recognize and treat the correct disease. If a doctor fails to do so, and misses an important diagnosis, he or she may be held responsible for any future harm that occurred because of the failure to diagnose the illness. However, if the symptoms are common to several overlapping illnesses, the missed diagnosis may be considered an accident that any physician could have made and would not necessarily be considered medical negligence.

Prescribing the wrong medication

If you received a prescription for the wrong medication, your underlying illness will go untreated, leaving your vulnerable to the ongoing effects of your disease. You may also suffer the effects of the wrong medicine, which can cause allergic reactions, illnesses or even death. A medical professional is responsible for prescribing and giving you the correct medication.

Post-surgical infection

After a surgery, you are more vulnerable to infections. During the surgery and your post-operative care, medical professionals are responsible for taking certain precautions to protect you from infection. If you can prove that your infection was a result of sub-optimal care provided by medical professionals, you will have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Medical battery

If you ended up having surgery performed to which you did not consent or if your physician did not fully explain your surgery to you, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim on the basis of medical battery. A physician can’t lie to you about a procedure or perform a procedure without your consent or else he or she may face charges for medical battery.

Seeking help after any form of medical negligence

Proving negligence in many medical malpractice cases can be a tricky and complicated task. You could also lose your right to make these claims should you choose to wait too long before proceeding. By seeking legal counsel for the support and assistance you need, you can gain much-needed peace of mind during these trying times that will allow you to better focus on your recovery.


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