Many medical malpractice cases are extremely serious, often serious enough to result in permanent damage or even death to a patient. If you’re either unsure of whether you’ve become a victim of medical errors, medical negligence, or medical malpractice or you know that you’ve suffered harm at the hands of a medical provider, you may be wondering whether your situation warrants taking legal action. No two medical negligence cases are exactly alike. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to avoid any assumptions about the potential strengths and weaknesses of your case until you’ve spoken with an experienced attorney.
What Are the Consequences of Medical Malpractice?
Just as there are serious consequences for the person who is a victim of medical malpractice, there can also be severe repercussions for the healthcare provider that committed medical malpractice. Most of the time, filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent practitioner results in compensation for the victim and some sort of professional justice for the practitioner. The goals of most medical malpractice cases are two-fold: Compensation for the victim and assurances that the injurious situation in question will never happen to another patient.
What Are the Types of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice broadly encompasess any improper care from a healthcare provider that results in unnecessary harm. The adjective “unnecessary” is key here because it is not medical malpractice if, for instance, a healthcare provider advises chemotherapy to treat cancer. While chemotherapy is in itself harmful, the fact that it is used to treat the greater harm that is cancer justifies its use and therefore isn’t medical malpractice.
Types of severe medical malpractice include:
- Surgical errors: This can include errors such as leaving surgical tools in a patient’s body, operating on the wrong body part or the wrong patient, or damaging other internal organs during surgery.
- Diagnostic errors: Diagnosing the wrong condition or failing to diagnose a condition are types of diagnostic errors. If you have heart disease and your healthcare provider fails to diagnose it and this results in harm or death, it may be considered medical malpractice.
- Anesthesia errors: Anesthesia is an extremely sensitive process, and errors in applying anesthesia can result in severe harm or death. This can include applying anesthesia improperly, but it also may include a failure to inform a patient of pre-anesthesia procedure or intubating a patient incorrectly.
While these are examples of severe medical malpractice, it is far from an all-encompassing list.
When Is Medical Malpractice Severe Enough to Warrant a Lawsuit?
This is a question that can be best answered by a medical malpractice lawyer. During a consultation, you will be asked questions about your situation, and your answers will determine whether your case is severe enough to warrant pursuing a lawsuit. As an experienced personal injury lawyer can confirm, instances of medical negligence are often severe enough to cause lasting damage or death. If you suspect you or a loved one has become a victim of medical malpractice, consult a medical malpractice lawyer to learn more about your rights and options under the law.