Medical Malpractice

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When you go to a doctor or hospital for a procedure, even something routine, the last thing you expect is for medical malpractice to occur. Yet that is what can happen, often with devastating effects. If you or a loved one were injured through the negligence of a doctor, registered nurse, physician’s assistant, or other healthcare professional, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after the discovery of the malpractice. They will work with you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Statistics

Because it is not always detectable and oftentimes under-reported, the total number for medical malpractice cases in the United States varies. The Institute of Medicine puts the number from anywhere between 44,000 to 98,000 deaths and over one million injuries as attributable to medical malpractice, but the Journal of the American Medical Association says that number is much higher: up to 248,000 deaths are caused by direct medical malpractice each year. These numbers are alarmingly high, and for good reason. Patients are entrusting their lives to medical professionals and healthcare facilities, and have faith that these places will give top-quality medical care. When that fails to happen, it is jarring, and completely shakes the victim’s faith in the healthcare system. These errors can lead to unnecessary testing, multiple doctor’s office visits, and lasting injuries. Having a qualified medical malpractice attorney will go a long way in helping a medical malpractice victim receive the deserved compensation.

Common Injuries

Some common injuries that can come from medical malpractice include injuries during surgery, such as bowel perforation, nicked arteries, nerve damage, operating on the wrong body part, leaving medical instruments or other objects inside the patient, and errors with anesthesia. Other injuries can include but are not limited to bone misalignment, infection from poorly maintained surroundings or unchanged dressings, failure to recommend a diagnostic or preventative procedure, failure to perform a test or diagnostic procedure in a timely manner, and failure to monitor the patient. If any of these occurred to a patient, they should contact a highly skilled medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible after discovery of the malpractice to receive optimal representation and ensure the statute of limitations does not run out.

Standard of Care

Every hospital and procedure must follow the standard of care. This is what an attorney will use when determining whether medical malpractice occurred. The standard of care is essentially what a reasonable physician or other licensed medical professional would do under the same circumstances. Of course, those circumstances change from patient to patient, and are dependent on numerous factors like age, previous medical history, current medical status, the procedure that needs to be done, and the specialty of the medical professional. However, all medical professionals must offer their patients the legally recognized standard or care, or risk being held accountable for malpractice. Determining the standard of care, and whether a breach occurred, is complex.

Obtaining Medical Records

Under the law, patients are legally permitted to obtain copies of their medical records for any reason. Healthcare facilities and doctors are required by law to maintain their records for five years, but may often keep them longer than that, sometimes indefinitely. A medical malpractice attorney can obtain them on behalf of their clients for their malpractice case.

Informed Consent

Informed consent is a form a doctor may have a patient sign before a procedure or test is performed. This document states that the doctor has fully explained the procedure and its potential side effects and risks, and that the patient fully understood those risks. However, if the hospital did not meet the standard of care, it may still be possible to file a medical malpractice claim. An experienced malpractice attorney will be able to determine if a breach in the standard of care happened.

Contact an Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered medical malpractice at the hands of a doctor or other licensed medical professional, contact a skilled medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. They will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call Malloy Law Offices, LLC for your free consultation today.

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