Types of Medical Malpractice
Few relationships in our society require more trust than that of doctor and patient. When you need medical attention or treatment, you often rightfully assume that the doctors, nurses, specialists, and other medical personnel will be professional, knowledgeable, and act in your best interest. But what do you do when negligence or incompetence causes you further injury or impedes your recovery?
Different Types of Medical Malpractice Actions
Different states recognize several general grounds for malpractice lawsuits. Most medical malpractice personal injury lawsuits fall into one of these categories.
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose
Patient diagnoses are often the grounds for med-mal suits. A failure to diagnose occurs when despite medical evidence that would lead another doctor to a proper diagnosis, the doctor or specialist claims to be unable to diagnose a condition. Misdiagnosis happens when the doctor or specialist makes an erroneous diagnosis.
The application of anesthesia is so dangerous and exacting that anesthesiology is its own separate branch of medicine. Too much anesthesia can be perilous for a patient’s health. Too little anesthesia can mean that the patient experiences pain and/or fear associated with a medical procedure even though they are supposed to be unconscious.
Even when the doctors and nurses are at the top of their game, surgery is risky. When surgeons are negligent, the patient faces heavily exacerbated risks. Medical negligence can lead to any number of surgical mistakes, including the following:
- Surgical instruments or needles left inside of the patient
- Improper or failed procedures
- Internal bleeding
- Wrongful death
Unfortunately, even with the rigorous FDA guidelines for the approval of medical devices, these products aren’t immune to defects. Design defects occur when the entire model of a product is flawed. Manufacturer’s defects occur when the model is good, but a single unit or batch has an imperfection. A defective product that causes injury or impedes recovery may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Prescription Drug Errors
These errors occur when a prescription drug is defective, the dosage is wrong, the doctor doesn’t accurately gauge predictable complications, or when there’s a risky interaction between two or more drugs that the patient has been prescribed.
Childbirth injuries can occur during pregnancy, during birth, or shortly after the child is born. If a child is injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, or if a birth defect can be traced to the medical care of the mother, it may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Laws Affecting Medical Malpractice Suits
There are several things that you should keep in mind if you’ve been injured as a result of medical malpractice:
- Statute of Limitations – For most situations in different states, the statute of limitations is two years after the date the injury occurred or when it first became discoverable. For minors, the statute of limitation is either two years after the injury became discoverable, or by the child’s eighth birthday, whichever is later.
- Damages Caps – According to Wyoming’s state constitution, for example, it’s unlawful to cap damages on any suit involving injury or death to another person.
- Medical Review Panel – All medical malpractice cases must be brought before a Medical Review Panel before they can be litigated in court.
Why You Need an Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of medical professionals, you’re entitled to damages. A successful medical malpractice suit requires evaluations by other doctors, expert witnesses, and an expert medical malpractice lawyer in your state who’s knowledgeable about these types of cases. (Remember, a medical malpractice lawyer in Wyoming will have knowledge about that state’s laws that Florida malpractice lawyers do not). Don’t miss the statute of limitations deadline by failing to act in time!