Suing Doctors for Medical Mistakes
We think of doctors as infallible, perfect patient advocates. Sadly, doctors and nurses have off-days as well. When a healthcare provider like a doctor makes an error, the results can be grim. Doctor mistakes can lead to misdiagnosis, patient neglect and even death. A recent government investigation confirms that almost 500,000 hospital wrongful deaths were attributable to doctor or nurse mistakes.
Why do Doctor Mistakes Occur?
We know that doctors take a Hippocratic Oath and swear to do right by the patient. So why does doctor negligence occur? Usually, it is not due to a willful, intentional wrongdoing on the part of the doctor. Instead, physician mistakes are usually made inadvertently. This accidental mistake is known as doctor negligence. In doctor malpractice suits, we commonly see an inadvertent physician error caused by:
- Overworked and understaffed doctors and nurses
- The doctor did not review the films or tests that were previously done
- The doctor did not order the appropriate diagnostic test or film which would show the problem
- The doctor did not receive the right information from the nurses caring for the patient
- The doctor had a bad day and performed a surgery incorrectly.
What are Typical Doctor Error Injuries that Justify a Lawsuit?
Doctor mistakes can cause thousands of different bad outcomes. It would be impossible to compile a list of every kind of injury that can arise out of a physician’s error. However, common errors we encounter in doctor malpractice lawsuits are:
- Surgery mistakes and errors
- Misdiagnosis of a disease or condition
- Prescription medication mistakes
- Failure to order the appropriate test, scan or film to recognize a dangerous condition
Unsure if you have a doctor malpractice claim? Unclear on what could have been done differently to prevent the injury that you sustained? Confused as to whether you have a viable medical malpractice lawsuit? These are normal concerns for laypeople who are unfamiliar with medicine and the liability that stems from doctor errors. The only way you will be able to determine if you have a medical liability claim is to speak with a qualified doctor malpractice attorney. Our lawyers are available to chat with you about your case for free. Call us today toll-free at 1-844-253-7202.
Doctor Liability Even if the Negligence was Unintentional
Rarely do we encounter a doctor malpractice claim where the doctor intentionally set out to hurt the patient. So can a doctor be liable even if the wrongdoing was accidental? The answer is; absolutely. This is the legal concept of medical negligence.
Negligence is defined as the failure to take proper care in doing something. In the medical liability context, this means a doctor should perform a surgery or provide care in a reasonable manner, meeting the standard of care. If a doctor has four surgeries going on at one time in a surgery center, and in a rush, nicks a patient’s ureter, is this negligence? Probably, assuming most surgeons would not have done this surgery along with three other surgeries and that the doctor’s hurried surgical technique caused the surgical injury. Did the doctor intend on hurting the patient’s ureter? No. Can (s)he be still held liable for the injuries caused to the patient? Yes.
What is Involved in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit vs. a Doctor?
You may not know all the ins and out of doctor malpractice litigation, but you have probably heard that suing a doctor for negligence can be quite the process. Doctor liability can only be proven through expert witnesses. This requires a lot of time and money, so you need to make sure you hire the right doctor malpractice law firm to litigate your case. Med mal cases are much harder and costlier than your average personal injury case. Contrast the following two examples:
Scenario A: Bob is rear ended in a car accident and suffers a herniated disc.
What needs to be done to win this case: The law firm gets Bob’s medical records and submits a demand to the insurance company. If the case does not settle, a lawsuit will be filed. Liability will be admitted by the at-fault driver, and the case will come down to how badly Bob is hurt from the accident.
Scenario B: Bob has a neck fusion surgery and wakes up paralyzed, unable to move his legs.
What needs to be done to win this case: The law firm gets Bob’s medical records and pays an expert surgeon thousands of dollars to review the records and determine if there was negligence on the doctor. Assuming there was, the expert will sign a required affidavit. Bob’s lawyers will then put the doctor on notice of the malpractice claim and complete the required pre-suit period. Once the pre-suit is over, the lawyers will file a medical negligence lawsuit against the surgeon. Liability will not be admitted and there will be an intensive battle of expert witnesses from both sides as to whether the medical injury was due to doctor negligence or due to an unavoidable surgical risk. Damages from the doctor’s mistake will also be contested. Numerous depositions and hundreds of pages of discovery will be completed to establish whether a physician error was made.
Choosing the Right Doctor Malpractice Law Firm for your Case
Due to the depth at which doctor malpractice cases need to be litigated, you must make sure to hire the right medical malpractice law firm for your case. Remember, you only have one opportunity to sue your doctor for negligence. There are no do-overs in the civil justice system. If you were seriously injured or had a loved one wrongfully die due to a doctor’s error, make sure to consult with an experienced doctor malpractice law firm.
Call us today to discuss your potential doctor negligence claim. We are reachable toll free at 1-844-253-8919.