Top Causes of Medical Malpractice
According to a 2016 study performed by John Hopkins researchers, medical errors account for 10% of all deaths in the U.S., making it the third leading cause of death behind cancer and heart disease. These errors are highly preventable by ensuring that all health care providers follow the appropriate standard of care. When doctors and other medical professionals make a mistake during treatment, the consequences can be quite severe for the patient. Sometimes, these mistakes are a result of negligence, and in that event, the patient would have cause to sue for compensation from the provider or facility involved. The Law Office of Kyle W. Jones works with clients throughout Kern County who have been injured due to medical malpractice.
If you have experienced any of the following top causes of medical malpractice during treatment, you might be a victim of medical malpractice and should consult with a lawyer right away to protect your rights.
Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
When a doctor examines a patient and fails to diagnose the correct illness, this is known as a misdiagnosis. You might be examined and told that you have no apparent illness and then later find out that you have a life-threatening condition that the doctor had the knowledge to identify at the time. Alternatively, a doctor might tell you that you have a condition that you later discover you don’t have, so now you’ve undergone a number of unnecessary treatments or procedures. Either instance might qualify you for a malpractice case because you were unable to receive the appropriate care.
However, you should know that a simple misdiagnosis does not automatically mean medical malpractice has occurred. You must show that the doctor failed to do what another professional in his or her position would have done and that their negligence caused you actual harm. A Bakersfield lawyer will be able to review your case and advise you on your next steps.
Mistakes made during surgery can be life-threatening for the patient. Surgical errors are some of the most common types of medical malpractice. These cases might include:
- Infection due to unsanitary surgical instruments
- Accidental damage to nerves or internal organs and tissue
- Surgical instruments being left inside the body
- Unnecessary surgery or wrong site surgery
When you have surgery, the surgeon, nurses, and other medical professionals have an obligation to ensure your safety. However, mistakes happen, and injured parties should know that they have the legal right to seek monetary damages if they can prove that their injury was due to the negligence of their health care providers.
When a doctor or nurse fails to use reasonable care during the labor and delivery of a baby, it can result in a birth injury. Among many other conditions, these injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Respiratory problems
- Facial paralysis
The severity of birth injuries can vary, and some symptoms might not present right away. However, these injuries can be devastating and cause lifelong challenges for your child. You may need to pay for a number of specialists, medications, and treatments over their lifetime, and these costs can become overwhelming for a family very quickly. A lawyer can help you determine if the medical professionals involved during the delivery neglected to follow normal standards of care and fight to get you the compensation you need to take care of your child.
Lack of Informed Consent
Many medical malpractice cases occur because a health care provider failed to obtain informed consent from the patient. Before performing a procedure, medical professionals are obligated to detail all of the risks that are involved with the treatment so that their patients can make informed decisions regarding their medical care. When a doctor does not disclose a particular risk or side effect and a patient is negatively impacted because of it, the patient could then have a case for medical malpractice.
Poor Follow-Up Care
Many treatments and procedures require proper follow-up care to ensure a patient is well on the way to recovery. This might include checking symptoms and any incisions to identify infections or other signs that a patient isn’t recovering properly. Neglecting to give adequate follow-up care can result in serious health problems and even death for the patient. If you suffered because a doctor failed to follow through appropriately after a surgery or other treatment, you may have experienced medical malpractice and should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Medication errors arise when a patient is prescribed the wrong medication or when a patient is prescribed a dangerous dosage by their health care provider. As most medications have serious side effects, a patient could be harmed or even killed by taking too much. Doctors have an obligation to ensure they are prescribing not only the right medication but also a dosage that is safe for their patient. If it’s shown that a doctor acted recklessly or otherwise failed to show reasonable care in regard to medication management, they could be held liable in a medical malpractice case.
Emergency Room Negligence
With a large influx of patients every day, emergency rooms try to turnaround people as quickly as possible while still tending to their medical needs. Sometimes, this can result in medical professionals overlooking some serious symptoms that threaten the life of their patient. They might not thoroughly review the given medical history before suggesting a course of treatment. While emergency room professionals may be given more leeway than doctors who have more time to work with a patient, it does not absolve them from providing insufficient care. If you have been harmed as a result of poor emergency room treatment, a lawyer can let you know if you have a case to sue.
If you think you need a medical malpractice lawyer in Bakersfield, contact the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones today. We’ll work hard to recover the maximum amount of compensation you’re entitled to so that you can move forward.