The term “medical malpractice” is used to describe any departure from the accepted standards of medical care that causes harm to a patient. Many different forms of medical malpractice occur in the United States each year. If you believe you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to understand your legal rights as well as the elements to successfully proving your case.
What Constitutes Malpractice?
Do you have a feeling that you may have been the victim of medical malpractice? Not exactly sure? Below are some common forms of medical malpractice.
– Prescription Drug Malpractice.
There are times when a patient is accidentally prescribed the wrong medicine and as a result, suffers severe adverse side effects. The error can be caused by the miscommunication of drug orders, which can include poor handwriting, confusion between drugs with similar names, and inappropriate abbreviations. Other times, a patient’s prescribed medication may cause illness because the doctor was unaware of that patient’s medical history or did not have access to current drug warnings.
– Birth Injury.
Sadly, an infant may suffer an injury during the birthing process that is directly linked to medical negligence. Such injuries can lead to deformities, serious developmental issues, and even death.
– Surgical Errors.
Common surgical errors range from incorrect incisions to surgery on the wrong organ to delayed surgery. Surgical errors are most common in the following types of surgeries: gastric bypass, cardiothoracic, thoracic, laparoscopic intestinal, and cosmetic.
– Emergency Room Errors.
Understaffed hospitals or poorly equipped emergency rooms may lead to fatal errors when dealing with patients requiring emergency care. Some common emergency room malpractice errors include bacterial infections, diagnosis errors, and negligence.
The Rights of a Malpractice Victim
If you believe you have a case against your health care provider, don’t wait too long to take action. Stalling tends to help the other side more than it helps you, as the general rule dictates that your claim must be filed within two years after the malpractice occurred or within two years after you reasonably should have known that the malpractice occurred.
However, since there are always exceptions, do not give up just because the statute of limitations may have passed. Contact an experienced attorney to discuss what options are available to you. From there, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you want to move forward with your claim.
Proving Your Case
In order to prove your medical malpractice claim, you must be able to illustrate four key points: