People trust healthcare providers with their lives and wellbeing. These professionals are paid for their services in the belief that their skills and knowledge will bring comfort. However, there are cases where patients end up injured or dead because of negligence. The aggrieved parties may pursue legal action to obtain compensation. Below is an attempt at defining negligence in the medical field. Consult a lawyer if you have further questions.
Professionals Who May Be Liable for Malpractice
Remember that the laws will differ in each jurisdiction. It is best to check the rules for the state where the incident happened. It is common for physicians, dentists, surgeons, and psychiatrists to be included in the list. Nurses and assistants may also be liable for malpractice in some places. Other health professionals, such as psychologists, chiropractors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and the like may also be included.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
Many studies have been conducted to learn more about the number of deaths in hospitals and their causes. Estimates vary from as low as 44,000 to as high as 400,000 annual unnecessary deaths. These could be due to infections, medical errors, and other issues. The figures will be much higher if deaths for patients who are not in hospitals are accounted for. The hospital costs for medical errors have reached hundreds of millions of dollars. As for malpractice cases, the courts see around 17,000 filed each year. Only a few of these go the distance. Most are resolved through settlements.
Common Claims Against Defendants
Plaintiffs can sue medical professionals for their acts or omissions that result in injuries. For example, a doctor might have failed to diagnose a condition properly. If so, then the appropriate treatment will not be given in a timely manner, and the problem will only get worse.
Sometimes, the right treatment path is pursued, but negligence can still cause issues. Consider a nurse who administers the wrong dosage or the wrong drug. A reasonably competent healthcare provider should not make such mistakes.
Malpractice cases could also be based on a failure to warn the patient about the possible adverse effects of a drug, a surgery, or other forms of treatment. Patients should get vital details so that they can provide informed consent.
Building a Successful Case
It is not easy to pursue this type of lawsuit. Patience and resources are necessary for the long fight. Solid evidence and expert witnesses are crucial in convincing the court. The help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney in West Palm Beach will also be invaluable.