As a patient, you expect that your doctor will provide you with a certain level of care. However, just like in any field, accidents can occur. But what can you do if your physician does not appropriately attend to your medical needs? And what steps should you or your loved ones take if your health treatment leads to an injury or death? Let’s discuss medical liability, also known as medical liability, and your rights as a patient.
Understanding this term will help you determine whether your doctor is liable for the injuries you have suffered after visiting a health care provider.
What are Medical Liability and Medical Malpractice?
Medical liability law helps patients who have not received the proper level of care recover damages from a doctor or health care provider. Medical malpractice occurs whenever a doctor fails to provide care that would be expected from another reasonable physician. If a doctor’s or medical provider’s failure to provide a standard of care results in your injury or death, then they are legally liable for their actions.
However, if other doctors would provide a similar level of care, or you do not suffer injury because of the physician’s actions, malpractice has not occurred. Because negligence from a medical professional can have devastating consequences, medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the largest awarded personal injury cases.
Common Ways Medical Malpractice Occurs
There are many ways that a physician can commit medical malpractice. It’s important to note that these actions by themselves may not qualify as malpractice. However, if you can prove that a competent medical professional would have provided a higher level of care and the action or inaction caused you injury, then these events are considered malpractice.
This list is not comprehensive and may not include your specific situation, but the most common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Failing to identify an illness or misdiagnosing a patient. This can include receiving incorrect treatments to solve a health problem. Healthy patients receiving unnecessary treatment due to misdiagnosis is also considered medical malpractice.
- Identifying an illness but failing to treat you adequately. Likewise, a doctor can diagnose your illness properly, but fail to treat it. Most often this occurs whenever a doctor is working with too many patients. Because they’re too busy to provide a standard level of care to their patient, they may forget to refer a patient to a specialist. Further, the doctor may not follow up or release their patients too soon, resulting in injury.
- Making surgical errors. Some of the most well-known medical malpractice cases are due to surgical errors. There are significant problems that can occur during surgery, which can lead to many long-term health complications. Even if you sign a form stating that you understand the risks of having surgery, this does not mean that you cannot recover damages.
How To File a Medical Liability Lawsuit
If you have been injured by a medical professional because of their negligence, you should receive compensation for your suffering. Here is the process you should take to start a medical malpractice case.
- Consult an attorney. Medical malpractice law is complex and requires significant resources. Be sure to discuss your malpractice case with a reputable medical malpractice law firm with proven experience.
- Have your attorney start an investigation. This will include gathering evidence, depositions, and finding experts for trial.
- Settle or go to trial. Your attorney will work with the physician’s insurance company to fairly compensate you for your damages. If they cannot agree on a settlement, then the case outcome will be determined by a judge or jury.
- Follow all procedures for bringing forward your medical malpractice case. The steps your attorney follows will depend on the state you live in. Forgetting to file, failing to meet with a medical review board, or delaying the suit can result in your case being thrown out. For this reason, it is always best to work with an experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney.
Discuss Your Case With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
We trust medical professionals to provide adequate care for our illnesses. When you suffer an injury during medical treatment, the negligent party should be held accountable.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has experienced medical liability and would like to know your rights, please contact us. Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can advise you on which actions to take. Call us at (561) 655-1990 to receive your free medical malpractice suit consultation.