Medical Malpractice

When we have physical illness we attend with our doctors and at our hospitals seeking treatment for these illnesses. Thankfully the procedures our doctors and nurses follow usually end with a successful or at least an expected result.

However sometimes as a result of a medical treatment or procedure something unintended happens. The result may be a worsening of the original ailment. In some cases the death of the patient may result from the medical procedure. When harm arises because a medical mistake took place then a Personal Injury lawyer who handles claims against doctors and hospitals on behalf of patients harmed by medical mistake must investigate to determine the cause of that harm.

Often that harm will give rise to a legal claim for compensation for the victim and the family members of the victim as well.

There are several kinds of medical malpractice claims. All are considered complicated. These include

  • cases where harm to a patient arises due to a failure to diagnose or treat an illness in time or in a proper manner
  • cases where a patient is harmed because of a mishap that takes place during surgery
  • cases where harm occurs to a patient from the administering of anaethesia related to a surgical procedure
  • cases where a doctor or hospital did not receive appropriate consent from a patient for a procedure to take place
  • cases where a patient wasn't warned properly about the potential for risk or likely side effects that might occur following a particular procedure
  • cases where a patient suffers harm from defective devices or equipment or from devices, implants or prosthetics that were not adequately tested before use
  • cases where a patient is harmed during child birth
  • cases where a patient is harmed from a dangerous medication or a presription drug that should not have been prescribed
  • cases resulting in a wrongful death caused by any of the above processes.

Medical malpractice cases are complicated, hard fought by the insurance companies that cover doctors and hospitals against such claims, expensive to pursue and difficult to prove.

Complexity arise for many reasons. It is not always the case that an unsuccessful result of a medical procedure follows because of someone's neglect or mistake. Even though a doctor may have performed his or her services properly according to accepted medical practice and without mistake sometimes the expected or hoped for result doesn't happen.

Often it is difficult to obtain medical evidence to support a legal claim for damages from medical malpractice. This may be because other medical experts aren't available to provide the evidence. Or it may be because the necessary elements to provide the basis for an expert opinion supporting a finding of negligence on the part of a doctor aren't present or able to be found.

Doctors and other health care professionals must treat patients with a reasonable standard in performing their services and procedures. It is the task of a Personal Injury lawyer to prove they failed to adhere to those standards and that that very failure is what caused damage to the patient.

The standards that apply are stricter when it is a specialist's care that is in question compared with a more relaxed standard that applies to general practitioners. Because of the expertise and training that a specialist undergoes the degree of skill required is for a higher level of patient care.

In any case supporting expert medical opinion for a successful medical malpractice case is expensive. The litigation process for these cases is often lengthy. Lawyers begin the process of investigating the merits of these cases by reviewing the medical records with the assistance of a medical professional experienced in conducting these kinds of reviews. The goal is to seek answers regarding what took place and determining whether medical mistake or other error was present in the particular treatment given to the patient in question.

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