Why medical malpractice is hard to spot

At my job as a customer service representative, I am encouraged by my supervisors to come clean when I have made a mistake. My supervisors understand that mistakes happen. When I am upfront about errors, the team has an opportunity to correct them and move forward. I love working in a healthy and supportive environment such as that. I know it sounds naive, but I figured that sort of environment existed in most fields. I was shocked to find out that medical field functions in a much, much different way. I was reading about medical malpractice on the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC website and I found out that medical professionals are often quiet about their mistakes in order to avoid a lawsuit.

With the culture of silence around medical malpractice, it is often difficult to tell what constitutes malpractice in the first place. Just because a bad outcome occurs, this doesn’t mean that a doctor committed malpractice. Sometimes doctors do everything that is expected of them, and unfortunate outcomes still occur. Malpractice happens when medical professionals do not meet a minimum standard of care. This is usually described as being negligent towards their patients.

A common form of negligence occurs when doctors misdiagnose patients or fail to diagnose them completely. If you go into a doctor’s office with health concerns and doctors are unable to pick up on signs of a stroke, heart attack or cancer, they are likely being negligent towards you. These conditions are serious and life-threatening. It is a doctor’s job to pay attention to your condition and pinpoint these afflictions.

Another form of negligence happens when you are inadvertently injured during a surgery. If doctors are not careful, they may damage blood vessels, organs or nerves while you are under the knife. This can result in more hospital trips, time away from work, or even greater health complications. Of course, your doctor should be held responsible when their mistakes cost you time and money.

A last form of negligence can happen when doctors prescribe drugs. If doctors prescribe you a dose of medication that causes you to overdose or winds up injured, they are considered negligent. Every doctor has a responsibility to check on the possibility of two drugs interacting in an unexpected way. It’s your doctor’s job to give you the medication to treat health conditions, not make them worse.

 

Failure to Diagnose Cancer

A number of medical malpractice cases are due to claims of failure to diagnose. Failure to diagnose may not often result to serious injuries, in cases such as cancer (where the survival rate is very low in majority of the cases), failure to diagnose can mean life of death. The main factor in treating cancer is the early detection of the condition, and if the doctor have failed to properly detect the cancer then they may be liable for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to have solid grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, you (as the plaintiff) should be able to prove that the negligence of the doctor (the defendant) or their failure to diagnose the cancer in a timely manner was the reason for the progression of the injury that was otherwise preventable.

Just as with any medical malpractice lawsuits, it is important for the plaintiff to establish the defendants’ failure to practice the standard of care expected from them, and this may call for testimonies from other medical professionals and their opinion on whether the defendant’s actions (or inactions) were what any reasonable doctor would have also done. It is the breach of the standard of care adopted by medical professionals for a particular health condition or illness. Some factors can affect how this standard of care is given.

Because medicine, despite is advances, it still not an exact science, it may be difficult to win a medical malpractice case. The website of Crowe & Mulvey LLP says strong evidence and expert witness testimonials would help ensure that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the progression of the condition, and that the standard of care was not properly given to the patient. Having the right type of lawyers who knows how personal injury and medical malpractice laws work is also key in winning the case. Make sure to find a not only a local lawyer but also an experienced one, since state laws can vary.