Medical malpractice is the consequence when a medical professional causes harm to the patient by negligent or intentional erroneous action and requires compensation for damages.
When a medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, hospital staff, dentist or technician, omits or neglects acceptable treatment or practice and inflicts harm or injury to a patient. Statistics show that medical mistakes account for over 1 million injuries and at least 100,000 wrongful deaths each year.
It is in your best interest to contact an experienced Salem, OR medical malpractice attorney and negligence lawyer right away if you believe you have been injured or harmed in any way as a result of medical malpractice. Make sure your rights are protected and you receive adequate compensation to cover pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
Common Types of Malpractice
Medical malpractice can include any type of error or inaction during medical treatment that directly causes you or your loved one harm. Examples may include:
- Orthopedic mistakes such as surgery performed at the wrong level or improper placement of hardware.
- Misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose or a delayed diagnosis that allows your condition to worsen.
- Wrong site surgery.
- Anesthesia mistakes, either through overdose of medication or multiple drug interactions.
- Prescription drug errors, whether the wrong type of drug was prescribed, a drug was prescribed that caused an interaction with other prescriptions or medication was prescribed to someone who is allergic.
- Birth trauma and obstetric mistakes that harm your child.
- Gastric bypass mistakes and other abdominal surgical errors such as punctures of surrounding tissues and organs.
How Medical Malpractice Claims are Proven
If you believe your doctor or other medical professional has caused you harm by negligent or intentional erroneous action you should seek legal advice from a Salem, OR negligence lawyer to understand your rights. Before filing a case it is important to work with an experienced attorney who will listen to your story and review the facts to determine if your case meets the bask requirements for medical malpractice:
- A professional relationship is established between the patient and health care provider. You cannot file a lawsuit after you took advice from a doctor with whom you do not have an established professional relationship.
- The health care professional was negligent. We will need to prove a breach of professional care. We need to prove that the medical professional did not provide treatment in a reasonably skilled and competent manner. This proof is the most important part of your case!
- This negligence caused you real harm or injuries. Next, we will need to prove that the action or inaction from the health care professional directly resulted in actual damages such as additional medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost wages or reduced earning capacity. If your loved one was killed as a result of the mistake, loss of companionship, funeral costs and other damages may be compensated.
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical problem, injury or illness is the common complaint for medical malpractice. Error in diagnosis can lead to improper or delayed treatment for your condition, or no treatment being provided at all, may cause the condition to worsen and even result in death.
To prove malpractice based on misdiagnosis, it must be proven that one of the following things occurred:
- The medical professional included the correct diagnosis but did not perform the necessary tests or receive second opinions to fully investigate the viability of this diagnosis.
- The medical professional did not include the correct diagnosis when a reasonably competent medical professional under similar circumstances would have.
In some cases there may be more than one medical professional responsible for the human error involved such as a technician who missed something important on an x-ray or test results, which were not read properly. Or, the medical professional may have been relying on faulty diagnostic equipment. In these situations, there may be more than one medical professional liable for the damage.
To be considered for a malpractice lawsuit, it must be proven that the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis resulted in further harm, or damages. This may include a medical condition that progresses farther than it should have, unnecessary medical expenses and anxiety over treating a condition that did not exist.
Surgical errors can result in serious complications and even death, however, not all bad outcomes following surgery are the result of malpractice. Some of the common mistakes that may be considered for a malpractice lawsuit:
- When surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body including surgery on the wrong level of the spine.
- Improper hardware/screw placement, which caused damage to surrounding nerves and organs.
- Surgical instruments left in the body, including sponges or gauze, resulting in serious infections. This can cause deadly results in patients with compromised immune systems.
- Punctures of surrounding tissue/organs by a staple, scalpel or laser.
- Nerve damage, resulting from improper use of anesthesia.
The basis for a medical malpractice case as a result of surgical error must prove the cause of damages to the patient could have been avoided if reasonable care was exercised. The standard of care is what a reasonable surgeon would have one in the same circumstances. The case against the surgeon must show exactly how the doctor failed to measure up to this standard of care.
Damages caused by surgical errors may be extensive medical expenses and follow-up procedures, lost wages or further pain and suffering and even long-term health consequences. It is necessary to work with an experienced Salem, OR medical malpractice attorney who understands the complexities of filing a claim for medical malpractice can help you get compensation to cover these damages and more.