Medical malpractice is a wide-ranging field that covers mistakes made by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare-related entities. Lawyers practicing in this field usually have a lot of specialized legal and medical knowledge so you should choose your attorney wisely if you believe that you may have a claim.
There are a couple of different types of common malpractice claims:
Improper treatment. The archetypical medical malpractice cause of action. A classic example is of the doctor who accidentally amputates the wrong arm or leg. However, the errors made by doctors can often be subtle, difficult to catch or arguably correct under some circumstances, which can lead to much legal wrangling and contention.
Failure to diagnose. Sometimes doctors make mistakes about the type of disease that is afflicting a particular patient. These cases, which are commonplace, are called failure to diagnose cases.
Failure to warn. This is a complicated cause of action that takes some explaining. Doctors are obliged to discuss the risks and rewards of proceeding with different treatment options before treating a patient. If your doctor fails to fully inform you about all of your different alternatives properly it’s possible the doctor can be sued under this cause of action. However, in order for it to be successful you have to be prove that you would have chosen a different medical alternative had the doctor informed you properly beforehand, and that that other medical alternative would not lead to the bad consequences you are now suing for.
If you are confused by any of the above distinctions, do not fear! Your lawyer can explain it all. You should be mindful in advance though that not every bad medical outcome will result in a cause of action. Doctors do not always have the power to prevent bad outcomes. The law will only give you redress if your doctor’s mistake is the immediate cause of the harm you are now suffering. If you are not sure whether or not a mistake has been made or if your healthcare provider can be held liable for it it is best to consult an experienced malpractice attorney.
Although sometimes people can be reluctant to sue their medical care providers, doctors usually have malpractice insurance. In any case, litigation can be instrumental in helping people to bear the cost of medical expenses. There are laws that limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit, so if you believe that you may have a valid malpractice claim it is important to consult a lawyer immediately.