Medical errors injure millions of Americans each year, sometimes with serious consequences. Some estimations, like this study published in the BMJ, suggest that medical error are the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. This number is relatively difficult to measure since transparent information about errors is not recorded on death certificates, which is what the top statistics collectors like the CDC use for ranking. For example, a death certificate might list the cause of death as infection, instead of infection caused by surgeon error.
These frightening statistics should make this subject a top priority among legal and medical professionals. Likewise, those healthcare professionals whose negligence or errors lead to injury or death should be held accountable, whether or not their actions were intentional or purely accidental. Contact a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney for your medical malpractice legal questions.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a form of professional negligence that involves a medical professional or hospital deviating from the accepted standard of care. These types of cases differ from ordinary personal injury cases in that the standard against which a medical professional is judged takes into account the standards accepted by the profession rather than the general standard of a “reasonable person.”
As a result, expert witnesses are often indispensable in medical malpractice cases in order to educate the judge and jury on what the appropriate standard of care should be.
It’s important for people who have been injured in a medical setting to understand that not all medical errors rise to the level of medical malpractice. If a physician or other medical professional makes a mistake, but that mistake is deemed to be a reasonable mistake in light of the circumstances, it’s possible that a patient injured by this mistake would not be able to recover compensation for their damages.
The most effective way to determine whether you have a medical malpractice claim after sustaining an injury while receiving medical treatment is to have your case evaluated by an experienced St. Petersburg medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900.
What are some common examples of medical malpractice?
There are many potential scenarios that could lead to an injury that gives rise to a valid medical malpractice claim. The most common types of medical negligence and errors are:
Failure to Diagnose; or Misdiagnosis
A significant percentage of medical malpractice claims are the result of a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a patient’s medical condition. When this occurs, it can result in a victim failing to receive medical treatment that may have prevented them from harm, cured their condition, or kept them alive. Diagnostic errors that lead to incorrect, delayed, or lack of treatment, are actually quite common. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis is enough to bring about a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Surgical errors occur when a physician makes an error during a surgical procedure. Common examples of surgical errors include leaving objects or instruments inside a patient’s body, operating on the wrong body part, making technical errors during the procedure itself, or failing to sterilize surgical instruments.
Medication errors are responsible for a significant number of medical malpractice claims each year. They can occur in a variety of ways, including prescribing the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, failing to check for interactions between medications, or negligent administration of medication.
Malpractice that resulting in birth injuries
One of the more specific types of medical malpractice claims that are brought on a regular basis involve medical negligence that occurs during childbirth or during pregnancy. These types of errors have the potential to cause lifelong issues for affected newborns and may seriously jeopardize the well-being of the mother.
Free Consultation with a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorney
Individuals who have been injured by the negligence or carelessness of a medical professional may be able to recover significant compensation for their injuries and other associated losses. Because of the complicated legal and medical issues that often arise in Florida medical malpractice cases, it is highly advisable for anyone injured by medical malpractice to retain an experienced attorney that has a track record of success representing clients injured in a medical setting. The lawyers of the Dolman Law Group are committed to protecting the rights of people who are injured in preventable accidents and work hard to get each client we represent the full value of their legal claim. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, contact our office today at (727) 451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form available here.