Everyone makes mistakes, even doctors. But medical negligence is another story. In a recent study, researchers at Johns Hopkins found that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., preceded only by heart disease and cancer. Below you'll find details on everything you need to know about medical malpractice following a helpful infographic with key information.

Medical Malpractice Infographic

medical malpractice infographic

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, or any other healthcare professional causes injury to a patient through an act of negligence or omission, which includes certain types of errors. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can also occur due to ill intent from a healthcare professional as well.

Types of Medical Malpractice

From your prescription regimen to a scheduled surgery, there are endless potential instances for error and oversight by a medical professional. Medical malpractice can include, but is not limited to:

Improper Treatment

If a doctor treats your condition in a way that no other healthcare professional would or that strays from the norm of standard procedures, it could be considered medical malpractice. Administered treatments that do not treat your condition, have not been given correctly, or have been administered by a doctor practicing without a license would also fall under this category.

Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis

Issues surrounding a diagnosis look at the competency of your healthcare provider and their lack of properly identifying, diagnosing, and treating your condition. If your condition worsens or doesn’t improve and you can prove that different actions would have been taken by a different provider, you may have the makings of a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medication & Prescription Errors

Whenever you're on a medication regimen that is available by a doctor’s orders or prescription only, you’re placing your life in your healthcare providers hands. Many drugs have dangerous interactions with each other that can trigger an allergic reaction, and some drugs can trigger a reaction even if you are not taking any other medications. In addition to the type of medication you’re given, the amount of medication you receive or are advised to take must be accurate as well.

Whether your medication is administered at the hospital or called into your local pharmacy, it must go through several checks and balances before being given to you. If you’ve provided all of your active medication and allergy information and received a medication that conflicted with your allergies or could have adverse interactions with your other medications, you may have a medical malpractice claim.

Failure to Warn About Risks

All patients must be warned of the potential risks and dangers that any procedure or course of treatment may have before their treatment is started. This is known as the duty of informed consent. If you would have opted out of going through a surgical procedure if you had known the risks beforehand, your doctor or hospital could be held liable for damages. If you were made aware of the risks and still elected to do the surgery, your doctor would be protected from malpractice claims. This stands for any procedure, medication, therapy, or course of treatment provided.

Failure to Provide Test Results

The bottom line is that you are entitled to know your test results as soon as your doctor does. It’s your body, you’re paying for them, and you need to be made aware of the findings and possible future courses of action as soon as possible. Many ailments can worsen extremely quickly, so time is of the essence. If you’ve you’ve endured additional injury due to lack of communicating test results, you may want to consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, any of the aforementioned situations can result in wrongful death. A death resulting from subpar care, lack of disclosure of information, or ill intent could be found as medical negligence. If you've recently lost a loved one and believe it may have been the result of medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice lawyer who specializes in wrongful death immediately.

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations refers to how long you have to bring a lawsuit against another party. If not brought in time, then the claim is barred by statute. Every state is different so time is of the essance. If you are reading this and think you might have a medical malpractice claim, do not wait and immediatley contact a lawyer today even if it is not through Lawyer Friend.

Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice?

Any licensed or certified health care professional or entity in the United States can be sued for negligence in a medical malpractice case. This can include doctors, nurses, therapists, hospitals, pharmacists, psychologists, clinics, and others in the medical field.

How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim

The first step to filing a medical malpractice claim is to get your documents, proof, and notices in order. You or your lawyer will need to serve the negligent medical provider with a notice of intent to sue before you can file your claim. The notice must include an affidavit written by a medical professional that states you have a valid medical malpractice claim.

You can get an estimate of how much your medical malpractice claim may be worth with our personal injury settlement calculator.

Find an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Don’t try to fight this battle alone. Doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare entities have huge legal teams and resources at their disposal at all times who are working to protect their best interests—not yours. It’s imperative that you seek legal counsel to help you understand the workings of your case and fight the injustice you’ve experienced. Medical malpractice lawyers can help you through the legal process of your case from start to finish. Since medical malpractice claims are time sensitive, find a medical malpractice lawyer near you today to get started.

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