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Medical Malpractice: Should I see an Attorney?

What You Should Know about Medical Malpractice.

Any time a health-care professional is involved in your life, which is much more often than you think, that particular individual, or group of individuals, must act according to identifiable legal standards of practice. Medical malpractice is loosely defined as a health-care professional neglecting to provide the appropriate treatment, omitting appropriate actions, or giving below-standard treatment that causes harm, injury or death to a patient.


Both negligence or malpractice usually includes some type of medical error; this error could be in a wide variety of fields like dosage, diagnosis, health management or even aftercare and treatment. The law requires that professionals in the medical industry perform while adhering to particular standards; the injuries that result from medical malpractice can sometimes amount to millions of dollars in unforeseen expenses.



Types of Error and Malpractice:

  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose

  • Unnecessary or incorrect surgery

  • Premature discharge

  • Failure to order appropriate tests or to act on results

  • Not following up

  • Prescribing the wrong dosage or the wrong medication

  • Leaving things inside the patient’s body after surgery

  • Operating on the wrong part of the body

  • The patient has persistent pain after surgery

  • Potentially fatal infections acquiredin the hospital


The plaintiff is the complaining party; whoever acts as the plaintiff can either be the patient or a person legally designated to act on behalf of the patient. The plaintiff initiates the suit. The defendant is being sued; usually, in medical malpractice, the healthcare provider is the defendant. This may be a psychologist, psychiatrist, nurse, doctor or an entire hospital.


There are two types of damages that the plaintiff may be able to receive compensation for:


Compensatory Damages: These include economic damages, revolving around lost wages or the inability to work, medical expenses and expenses related to quality-of-life assurance and expenses. Past and future loss of wages are examined when making claims that revolve around compensatory damages.


Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are not intended to compensate tort victims for their losses. Instead, they are designed to punish flagrant wrongdoers and to deter them and others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Theoretically, therefore, punitive damages are reserved for the worst kinds of wrongdoing.


If you feel as though you have been given improper medical treatment and would like a free consultation, do not hesitate to call us at 702.384.9800