What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is an incident that takes place when a health-care delivery professional fails to strictly adhere to the principles of practice of the specific genre of the medical field that he/she is practicing. The malpractice consequently harms the patient, an occurrence which would have been averted if the correct procedures were followed strictly. Medical malpractice is rather, a deviation of the standard care procedure which disadvantages the patient health wisely. The standard care procedure can simply be thought of as “what a cautious healthcare provider would have done under similar conditions”. The answer to the above query is then used to determine whether the medic was negligent or not.
Results of Medical malpractice.
Careless acts by doctors may lead to disastrous results in patients. Damages caused by such carelessness may include; pain and suffering, emotional stress, unnecessary medical costs, loss of jobs due to physical damage, partial/complete impairment and in severe cases, death.
The majority of the medical malpractice cases arise during the diagnosis stage. Poor diagnosis can arise either due to an omission of some tests by the doctor in charge, or the inability of the doctor to interpret the tests accordingly. Damages claimed are owed to worsening of the condition in question, resulting in delayed treatment arising from inaccurate diagnosis. Other medical malpractices include; prescription of wrong medication, a misreading of X-rays, performing procedures without the patient’s consent, and mistakes arising either during surgery, caesarean section, e.t.c. Poor diagnosis automatically leads to wrong treatment
Severe malpractices resulting in death can give rise to multiple claims; first, the malpractice leads to personal suffering encountered by the patient preceding death, secondly, the death of the patient leads to monetary loss to the next of kin.
Steps followed when pursuing compensation for a medical malpractice case.
The initial step in pursuing medical malpractice cases involves procurement of a personal injury attorney since self-representation in medical malpractice suits is not possible. The attorney then conducts a thorough assessment of the situation that resulted into the alleged malpractice. Patients’ records, as well as any witnesses, are then gathered. An expert in the relevant medical field reviews the evidence and writes a report to the plaintiff. The testimonies in such cases are offered by people with expertise in the particular field of medicine. They usually outline the routine procedures carried out in management of patients with similar conditions
The report is handed over to the defendant’s attorney as well as an insurance adjuster who negotiates the settlement. If both the plaintiff and the defendant agree on the payment, the two sides enter into an agreement, the plaintiff is compensated and the case terminated. If the parties don’t agree, the case then proceeds to trial and is decided either by a judge or jury.
Medicine is one of the most delicate professions in the world. Therefore, doctors ought to be cautious and perform their duties with utmost care. Failure to observe caution during the treatment process may result in injury or death of the patients or loss to their families. The most effective way of ensuring that patient’s rights are not infringed is by contacting a qualified law attorney since most insurance companies rarely compensate the patients willingly.