Malpractice litigation refers to an act of neglect or failure by a professional. Most people thinking of malpractice automatically assume it refers to the medical field. However, malpractice cases can and do occur among dentist, lawyers and even accountants.
Clearing Up the Misunderstanding
When it comes to malpractice cases, there are a lot of misunderstandings about what qualifies for professional neglect. To be considered for malpractice litigation, an act by a professional must cause a patient to suffer harm of some kind. The quality of care or service given may fall outside of generally accepted standards by others in the same profession.
Malpractice also refers to a deliberate act by a professional to do harm, such as an accountant who steals money from his clients. Additionally it refers to a professional error. For example, a patient who receives the wrong medication by accident while staying in the hospital and suffers physical damage could file a suit for hospital malpractice. A medical misdiagnosis can also fall into this category if it is something that other professionals think should have been seen or noticed.
Of course, doctors, lawyers and other professionals are human and will make errors. However, malpractice usually means the harm caused could have been avoided if the professional had acted reasonably under the circumstances.
Medical malpractice is a leading cause of death in the United States. Common medical malpractice litigation cases include: medication overdoses or errors, botched surgery, birth injuries and cancer misdiagnosis. Failure to receive informed consent before performing a medical procedure and failure to act in a reasonable amount of time to treat a diagnosed condition are also common. Hospitals are often involved in costly litigations because of malpractice. Private clinic doctors, specialists, dentists, nurses and other health care professionals can also find themselves named in a suit.
In the legal field, individuals can sue their attorney if they failed to act competently. A lawsuit might be possible if it can be proven that a lawyer created a breach of fiduciary duty. This means that he or she failed to act in the best interests of their client or put their own best interests first. For instance, a lawyer who represents both a plaintiff and defendant in a divorce case has a conflict of interest. Malpractice can also occur when the lawyer commits a breach of contract. To win legal malpractice litigation, the client must prove that an attorney-client relationship existed and was violated.
Signing a Waiver
Before completing a surgery or performing other medical procedures at a hospital, having the patient sign a waiver is a standard practice. It is not however true that signing a waiver prevents you from making a claim for malpractice. If negligence on the part of the hospital or hospital staff resulted in injury, you still have the right to sue. For example, a patient who isn’t informed that a surgery could leave them paralyzed could have a case.
Choosing an Attorney
When making a malpractice litigation claim, the use of highly specialized attorneys is important. Attorneys specializing in cases dealing with birth defects, cancer diagnosis or the specific complaint being made need to have the necessary experience. These attorneys are more up to date on current medical issues and have access to medical experts needed to testify and back up a claim.