The term Personal Injury refers to harm that is caused to a person including bodily damage or slander. Injury that is incurred by accident, negligence or inflicted with intent all classify as Personal Injury.
Medical Malpractice falls under the Personal Injury umbrella and is a relatively common occurrence. This is action or failure to act in accordance with the accepted standards of the medical community. When a health medical facility or professional provides a standard of care that is negligent and results in injury to the patient, it is considered malpractice. The following are typical issues:
– Lack of or mis-diagnosis. This can result in worsening of symptoms or illness or create a new illness in the patient. In this event, the patient may not have given all pertinent information for the doctor to make an appropriate diagnosis. The individual is responsible to answer all questions truthfully to assist the doctors work. Expecially important is disclosure of all medications being taken, as they dramatically alter the picture of a patients health. It is also sometimes the case that all information was given but not taken down or was mis-read. It may also have seemed irrelevant in the scenario.
– Surgical errors. The result of this is physical damage to the body whether internal or external. It may result in maming, causing emtional damage to the patient and requiring additional expense for correction. It may also cause an organ to require repair or replacement.
– Prescription or medication errors. This is an adverse affect when the wrong medication or wrong dosage of the right medication is recommended. There have been recalls by the FDA on weight loss and other products that were found to cause organ damage. Individuals who have suffered these damaged are eligible to file a lawsuit against the maker of the product. Other suits may stem from cases in which a patient did not disclose other medications being taken and suffered side-effects of the interaction.
– Accidental or wrongful death. This is the worst-case scenario and may be caused by any or all of the above events and warrant a lawsuit by the remaining of the victims family.
A suit should be filed whenever it can be proven that the professional was responsible to provide a standard level of care and failed to meet the standard, resulting in injury to the victim. Since statute of limitations vary from state to state and will then become ‘statute barred’ and not succeed, the suit should be filed immediately after the occurrence. Professional legal assistance is required, since only 38% of plaintiffs are compensated when representing themselves. Victims or their families should seek a board certified attorney. Board certification indicates that an attorney is respected within the field and has substantial experience, having tried at least ten cases in civil court.
In the event that a victim questions whether their situation classifies as medical malpractice, they should err on the side of caution. A reputable attorney will provide good advice and many offer a free consultation. From there, a course of action can be decided and there are agencies available to help with the costs incurred to pursue the case in court.