We’ve all heard stories about a surgeon who left an instrument inside a patient during a procedure. Unfortunately, these types of incidents are not all that uncommon. Preventable accidents are now the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The only causes of death that are more prevalent include heart disease and cancer. Medical mistakes are one of the types of preventable accidents and are caused by the negligence of the doctor or medical staff.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
There are a number of situations that may fall under the general category of medical malpractice. Whenever a patient is injured or suffers additional injuries due to treatment or lack of treatment it might be medical malpractice. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:
- Surgical errors
- Birth Injuries, pregnancy and childbirth complications
A doctor, nurse, hospital or other medical facility or medical professional could be considered negligent. Doctors and other medical professionals are held to a high standard of care. Because of their extensive education, training and experience, they are expected to know more than the average person about medical care. Negligence can occur when improper care is provided causing an injury.
One serious Atlanta medical malpractice case last year went to trial and resulted in a judgment of $46 million. In this particular case, a woman gave birth to a child but suffered from blood pressure problems soon thereafter. The woman was given medications and was being transported by wheelchair to another part of the hospital for testing when she suffered a heart attack. She was reportedly without oxygen for 10 to 12 minutes.
As a result, the woman suffered irreversible brain damage and will never function at a level higher than a typical five year-old. It was learned that the woman was given too much medication which caused her to suffer a heart attack. The woman’s husband filed a lawsuit and the case went to trial. The jury found two physicians from Atlanta Women’s Specialists liable for negligence in the case. Sadly, this extreme case illustrates how medical negligence can cause a severe injury and lifelong disability.
What to Do If You Are the Victim of Medical Malpractice
If you are the victim of medical malpractice the first step is to consult with an experienced attorney. You likely have questions and concerns and wonder whether your case qualifies for compensation. Your lawyer will review the details of your case to determine your options. In order to file a case, you must be able to prove that negligence occurred and that you suffered an injury as a result. The law limits the time to file a claim in medical malpractice cases. Generally, you must file within two years of the incident or when you learned of the problem.
You may be owed money for medical costs, pain and suffering and other damages that resulted from the injury. If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, contact The Bader Law Firm for a consultation today.