What are the Most Common Causes of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

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Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Given their legal duty to abide by set standards in their operations, doctors are least expected to indulge in medical malpractices. But this assumption is hardly true statistically, with at least 50% of physicians getting sued for medical malpractices. But most of these claims famously fail to go through in favor of medical practitioners. 

According to Hastings Law Firm, it’s crucial to have an experienced lawyer alongside who can evaluate whether the claim qualifies as malpractice. Those who sustain injuries following the physician’s negligence can get compensated for damages caused. 

Also, medical errors might cause the death of a loved one or the breadwinner of the family. And as such, seeking compensation might be vital. Therefore, it is essential that you know what instances are considered medical malpractice so you can file the appropriate lawsuit. Here are common causes of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Medication Errors 

So many mistakes can result from medication errors. Consequently, many deaths in the US are reported following such negligences, which attracts serious lawsuits. A wrong prescription from a doctor can cause harmful reactions and severe side effects to patients. 

Another common cause of medication errors is the doctor’s negligence of the patient’s complete history before writing a prescription. For instance, the doctor prescribes drugs that don’t interact well with the former medication, or a patient may be allergic to certain medicines. Additionally, a wrong patient can receive the wrong medication, or the doctor might fail to prescribe the right dosage.

Surgical Errors 

Although advancement in medical technology has dramatically reduced risk during surgical procedures, surgeons are still likely to cause errors in their line of work. Surgical errors occur in various forms and often attract lawsuits. A considerable number of general surgeons are sued due to negligence.

Surgical errors can take many forms, like forgetting surgical tools like cotton swabs and drains in operated areas, using wrong surgical procedures, operating in the wrong location, or puncturing an organ. The doctor might fail to give an informed consent that acknowledges the patient beforehand of the possible risks and outcomes of the surgery or a particular treatment. Therefore, the doctor commits medical malpractice if there is no consent.

Childbirth Injuries 

Childbirth injuries, though preventable, are likely to occur. The medical practitioner can damage the fetus during pregnancy or delivery and cause severe cerebral palsy and paralysis disorders.

Typical causes of childbirth pregnancies often range from poor tests during pregnancy, improper use of birth tools like vacuums, and failure to attend to a distressed fetus, among others. The victims of these malpractices can suffer development issues, brain injuries, and related complications. 

Other childbirth errors like iatrogenic injuries result from the doctor’s failure to anticipate the fetal size, perform C-section, or not attend to the nuchal cord.

Misdiagnosis

Medical diagnosis is the key to knowing the right approach for medication and patient care. So, medical errors are likely to occur in case of a misdiagnosis, leading to lawsuits. As a result, the patient can miss a treatment, wait too long before receiving the right diagnosis, or be subject to wrong treatments with harmful side effects. 

Such situations often arise when an incompetent or inexperienced medical practitioner takes charge. So, following the inconsistencies in their practice, they are legally liable for the damages that they cause to patients.

Use Of Defective Equipment 

Patients’ lives are at stake whenever a medical practitioner uses defective equipment during treatment. In most of these cases, the doctor is accountable for medical malpractice. Equipment like heat monitors and ventilators must be closely monitored and ensure they are in proper shape during operations. Doctors are fully responsible for their patients, especially those with heart conditions. 

Some equipment might be old and inefficient. If used on patients, they might cause serious problems, including the death of the patient. This can also happen in the case of defective devices like pacemakers, prosthetics, and implants. 

Informed Consent 

For patients to grant doctors full permission to proceed with various kinds of medications, they must first know the possible outcome of the operation. That should include the potential risks of the medication and the benefits. Also, the physician needs to adhere to their patients’ wishes before treatment to avoid lawsuits. 

A medical practitioner who fails to inform their patients about the risks of the operation violates legal procedures and empowers their patients to file injury claims against them since the law allows it. 

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