The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys views medical malpractice as a situation that arises between a doctor and a patient, where the patient does not receive the level of care and treatment required. Some people tend to ignore common problems that they have with their doctors or assume that they don’t have a legal standing. The smartest patients are those who learn about the common causes of medical malpractice before meeting with an attorney.
Lack of Treatment
A lack of treatment is one example of medical malpractice. Doctors take an oath to protect their patients and treat them to the best of their abilities. A lack of treatment can refer to a doctor who knowingly does not tell a patient about treatments that are available and a doctor who uses his or her personal biases and feelings when determining the best course of treatment. Patients must feel comfortable with their doctors and feel that they have access to the treatments that will best help them.
Misdiagnosing a Patient
Misdiagnosing a patient occurs when a doctor diagnosis a patient with a condition that the patient does not have. It may also occur when a doctor claims a patient is healthy and the patient actually suffers from a serious illness. For example, a patient might present with symptoms that indicate a psychological disorder. If the doctor dismisses that patient without diagnosing the illness, he or she is guilty. This cases commonly occur in emergency rooms, where doctors have limited time to spend with each patients. This cases may also involve family doctors and general practitioners as well.
Any type of error that occurs during surgery can fall under the category of a surgical error. A doctor who worked a double shift might feel so tired that he or she accidentally leaves a scalpel or another tool inside the patient. Doctors who used drugs or alcohol may have concentration problems that keep them from performing their best. Some of these errors can have serious implications on the future of the patients laying on the operating table. Patients may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and other side effects. Surgical errors may also leave patients with brain injuries that cause changes to their personalities and other problems.
Patients must feel comfortable and confident in taking the medications prescribed by a doctor, but there are a number of horror stories from patients who received the wrong medications. Federal law mandates that doctors talk with patients about the side effects of prescription medications and that they know who should not take those drugs. A patient prescribed two medications that contradict each other may have a case for filing a malpractice lawsuit. The wrong medications can also cause heart attack, stroke or even death. If the doctor did not warn patients of those side effects, the doctor may find himself or herself facing a judge in court.
Neglecting a Patient
Neglecting a patient is one of the harder cases to prove. An attorney must show that the doctor did not treat the patient in the right way. This might include a doctor who did not alert the authorities after identifying signs of abuse or a doctor who deliberately left a patient alone for an extended period of time without proper supervision. Medical malpractice attorneys have experience proving cases of negligence and other types of malpractice. They can show evidence to prove that doctors did not give patients the medical care that they deserved.