Medical Malpractice: The Rights of Injured Patients
Every single day, thousands of people enter hospitals or other medical facilities for one reason or another. Perhaps they need surgery or they simply have to have a checkup. No matter the situation, it is the responsibility of the healthcare facility to put the health of the patient as the top priority.
In many situations, however, there are actions that may be taken that could put the health of a patient in danger. These unfortunate events should not happen, but negligence is a real thing making malpractice entirely possible when we least expect it.
For those who sustain serious injuries as a result of medical malpractice, it’s important to fully understand what rights may exist and what legal action may be possible. This is especially true when the malpractice makes an existing condition worse or result in long-term—or potentially fatal—damage.
What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?
Before taking legal action, having an understanding of what medical malpractice is can help you identify some of the signs. The actions that can be considered medical malpractice vary and each one can differ in which department is involved.
For instance, one potential form of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis. This is when the medical professional diagnoses the patient with a condition, but their prognosis is incorrect. They identify symptoms, but some symptoms are often associated with multiple different conditions.
As a result, the medical professional may order incorrect tests, prompting them to miss a more serious health issue and diagnosing it as something else. This means the patient doesn’t receive proper treatment for their condition and it can worsen over time.
Some other forms of medical malpractice can include:
- Emergency room errors in which information is handled incorrectly and patients’ charts are mixed up
- Surgical errors in which the patient is harmed by either having the wrong procedure performed, surgery performed on the wrong part of the body, or a foreign object being left in the patient
- Medication errors in which the doctor prescribes an incorrect medication or a wrong dosage—or when the doctor doesn’t identify allergies to a certain medication
Why These Actions are So Dangerous
In the medical world, many of the actions that are considered malpractice are also looked at as “Never Events.” They are coined with this term because they are things that should never happen no matter the circumstances.
“Never Events” include, but are not limited to the following:
- Surgical mistakes: These include performing surgery on the wrong patient or the wrong body part and more.
- Environmental events: These include problems caused by dangerous oxygen lines, electrical dangers, heat sources causing burns, and more.
- Patient protection mistakes: These include when a patient is discharged to an unauthorized individual or if the patient disappears from the facility and is hurt.
- Product or device mistakes: These include the misuse of various devices that may be contaminated and cause injury or death.
When these types of mistakes occur, it often results in long-term injuries that take further medical care to overcome. Not only that, but they can cause emotional trauma making the patient afraid of doctors, hospitals, or other medical facilities.
Unfortunately, these actions that are considered “Never Events” do happen—and more often than they should. This makes it necessary to seek legal action against whoever is responsible for the pain and suffering the patient sustains.
Taking Legal Action with the Help of a Skilled Advocate
The only way to help prevent medical malpractice in the future is to incite change. This doesn’t happen unless patients who have been harmed take the steps to protect their rights and take legal action against the party or parties responsible for their pain.
This means seeking justice and seeking compensation from the negligent party. In medical malpractice cases, it’s important to prove that the doctor or hospital failed to provide you with a standard of care that you would typically receive under similar circumstances.
It must also be shown that the failure to provide care was the direct cause of the injury you sustained.
If you’re hurt, you may be able to seek damages for economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are those with monetary value such as further medical costs, lost income, and other costs associated with the injury. Non-economic losses are those without direct value, such as emotional trauma.
Why Choose Our Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers?
Nobody wants to think about legal matters, especially when already dealing with the emotional hardships of a serious injury caused by someone we’re supposed to trust. However, doing so means justice and forcing the negligent party to accept accountability.
At Brown & Barron, we have the experience, knowledge, and skill to navigate the matters involving medical malpractice. We know the various parties who may be at fault and the ways in which their actions cause harm. We use this experience to help build a strong case on your behalf and help you seek the compensation and justice that you need following a serious injury caused by a negligent medical professional.
Our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys truly care about you and your rights.
When you need legal help, you can count on our skilled team to be in your corner. We offer free consultations so you can better understand your rights before moving forward. Call us today at (410) 698-1717 to schedule yours.