Medical malpractice is estimated to occur in about 5 percent of patients seeking outpatient treatment. According to statistics from the National Practitioner Data Base, among all medical practitioners in 2014, Florida reported 2,278 adverse actions and paid malpractice claims toward 983 of those cases. When faced with improper care by a physician or other health provider in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or Boca Raton, speaking to a medical malpractice attorney can help.
What Exactly Is Medical Negligence?
When treating patients, physicians are held to a specific standard of care that any physician would use in a similar type of practice and geographic location. A medical provider who deviates from this standard of care may fail to diagnose the patient properly, delay diagnosis or treat the patient for the wrong condition. Doing this can cause harm to the patient, and the physician is considered to be negligent.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice includes incorrect diagnosis, improper treatment, surgical errors, including anesthesia errors, and emergency room errors. Errors may also be made by prescribing the wrong medication, giving the patient the wrong dosage or giving a patient medication meant for a different individual. Failure to order the correct diagnostic tests, inaccurate medical histories and inaccurate test result interpretation can also lead to medical misdiagnosis. This medical malpractice may lead to a longer recuperative period, endanger the patient and perhaps contribute to a poorer prognosis.
Is Misdiagnosis Always Considered Malpractice?
Because medicine is not an exact science, not all misdiagnosis cases are considered malpractice. In addition, if a patient does not suffer injuries from a misdiagnosis, he or she would not be able to press a lawsuit for malpractice. However, if the physician does not order the appropriate tests for your condition, recognize your illness, or does not take a medical history, it may be malpractice. Complications, such as infection or bleeding, are generally not considered malpractice unless the physician used dirty instruments or performed a procedure improperly.
How Can an Attorney Help?
If an individual suspects medical malpractice, consulting with a medical malpractice attorney is a good idea. An attorney can review medical records with an expert to determine if failure to provide medical services according to the standard of care existed. The necessary medical records help prove a malpractice claim and should be available to the patient or his or her attorney. If you are employed and lost time at work due to hospitalization, disease or illness, you may be able to recover part of that loss. To prove that you lost wages, you can provide pay stubs or wage records to show an earnings comparison from the time you worked. An attorney can make this request for you from your employer.
Call a Medical Malpractice Attorney
A patient who does not receive appropriate medical care due to misdiagnosis may have a longer period of recuperation, suffer adverse effects and other complications, including a poorer prognosis. If you believe you were the victim of medical malpractice, call us for a free case evaluation. Your medical malpractice attorney at Kaiser Romanello can answer all the questions you have and provide insight into the legal process.