What Exactly is Medical Malpractice?

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What Exactly is Medical Malpractice?

|Posted on March 23, 2017 in Medical Malpractice |

Medical malpractice is much more widespread than you think. While most medical care is appropriate, sometimes mistakes and negligence cause catastrophic consequences.

Unfortunately, most patients are unaware that they are victims of malpractice, or they just assume they have no options available to them after an injury caused by a medical professional due to negligence or a medical device.

The fact is, malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, reports Forbes. In 2012 alone, more than $3 billion was spent on these types of lawsuits, and that means about one payout was issued for medical malpractice every 43 minutes.

The number of injuries and deaths due to medical malpractice is most likely underreported because not all patients are aware they are even the victims of Medical Malpractice.

What is Medical Malpractice?

The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys defines malpractice as an occurrence where a hospital, physician or other healthcare professional negligently acts (or omits action) resulting in injury to a patient. This negligence can be a treatment error, missed diagnosis or an aftercare error.

For a case to qualify for medical malpractice, there must be several characteristics present.

It is easy to assume that nothing is wrong. After all, it is human nature to trust a physician. They are professionals, and one would expect them to offer superior standards of care. Patients often tend to be generally understanding of hardships in medical procedures.

However, there are signs that malpractice has occurred. These include:

  • Your Current Treatment is Not Working: If your medical condition is continuing to progress, you may have an undiagnosed condition or your physician could have prescribed the wrong medication, which may have prevented you from getting better. If your physician should have reasonably made a better diagnosis or prescribed a more appropriate treatment, this oversight could be considered malpractice.
  • A Lab Test Diagnosed You: While lab testing is used to help identify the potential for a condition, your physician should do follow-up tests to ensure the correct diagnosis. If they diagnose and treat off a single basic lab test, they may not be fulfilling their duty of care to you.
  • Your Treatment Doesn’t Fit the Condition: When treatments are more involved than you need, or you feel like your physician is performing unnecessary tests and procedures, you may be a victim. Invasive tests and procedures should only be used when absolutely necessary.
  • Your Physician Ignores Your Concerns: Your concerns should always matter to your physician. If your doctor has ignored them or does not provide you with the information you ask for, you may be misinformed.
  • Second Opinion Conflicts: If you sought a second opinion only to receive a different diagnosis, this could mean that the first doctor did not do his or her job correctly.
  • Understaffed Facility: While this is not automatic for medical malpractice, treatment could be compromised due to lack of staff. If you feel you or a loved one has suffered due to extended wait times or lack of service, an understaffed facility may result in medical malpractice damages.
  • Error During Surgery or Treatment: When a physician fails to comply with standards and causes further injury to you, you may have a medical malpractice case. These errors are not always immediately recognizable, but can result in long-term suffering.

Always Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney First

If you suspect that you or a loved one are the victim of medical malpractice in Kansas or Missouri, speak with an experienced Kansas City medical malpractice attorney immediately. The faster an attorney gets involved, the faster he or she may be able to determine your case’s viability and begin the process of getting you the compensation you deserve.

The team of attorneys at Wendt Law Firm, P.C. is here to hold negligent physicians accountable for their actions and oversight. Contact us today, we’ll review your case for free and determine if we can help.

Schedule your free consultation with our medical malpractice attorneys in person today by contacting us toll-free at 866-539-4415 or request an appointment online.