Medical malpractice happens when a health care professional or other provider makes errors that harm a patient. Those errors can be anything from failing to provide the appropriate treatment to giving a substandard treatment that causes substantial harm. Misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses also fall under this term.
When you suffer injuries because of medical errors, then you may be able to pursue compensation from the at-fault parties. Medical malpractice laws give you the right to do so and to ask for compensation that will cover the harm you suffered.
In 2017, the Medical Malpractice Center reported that there were somewhere between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice lawsuits filed by patients or their families each year. These lawsuits can be successful if patients or their families can show that the medical providers:
- Failed to provide the appropriate standard of care;
- Caused injuries because of negligence;
- Caused damaging consequences, such as financial losses, chronic pain, a loss of income, enduring hardship, suffering or disabilities.
Some of the most common kinds of medical errors include:
- Leaving items inside the patient after surgery
- Performing an incorrect or unnecessary surgery
- Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a patient
- Failing to order appropriate tests
- Premature discharges
If you or someone you love is a victim of a medical error, then it is important that you talk to the medical provider about what happened and how it can be corrected, if at all. You may be able to move forward with a malpractice lawsuit if you can show that you’ve been injured and suffered financial consequences as a result of the provider’s mistakes.