Are You A Victim of Medical Negligence?
Not every unfavorable outcome of a medical procedure is malpractice. The determination as to what qualifies as malpractice must be made by other medical professionals in the same field of specialty. It is important for any attorney practicing in this area of the law to have extensive experience dealing with these types of cases and with the relevant medical professionals to ensure that qualifying cases are pursued correctly. The primary partner in this area at Parks Zeigler, David Littel, has over 20 years’ experience in this arena, coming to the firm from a large defense firm – he has litigated hundreds of these cases over the years from the other side, so he knows the playbook and the issues that need to be faced and overcome
What is medical malpractice?
Unfortunately, it is a reality that sometimes medical professionals make avoidable mistakes that harm people. We call these occurrences “medical malpractice,” which is defined as any act or omission by a physician or medical professional during the treatment of a patient that fails to meet accepted standards of practice in the medical community and results in injury to the patient.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice:
- Emergency room errors
- Surgical errors
- Delayed diagnosis
- Hospital Infections
- Birth injury
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
FAQ - What do I need for my medical negligence case to be potentially successful?
To prove medical negligence, it’s important to understand these four points regarding negligence.
- The incident occurred within a patient-doctor relationship. The doctor-patient relationship is established when a doctor provides medical care or advice to a patient. There is no minimum time required to establish the relationship, and the incident in question does not need to occur during the meeting for the doctor to accused of negligence. In the case of an emergency room error, proving this relationship is more difficult.
- The incident occurred as a result of negligence on the part of a medical professional. “Medical care” is defined by statute in Virginia. Ancillary tasks such as driving a van with a patient as passenger or cleaning floors in a hospital may be performed negligently and may form the basis of a lawsuit. However, these activities do not constitute medical care and do not give rise to a medical malpractice case. These cases pertain to activities conducted as part of medical treatment such as nursing, physical therapy, obtaining diagnostic films, dispensing medications and any other form of medical treatment.
- The harm done was a result of the incident in question. The plaintiff has to show that the injury or harm in question occurred as a result of medical negligence, not some other factor that was not the responsibility of the health care providers. many things can lead to bad medical outcomes and the law is very clear—appropriately so—that a poor outcome in and of itself does not mean that negligence occurred in the treatment. This is why it is necessary for an expert with the appropriate medical experience to review all of the relevant information and to arrive at an opinion on two critical issues; 1) that one or more of the health care providers were negligent in providing care; and 2) that the negligence actually caused harm to the patient.
The truth is that these factors cannot always be proven, and patients with poor medical outcomes are well-advised to carefully assess the prospect of success before investing the financial and emotional resources necessary to see a malpractice case through to conclusion. As such, an experienced medical malpractice attorney is of paramount importance for anyone who believes that they have been harmed by a medical error. We do our best to bring our experience to bear on this assessment at the outset of any potential case and to give clients the best information and guidance we can give them in deciding on their best course of action.
Do you suspect that you or a loved one is a victim of medical negligence?