There are a variety of situations that can lead to a medical malpractice claim. Medical Malpractice claims can range from the obvious (a doctor leaving a sponge in a patient’s stomach during an operation) to the not so obvious (a doctor failing to tell a patient that a prescribed drug might cause heart failure). Most medical malpractice claims can be categorized into one of the following general categories: (1) Failure to Diagnose; (2) Improper Treatment; and (3) Failure to Disclose Known Risks.
Cases fall into the first category when a competent doctor would have discovered the patient’s illness or made a different diagnosis, which in turn would have led to a better outcome than the one actually achieved. Cases fall into the second category when a doctor treats the patient in a way that no other competent doctor would have treated the patient. In a similar vein, it may also be malpractice if the doctor selects the appropriate treatment but administers it incompetently. Finally, cases fall into the third category when doctors breach their duty to warn patients of known risks of a procedure or course of treatment – this is also known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient, once properly informed of possible risks, would have elected not to go through with the procedure, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if the patient is injured by the procedure.
Call us today to set up a free consultation regarding a potential medical malpractice claim.