Medical malpractice can be a scary thing. When you go to the doctor, you expect to be healed and made better, not worse. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Doctors make mistakes, and sometimes these mistakes can have serious consequences.
Medical malpractice can happen when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse, provides substandard care that causes injury to a patient. The injuries can be physical, financial, and even emotional. Victims of medical malpractice may file a lawsuit to recover damages. If you or someone you love has been injured because of medical negligence, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer right away.
At the law firm of Fetterman and Associates, we have decades of experience representing victims of medical malpractice. We know how to build a strong case on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to help you!
Types of Medical Malpractice in Florida
Medical malpractice is a broad term that can refer to any number of mistakes made by healthcare professionals. While all medical malpractice cases are serious, some are more common than others.
Since it is a common question asked by patients and their families, here are the seven types of medical malpractice with detailed explanations.
1. Misdiagnosis or Failure To Diagnose
This is perhaps the most common type of medical malpractice in most countries. Simply put, it happens when your doctor diagnoses you incorrectly, either saying that you don’t have any disease/condition — which you actually do have — or saying that you do have disease/condition but not diagnosing its severity.
This type of case generally has the highest chance of success if brought before a judge because this means two things:
- The patient has indisputable evidence of their actual condition; they were misdiagnosed.
- The incidence of misdiagnosis is high.
Unfortunately, because this type of case requires a patient’s absolute compliance to doctor’s orders, many cases are rejected by the court when filing under “failure to diagnose.” This is because medical records will show that the patient followed the doctor’s orders and did not miss any appointments.
2. Failure to Follow-up
This is one of the most common types of medical malpractice in developed countries like the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, etc. It happens when your doctor fails to follow up on test results properly. As a result, you suffer damages from delay in diagnosis or worsening disease/condition — which could have been easily treated earlier.
If your doctor fails to follow up on test results, the court may find the defendant guilty if:
- Your doctor failed to follow up, and you missed an appointment because of that.
- You were not properly informed by your doctor about a re-test or further consultation or treatment.
3. Post-operative Care (Post Op Care)
This occurs when a patient is sent home following surgery without an adequate level of post-operative care provided. This usually happens due to negligence during procedures such as surgical errors.
Because routine post-op care can be extremely difficult to monitor, it is vital for doctors and hospitals to provide every patient with proper instructions and monitor them before sending them home. In the event that a doctor fails to provide proper post-op care, it may be considered medical malpractice.
4. Negligent Referral
This occurs when a doctor negligently refers the patient to another health professional or facility, and as a result of the referral, damage is done to the patient.
This type of case generally has a higher chance of success in court because this means that there is proof that the first (or original) doctor lacks confidence in his abilities and/or judgment on what course of action should be taken on your case — thus resulting in referral to another specialist without any good reason for doing so.
5. Delayed Treatment (or Delayed Diagnosis)
This becomes medical malpractice when your doctor fails to treat you in a timely manner — say, several hours after misdiagnosis. It is most common when a patient has been sent home following surgery and develops medical complications such as fever, infection, hemorrhage (bleeding), etc., which would have been preventable had they been treated promptly.
A good example would be if the surgeon removed the wrong kidney during surgery and sent their patient home without proper observation and treatment.
6. Medical Records
This is when your doctor fails to properly maintain medical records. For example, if your doctor fails to keep accurate and consistent medical records of treatment proceeding in the past few years, resulting in you suffering severe (or even fatal) consequences, it is considered medical malpractice.
It can also be construed if the patient’s request for her records is ignored or delayed by the hospital/doctor in question.
7. Failure to Resuscitate Patient
This type of case generally has a higher chance of success in court because it means that there is proof that doctors have neglected their duty under law.
This neglect could be considered medical malpractice if the patient’s family files a claim because it means that the doctor has failed to act in accordance with their duties as a medical professional.
3 Things To Do If You’re a Victim of Medical Malpractice
Victims of medical malpractice may face both physical and emotional challenges, so knowing how to deal with these issues will put victims of medical malpractice at ease.
1. Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
By consulting a qualified attorney, the client will be assured that they are doing everything possible for their future health and well-being. A seasoned medical malpractice attorney will not only advise on what course of action to take next but also what steps to take for the best possible outcome.
2. Contact All Healthcare Providers Involved
If the mistake was made by a specialist, call and make an appointment with another one as soon as possible. By doing this simple step, you will ensure that your future health needs are handled by a professional who understands your condition and gives you individual attention, so you don’t feel scared or alone.
3. Keep a Detailed Record
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, it is very important to keep detailed records of everything related to their injury and all the treatment they have received as a result of it.
Not only should you take note of conversations with your doctors, but also write down how you felt during appointments and immediately after. By keeping thorough records, you can have solid evidence going forward with court proceedings for mistakes made by healthcare providers.
Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can affect anyone. It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of medical negligence, so you can protect yourself from this devastating situation.
If you or someone in your family has been injured due to another party’s carelessness, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer for more information on how we may be able to help. You deserve compensation if something goes wrong at the hands of a negligent doctor. We’re ready and waiting to fight for what you deserve!