Medical malpractice applies when neglect by a medical professional results in an injury, harm or even death in a patient. Failure of a medical procedure does not immediately equate to malpractice. In addition, winning malpractice litigation requires a lot of evidence. Here’s how you can tell the difference.
At the Root of It
Misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis of a patient’s condition can be sources of malpractice. If the patient’s condition is misdiagnosed, any prescription medication or treatment given can exacerbate the condition. The same is true for delayed diagnosis. What’s worse in the case of delayed diagnosis is that the illness can potentially progress. If it progresses far enough, medication and procedures can be more expensive. Another cause for problems is the wrong medication. An error in prescription can lead to a variety of complications. First are side effects due to allergies. Second is the possibility of secondary conditions created by taking medication inappropriate to the illness. Next to wrong medication, there’s also the possibility of incorrect dosing. This can come from two sources: an error by the doctor or, for confined patients, mistakes made by the nurse administering the medication. In rarer cases, medical equipment applying medication can malfunction and give either too little or too much in a short time. When that happens, try to remain objective. A practitioner making a mistake does not automatically mean committing malpractice. Once the mistake is realized, the offending party will usually be quick to admit and apologize for the mistake. The necessary corrections and adjustments will then be given.
If It’s Really Malpractice
Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. Sometimes, you or the doctor you consult with will be able to identify malpractice then. Seek further advice from a medical malpractice lawyer should there be proof of malpractice. The statute of limitation on filing is different per state. In Springfield, Illinois, for example, the statute of limitation is one year. While the compensation in medical malpractice may not always be enough, especially in cases of death, you can at least ensure it doesn’t happen again.