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Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is when a doctor or medical expert performs a negligent act that causes the patient to get injured or killed. Common forms of negligence that may stem from such treatment include the following: improper diagnosis or incorrect medication prescription. Patients who are victims of medical malpractice are given a statute of limitations of one year starting from the date of discovery or three years from the initial date of when the incident occurred to file a claim. 

How to Determine Medical Malpractice

Determining medical malpractice can be quite complex. You will need to have your medical malpractice lawyer assess your case to detect any acts of suspicious activity performed by the medical expert that ultimately resulted in you being harmed or injured. In order for your case to qualify under medical malpractice, you will need to include the following as evidence in your claim: there was a violation of the standard of care, the medical expert’s negligence caused your injury, and you suffered serious damages because of your injury.

Violation of the Standard of Care 

There is a specific medical standard that medical experts must follow. Patients are given the right to expect that their doctors will make decisions according to those standards. If the standards have not been reached, then negligence may arise. 

Your Injury Was Caused by Negligence

To bring forth a medical malpractice claim, you will need to have proof that the doctor violated the standard of care and how it got you injured. You will need to gather evidence of what decision(s) your doctor made and what type of injury you suffered because of it. If you are unable to show proof of your doctor’s negligence, there will be no case to move forward with.

You Suffered Serious Damages Because of Your Injury

Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be expensive, which is why you should consider taking legal action if it will help cover a high number of damages you have sustained from the incident. For small cases, it is not worth it. You will spend more on the case compared to the recovery damages you may receive if you win. 

Examples of Medical Malpractice 

Medical malpractice lawsuits can be caused by one or more acts of negligence performed by a medical expert. Any injuries or deaths resulting from such actions can grant eligibility for the victim or the victim’s family to file a lawsuit to recover damages. To get an idea on what situations can fall under medical malpractice, we have provided a list of examples below.
  • Inability to diagnose a patient. 
  • Misdiagnosing a patient.
  • Incorrectly reading lab results.
  • Intentionally ignoring lab results.
  • Inability to properly order the correct lab tests.
  • Failure to notice the patient's symptoms.
  • Incorrect medication or medication dosage. 
  • Errors made during surgery. 
  • Lack of proper follow-up or aftercare.
  • Assigning surgeries that are not needed. 
  • Not taking a patient's medical history too seriously. 
There have been cases where a victim has believed that their situation qualified them to file a claim for medical malpractice, however, it did not relate with any of the actions listed above. This includes the following:
  • The patient’s condition is worsening. A doctor is not held liable over a patient’s condition getting worse during their treatment course. The doctor can provide the appropriate medication or surgery for the illness the patient is going through. However, if the patient’s body is not responding, then it is not the doctor’s fault. As long as the doctor showed reasonable care towards the patient, then no medical malpractice claim can be brought against them. 
  • The patient's condition is not treatable. Unfortunately, there are some health conditions that do not have enough treatments available to help cure or treat a patient. If a doctor is able to make the correct diagnosis and offers suggestions on how to proceed with the patient’s care, then it is not considered as medical malpractice.  

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

Although West Coast Trial Lawyers does not offer legal services for medical malpractice, we do have a network of qualified medical malpractice lawyers we will connect you with for assistance. To get you referred to a medical malpractice lawyer, you may contact us by calling 213-927-3700 or completing our online contact form located on the right side of the page.

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