It is a significant goal of every physician in practice today to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits. Unfortunately, errors can occur and those errors can lead to long-term injuries or even death for innocent patients. A simple error is not always considered malpractice, and often the term itself is misunderstood by the public – as well as physicians. It is important to understand what constitutes a medical malpractice lawsuit and the common reasons physicians can face these types of lawsuits.
Failure to Diagnose
Physicians are not perfect, and they rely on medical tests and science to help them with their diagnostics. If a physician fails to diagnose a patient’s condition properly, it does not automatically constitute malpractice. Instead, the physician must have breached their standard of care. For example, say a physician failed to order necessary tests that would have shown that a patient suffered from cancer – in most cases, that failure to diagnose is considered malpractice. If, however, the physician used all tests at their disposal and still came to an incorrect conclusion, there may be no valid claim, since they did not breach their duty of care.
Failure to Consult a Patient’s Medical History or Records
Oftentimes, physicians encounter errors when they fail to read a patient’s medical history or fail to request medical records. A patient’s records may contain information such as allergies, current prescription medications, and family histories that can help point the physician to a safer, more accurate diagnosis or treatment. For example, say a physician prescribes a patient a medication without referring to their medical records, and the patient dies from a dangerous interaction between two medications. Because the physician did not refer to the patient’s current prescription medications, they are negligent and liable for that patient’s death.
A physician can often be found liable for malpractice simply because they have prescribed the wrong dose of a medication, whether it is too much or too little. By failing to review their own prescriptions, the patient may not receive the dose they need to treat their condition, or may suffer from a dangerous overdose.
A physician may have done everything right, but then they fail to follow up with their patients – whether it is to check-in after a prescription, ensure a patient comes in for a post-surgical check up, etc. If pending medical problems are not addressed in a subsequent follow-up appointment, that physician may be responsible for any injuries that occur.
Are You the Victim of Malpractice? Speak with an Attorney at Malman Law
If you suspect that you are the victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney at Malman Law. We will review your case and help determine if the physician is responsible for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling us at 888-625-6265, or fill out an online contact form with your legal questions.