While it is unfortunate that people are injured when receiving health care, you should not expect to endure a life of pain and suffering because of someone else’s oversight or negligence. If you are hurt or made to suffer because of negligence you may be entitled to compensation for your distress and anguish.
There are many types of malpractice cases that can be brought against physicians, hospitals, and medical personnel. The following are a few examples of common hospital errors that can result in a medical malpractice case:
- Birth Injury: The birth of a child is supposed to be a happy occasion but medical malpractice claims are often filed for the birth injuries associated with medical negligence: cerebral palsy, Erb's palsy, and brain damage.
- Cerebral Palsy: Brain damage can occur due to a failure to diagnose metabolic conditions, Rh incompatibility, oxygen shortage, and other problems associated with labor.
- Failure to Diagnose: A physician can be held accountable if a patient is treated for a disease he or she doesn't have and the treatment caused injury, or if the doctor fails to diagnose serious problems such as cancer or appendicitis.
- Breast Cancer A medical malpractice case can be brought against physicians for failing to diagnose breast cancer in a timely manner. The top three reasons doctors fail to diagnose breast cancer are 1) they rely too heavily on a patient's age as a predictor, 2) they rely too heavily on negative mammogram results (even if the patient feels a lump), or 3) they do not believe a patient when she reports symptoms.
- Lung Cancer Medical malpractice claims can be brought against physicians for failing to diagnose lung cancer, especially after chest x-rays or CT scan are performed.
- Medication Errors: A medical malpractice case can be brought against physicians or a hospital for medication errors when handwritten prescriptions are illegible, when abbreviations are used on the prescription, or when two drugs with similar spellings are confused. It is estimated that medication errors occur at a rate of 30,000 to 180,000 per year.
- Wrongful Death: Medical malpractice claims can be brought against physicians when a patient dies as a result of medical negligence or hospital errors. Wrongful death lawsuits are filed in an attempt to defray medical costs for the family of the victim. In addition, damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship may be awarded.
- Nursing Home Abuse: A medical malpractice case can be brought against people who are paid to provide care for elderly people in nursing homes but instead inflict physical, psychological, emotional or financial abuse, or are guilty of neglect.
- Defective Drugs or Products: An individual suffering injuries caused by a defective drug or product may be entitled to damages from the hospital, doctor, manufacturer, or distributor. If the victim was not warned about the dangers of the product or if the product does not meet safety standards a medical malpractice case can be filed.