Issues That May Indicate Medical Malpractice

June 12 , 2023 | Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you are cared for by a medical professional or hospital, you expect to be treated professionally and with the best possible care, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, medical malpractice occurs and causes a patient injury. If you suspect you are a medical malpractice victim, contact our Milwaukee medical malpractice lawyers at Martin Law Office, S.C., for legal assistance today.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is when a healthcare professional or medical facility injures a patient through omission or negligence. Negligence can be due to many things, such as an error in treatment, diagnosis, health management, or aftercare. For a case to be medical malpractice in Wisconsin, the following must be true:

There Was A Violation Of The Standard Of Care

Various medical standards are recognized in medicine as acceptable treatments by medical professionals in similar cases, known as the standard of care. As a patient, you have a right to expect medical professionals to provide care that upholds these standards. If it is found that the standard of care was not followed, there may have been negligence.

You Had An Injury From The Negligence

For your medical malpractice claim to hold up, it is insufficient to argue that the standard of care was violated. You must prove that you suffered an injury that would not have happened without negligent care. Having an unfavorable medical outcome is not the basis of a successful medical malpractice claim. You must prove that negligence caused your injuries. For example, if a knee surgery was improperly performed but you did not suffer an injury, there would likely be no case.

You Suffered Damages

Medical malpractice claims are expensive to litigate and usually require extensive medical testimony and many hours of depositions. Unfortunately, if you had a small amount of damage, the cost of the case could outweigh the recovery. You need to show that the medical malpractice caused injuries, such as loss of income, disability, pain and suffering, and medical bills.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Medical Malpractice Claims?

Any deviation from the standard of care can lead to medical malpractice, but some claims are more common than others. These are the most common categories of medical malpractice:

  • Delayed diagnosis or missed diagnosis
  • Failure to treat
  • Prescription drug mistakes
  • Procedural or surgical errors
  • Childbirth injuries

Many Americans are surprised to learn that medical mistakes are the #3-most common cause of death in the US. This means about 250,000 deaths per year are because of medical errors. Other sources claim the number may be as high as 450,000. However, most victims of a medical error never file a claim.

Misdiagnosis Or Delayed Diagnosis

About 1/3 of all medical malpractice claims are estimated to involve delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. An improper or late diagnosis can cause unnecessary treatments or delayed treatments. . Some common reasons for misdiagnosis occur when a doctor does not:

  • Recognize significant symptoms and clinical signs of a condition
  • Order medical tests or seek additional information about a condition
  • Refer you to a specialist

The doctor or facility also may mislabel test or lab results, lose test results, or make errors when doing a test. If a diagnosis is not provided promptly, injury or death may result.

Failure To Treat

Failure to treat is also a common reason for medical malpractice claims. Some examples are releasing you from the hospital too soon; not providing instructions for care at home; not ordering the proper tests, and not considering your medical history when ordering medications.

Some medical malpractice claims in this area are because medical professionals are simply overloaded with patients. Unfortunately, when clinicians are overwhelmed with work, treatment mistakes can happen.

Prescription Mistakes

Making mistakes with prescription drugs can cause minor or serious problems, including death. Some of the most frequent medication errors include:

  • Giving the wrong drug for a condition
  • Giving the incorrect dosage
  • Not recognizing possible dangerous drug interactions
  • Not recognizing abuse, addiction, or overdose risks

Surgical Errors

Every operating room is staffed with several medical professionals to prevent harm to the patient. However, mistakes still happen in the operating room, including:

  • Doing a procedure on the wrong side of the body
  • Doing surgery on the wrong person
  • Leaving tools or gauze in the surgical site
  • Problems with anesthesia, including allergic reactions
  • Not following standard medical practice during or after the procedure

Childbirth Injuries

Injuries during childbirth can cause severe or fatal problems for the child, mother, or both. Common childbirth injuries may be caused by poor prenatal care; improper forceps use; not recognizing fetal distress, and mishandling the baby during or after birth.

If you did not receive sufficient prenatal medical care during pregnancy, this also may be the basis for a claim in some cases. For instance, if the physician did not tell you that your child will have a specific genetic issue, this could be considered improper medical practice.

Potential Medical Malpractice Red Flags

A medical malpractice attorney needs to review your case to determine if the standard of care was unmet. However, the following signs could be red flags that medical malpractice may be a factor:

  • If you ask questions about what went wrong with your procedure, you do not receive answers.
  • Your medical professional does not appear to take your concerns or symptoms seriously.
  • Your doctor fails to take a complete workup or medical history from you.
  • Your condition gets worse, but the doctor does not take action.

If you have any questions about the medical treatment you are receiving, always remember you can get a second opinion anytime. You also can talk to your medical malpractice attorney about the next steps.

Contact Our Milwaukee Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you were injured because of a doctor’s or medical facility’s mistake, you could be entitled to compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit if the standard of care was violated. Contact our Milwaukee medical malpractice attorneys at Martin Law Office, S.C., at (414) 856-4010 for a consultation about your case.