Medical negligence refers to any failure on the part of the doctor or hospital staff, when treating or handling you, that results in harm to your health.
There are specific criteria that must be met to qualify as medical negligence, including whether it was foreseeable, the degree of carelessness, and whether there was an alternate cause of injury.
If you have experienced medical negligence, then it is important to understand the legal definition of medical negligence and what remedies are available to you under this legal definition.
There are several types of medical negligence and every case will be unique.
Below are some common examples that may come under this definition
Types of medical negligence
There are two types of medical negligence: substandard care and iatrogenic injury.
Substandard care occurs when a physician fails to use the appropriate skills, knowledge, or techniques while providing care.
This could lead to the patient developing an illness, having their condition worsen, or not being cured.
Iatrogenic injury refers to injuries that result from a physician’s actions during treatment such as surgery or prescribing medication. These injuries can be physical, mental, or both.
For example, a doctor might prescribe antibiotics for an infection without determining if the person is allergic to them.
As a result, the patient may experience adverse reactions like hives or breathing difficulties.
Another common form of medical negligence is misdiagnosis which may occur because doctors overlook symptoms, give up too quickly on tests or treatments, do not obtain enough information about the person’s life situation before making decisions about what to do next, or do not seek additional opinions after disagreeing with other physicians’ assessments.
The cause of medical negligence
Unfortunately, when people experience negligent care from their doctor, there is no telling what the outcome could be.
Negligent physicians will show one of three signs: indifference, incomprehension, or an intentional disregard for medical standards.
One common cause of medical negligence is misdiagnosis.
A physician can misdiagnose a condition in many ways by either missing it entirely or by presuming that it is something else and acting on that presumption without being able to prove the diagnosis with evidence.
Another common cause of medical negligence is incorrect treatment following a correct diagnosis. Unfortunately, medications are not always safe for everyone, so the improper dosage can have unforeseen consequences even when prescribed properly.
How to deal with medical negligence?
Medical negligence is when a doctor or surgeon performs an operation in an inadequate, negligent, or unskilled manner that causes injury.
If you have suffered a physical injury and you believe it is the result of medical negligence, the first thing you should do is consult with a physician.
If your healthcare provider agrees that medical negligence may have been a contributing factor, then they can take steps to take care of the situation immediately.
Doctors and surgeons can face some very serious consequences for committing medical negligence.
For example, doctors who are found guilty of gross professional misconduct can lose their license while surgeons could be fired from their job as well as being slapped with some serious fines.
The rights you have as a patient under medical negligence
As a patient, you have the right to: be informed about your medical condition, be fully informed of any risk factors before proceeding with any treatment option, and refuse treatment if you deem it risky.
If a doctor gives you an unreasonable course of treatment against your wishes, you are entitled to request the opinion of another qualified health professional.
This applies if you believe that the proposed treatment is not in your best interests or will not provide an improvement in your condition.
If a doctor wrongly diagnoses or mistreats someone and they die as a result of this, they can face prosecution for criminal negligence.
The person may then be able to receive damages and also claim compensation for dependents who have been deprived of support as a result of their death.
What is the role of compensation claims in overcoming the damages caused by medical negligence?
If the extent of your damages is not too severe and no criminal offense has been committed then a Civil Claim is usually the best option for seeking compensation for medical negligence.
The grounds for such claims will be negligence on behalf of the Defendant which is typically defined as a failure by the medical practitioner (or anyone else in control of your care) to exercise that degree of skill, knowledge, and care that is ordinarily exercised by practitioners in the same profession under similar circumstances.
It can also include deliberate concealment or falsification of information about you and your condition that’s relevant to providing medical services.
The medical practitioner can be held liable even if they have operated within their duty-of-care parameters.
Getting expert help
The most common forms of medical negligence in the United States are hospital-acquired infections, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors and birth injuries.
If you have concerns about a procedure that you or a loved one has received in the past and would like assistance in understanding your legal rights and what remedies might be available to you, feel free to contact the best lawyers in Jacksonville for medical negligence for a free consultation.
We are confident that we can help answer any questions you may have.