Most people are unaware that if their condition was the result of negligence by a doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, or other medical professionals, they may be entitled to compensation for those injuries.
A patient has the right to expect doctors and other medical professionals to stay current in their treatment knowledge, and to provide a reasonable standard of care. When a patient does not receive a reasonable standard of care, they may be entitled to compensation for the injuries that occur.
When medical negligence leads to an injury to the patient, or in the worst cases death, compensation may include a financial reward for pain and suffering, medical expenses, medications – prescription and OTC, loss of wages, loss of potential earning power, special care equipment, care and aid, travel expenses and other financial, emotional, and physical expenses.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when doctors, nurses, aides, assistants, and other medical workers provide substandard treatment to a patient. While most doctors, nurses, and other health care providers work hard to help those in their care—preventable mistakes are often made. In fact, according to the National Academy of Sciences, approximately 98,000 Americans die from medical mistakes each year. Hundreds of thousands of others are injured annually as result of preventable mistreatment. If you or someone you know may have been hurt in this way, it is vital to be informed about your legal options by consulting a medical malpractice lawyer.
How Do you Know If You’ve Suffered Medical Malpractice?
The determination of whether a medical professional has met the standard of care is based on a comparison to other professionals in the same field and the same geographical region. Would other doctors in this part of the country have acted in the same way as your doctor did in the circumstances? Answering this question is the crux of medical malpractice lawsuits. That is why these suits rely on expert witnesses who can explain to a jury whether or not your doctor acted in accord with other competent medical professionals.
Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice does not occur every time there is a bad outcome from treatment. The law generally recognizes the practice of medicine as an “art” rather than as an exact science. Therefore, some latitude is given to practitioners with respect to the manner in which they choose to address the problems of specific patients. However, the fact remains that every day patients across the country receive unacceptable care that leaves them worse than they would have been had they been given the level of care that the law demands. Some of the most common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Treatment errors: Many doctors and nurses make mistakes when providing actual treatment to patients. This includes situations where medication is improperly administered or a surgery actually makes a situation worse. Patients aren’t guaranteed that their medical issue will be resolved after treatment. However, if a situation is made worse because of mistakes by a medical professional, then the patient has a right to hold the medical provider accountable.
- Diagnosis Errors: Medical malpractice can also include situations where a doctor fails to act at all. When a patient visits a doctor complaining of certain problems, the medical professional must act appropriately to try to determine the underlying medical issue. Yet, sometimes doctors fail to diagnose a condition, delay in providing a diagnosis, or misdiagnose the condition. All of these may be examples of medical malpractice.
- Consent Issues: The law demands that patients be informed about their treatment options and to consent to that treatment. Medical malpractice may occur in violation of this requirement in one of two ways. First, a doctor may act against a patient’s direct wishes. Second, a patient may not be made fully aware of the details of their treatment before agreeing to it.
If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, or someone in your family has suffered a wrongful death you should contact Williams, Caponi & Associates P.C. to schedule a free consultation.
Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence
Nursing home abuse or negligence is a terrible crime that is becoming more and more popular as our nursing homes become crowded and their staff becomes overworked. Nursing home abuse can take many different forms, and include emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse.
Thousands of families in the United States turn to nursing homes for help taking care of their loved ones when their needs outgrow what the family can provide. When nursing home abuse occurs, it can have a devastating effect on your loved ones life, as well as the rest of your family.
With the rise of nursing home abuse, a bill of rights for nursing home residents has been created to better help them stop the terrible effects of nursing home abuse. Unfortunately, the nursing home bill of rights does not prevent people from abusing nursing home residents.
Nursing home abuse can be difficult to detect. Often times, the victims of nursing home abuse are reluctant to admit they are being abused. If your loved one is suffering from any of the following, it may be a sign of nursing home abuse:
- Restraints - Sometimes, nursing homes will use restraints to prevent residents from moving. This can be a sign of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse. Restraints can be chemical, like excessive drugging, or physical, like straps, belts, or placing a wheel chair too close to a wall, preventing movement.
- Falls - A good nursing home will take every precaution so that their residents will not suffer from fall-related injuries. If your loved one has been injured from falling down, it may be a sign of nursing home negligence or nursing home abuse.
- Bruises - As people age, bruises take longer to heal. If your loved one has unexplained bruises on their body, it may be a sign of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect.
- Unresponsive/Withdrawn Attitude - When a loved one has a change of behavior and they no longer want to talk, or they seem depressed, withdrawn, or unresponsive, it can be a sign that they are suffering from nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect.
- Bedsores - If your loved one is suffering from bedsores that go untreated, it may be a sign of nursing home negligence or nursing home abuse.
- Weight Loss - Nutrition and diet are extremely important to maintaining healthy residents in a nursing home. If your loved one has suffered from unexpected weight loss, it may mean the nursing home staff is not feeding them properly or adequately, causing them to suffer from nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse.
- Inattentive Staff - The nursing home staff should always be willing to respond to the needs of you or your loved one, if they are inattentive or vague in their aid or explanations of certain circumstances, it can mean nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence is occurring.