Going to the doctor for treatment should be the first step in the process of healing from injury or illness. When doctors fail us due to medical malpractice, it can betray our trust as well as our health. Read on for information on some of the most common types of medical malpractice in the United States.
Errors Related to Diagnosis
In a 2018 article by the website Modern Healthcare, it was reported that errors related to diagnosis were the largest source of medical malpractice claims filed in the United States. Of these errors, missed or delayed diagnoses were the most common. Incorrect or delayed diagnoses can result in unnecessary treatments being prescribed as well as a patient not receiving treatment in a timely manner.
Typical reasons why a physician may fail to accurately diagnose a patient include a failure to recognize clinical signs and symptoms, failing to order the appropriate medical tests or seek additional information, or failing to refer the patient to an appropriate specialist for further investigation. Other examples of this type of medical malpractice include incorrectly labeled lab or test results, lost test results, or errors committed while conducting a test or evaluating test data.
Failing to Treat a Patient
When physicians are ready to leave their training and enter into the professional world, they take what is known as the Hippocratic Oath. This ancient doctrine embodies the commitment of the physician to always act in a manner that is intended to support the health and healing of those with whom they are tasked to treat. Violating this oath can be construed as a form of serious medical malpractice.
There are many ways in which a physician can fail to treat a patient, such as releasing the patient from the hospital or care facility too soon. Other examples include failing to provide adequate instructions for follow-up care, failing to order the appropriate medical tests and examinations, and failing to review and consider a patient’s medical history when prescribing medication or treatment.
Procedural and Surgical Errors
Physicians who perform surgery carry a special responsibility for keeping their patients safe from the various health threats that can accompany a surgical procedure. Examples of medical malpractice in this area include performing a surgery on the wrong part of the body, performing surgery on the wrong individual, leaving medical tools inside the patient, failing to follow the proper medical procedure, or inappropriately using anesthesia. Although it may seem unbelievable, all of the aforementioned examples have been documented many times in recent history.
When to Seek Legal Counsel
Victims of medical malpractice are often at a loss for how to pursue litigation for damages incurred, especially when they are still recovering from the physical and emotional trauma that medical malpractice can inflict. For years, the attorneys at Ferrara & Gable have been helping victims of medical malpractice in New Jersey as they navigate the legal process. Contact Ferrara & Gable today for a free case evaluation and get started on the journey to recovering monetary compensation for your damages.