What is Medical Malpractice?
While most doctors are highly educated and skilled, they are humans like the rest of us, and they sometimes make mistakes. Doctors provide quality medical care for all patients. When medical care does not meet reasonable standards, it can lead to mistakes that can cause serious injury. When these injuries are from negligence, they are medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is more common than you may think. In fact, it ranks third in terms of deaths in the United States, behind cancer and heart disease. While hundreds of thousands of people are victims medical malpractice every year, only 15,000 or so lawsuits happen every year.
That’s because medical malpractice is hard to prove. It takes an enormous amount of time and money to see a case through, and sometimes a case isn’t worth it. If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important that you seek legal help right away.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can happen in a variety of ways. Some common types include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Failure to recognize symptoms
- Failure to perform appropriate testing (X-rays, lab work, etc.)
- Surgical errors
- Wrong medication or incorrect dosage
- Disregarding a patient’s medical history
- Premature discharge
- Poor follow-up care
- Hospital infections
- Persistent pain after surgery
Elements of Medical Malpractice
There are four elements involved in a medical malpractice case:
- Duty. There must be an established patient-doctor relationship. This gives the doctor the duty to care for the patient.
- Breach of duty. The doctor must have treated the patient negligently and acted in a manner not consistent with that of a reasonable doctor.
- Injury. The doctor’s negligence must have resulted in injury for the patient.
- Resulting damages. The injury must have led to damages, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
If your case involves all four of these elements, contact a medical malpractice lawyer who can assess your case.
Types of Damages
There are two main types of damages a medical malpractice victim can receive:
- These include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include damages that can be easily calculated, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are intangible damages, such as pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages are not awarded in all cases. Punitive damages serve as punishment and apply only when the defendant used malicious misconduct.
Contact a Vermont Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
A medical malpractice case can leave you with serious injuries. Your quality of life may be in danger. You may not be able to return to work and enjoy your once-favorite activities.
At Sabbeth Law, our personal injury lawyers work hard to protect our clients. We focus on all the aspects of your case so you can focus on recovery. Let us help you with your medical malpractice case. To schedule a free consultation with Sabbeth Law, give us a call at (802) 457-1112 or fill out our handy online form.