Outside of your family, there are few people you trust more than your doctor. After all, you are entrusting your doctor with the well-being and care of your body. Most doctors are consummate professionals who excel at their jobs. Unfortunately, some doctors don’t live up to the standards or required medical practices of their peers and professional certifications.
When a doctor provides treatment they have not been trained or certified to perform, or fail to provide required medical treatment, it can result in physical injury to you or someone you love. And, although medical malpractice is generally viewed as something a doctor commits, it can be caused by anyone in the medical profession. When medical malpractice occurs, the results can be devastating to the people who can least afford an injury. But what constitutes malpractice, and how do you know you have been hurt by it?
When providing treatment to a patient, there is a governing standard of care that all health care providers must adhere to. Malpractice occurs when a health care professional fails to meet that standard. A health care provider can commit medical malpractice, also known as medical negligence, by either performing an inappropriate action or by failure to perform an appropriate action. Sometimes this medical negligence can result in physical injury to the patient.
Some examples are:
• A doctor presents a misdiagnosis of a disease or medical condition
• A doctor fails to recognize a disease or condition
• Medical staff make a patient wait an for an inordinately long period of time for medical treatment
• The wrong procedure is performed on a patient
• A medical lab errantly switches samples which directly results in a misdiagnosis
• A doctor prescribes the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of a medication
• A pharmacist negligently dispenses the wrong medication
Who Commits It
Though people usually associate medical malpractice with doctors, any professional in the medical field can commit malpractice, including but limited to:
• Medical technicians
Statute of limitations
It is important that you file a medical malpractice claim as soon as possible. In Minnesota there is a limited amount of time that you can claim malpractice. For an adult, you must file a malpractice claim within four years of receiving the injury. For minors, a claim must be made within one year of the child’s 18th birthday, but not more than seven years after the injury.
Why use a medical malpractice attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured, and you suspect that it was the fault of a healthcare professional, how do you go about proving the injury was the result of medical malpractice? The only way your concerns can be expertly reviewed and a determination achieved is by consulting with an experienced attorney. The field of medical malpractice is highly specialized. Because of the complexity of medicine, it is not always simple to prove a malpractice case. That is why it is important to contact an attorney with extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of medical malpractice. A medical malpractice attorney can explain to you whether you have a case and what sort of settlement you are entitled to receive.