Medical malpractice is simply defined as professional negligence by a healthcare provider. This can include doctors, nurses, technicians, residents, anesthesiologists and other medical personnel. Also included in medical malpractice are defective medical devices, implants, and pharmaceuticals.
Every year, close to 200,000 people die from medical error. Annually, more than a million people suffer injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic due to medical malpractice or negligence.
Medical malpractice occurs in hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, nursing homes, and emergency situations. More often than not, a patient is not aware that negligence has occurred until something happens later to reveal the negligence. Moreover, most malpractice victims are hesitant to take legal action, as they are unaware that the option even exists. Malpractice can include something as simple as using the wrong suture to stitch a cut or as complicated as botched child delivery, which causes the child to sustain severe brain injuries and disabilities. It can also include allowing a patient to be exposed to other illnesses in a hospital.
Malpractice can also occur when there is a misdiagnosis that causes death, birth defects, spinal cord injury, brain injury, allergic reactions and a host of other medical problems in virtually every area practiced in medicine.
A medical practitioner may also be legally liable if a patient does not give “informed consent” to a medical procedure that results in harm to the patient, even if the procedure is performed properly. For example, if a doctor does not tell a patient that a surgical procedure has a 50% chance of causing paralysis, the patient does not have the necessary information to make an informed choice to either have or refuse the operation. If the patient has the operation and is paralyzed as a result, the doctor may be liable even if the operation was performed flawlessly, as the patient might have refused the surgery if the risks were known.
Every year, thousands of people are victims of medical negligence and malpractice, resulting in thousands of lawsuits, some resulting in settlements for millions of dollars. Freundlich & Littman, LLC, have attorneys experienced in medical malpractice. If you, a loved one or a family member has been the victim of medical malpractice or negligence, contact us today for a free evaluation of your case today.