Photo of a doctor that made a mistake

Have You Been Injured By Doctor Error?

Seek Legal Advice from a Medical Malpractice Attorney

When you go to a doctor with an ailment or injury, you expect that doctor to diagnose and alleviate the problem as best as he/she can. However, doctor errors often result in injuries and death for their patients. These errors may include making mistakes with prescriptions, performing an operation incorrectly, or general medical miscalculations. When medical providers neglect their patients or fail to meet the standard of a patient’s care, they can be held accountable.

According to recent studies, about 1 in 20 patients were exposed to harm that could have been prevented, with 12% of that harm resulting in permanent injury or death. Even a minor error made by a doctor could put a patient’s life at risk. Consequently, litigation is always changing and expanding to encompass medical malpractice cases to protect patients who put their trust in the hands of potentially untrustworthy medical professionals.

Medical malpractice occurs when the exercise of medical judgment is done negligently; for example, in doctor error. This causes injury or damage to the patient, including failing to provide a reasonable degree of skill and care to a patient. If a medical professional’s treatment fails to meet something called the “standard of care” and it results in serious harm to the patient, it qualifies as medical malpractice

What are the Statistics on Doctor Error?

Doctor errors are most commonly caused by carelessness, illegible handwriting which can lead to prescription errors, failing to listen to patient complaints, drug or alcohol intoxication, failing to run proper tests, and/or misinterpreting test results.

Let’s go over some important doctor error statistics:

  • Johns Hopkins claims that over 250,000 people die every year in the United States as a result of medical errors. Other studies have shown that number may be even higher, possibly up to 440,000.
  • Medical errors are the third most common cause of death in the United States.
  • Only 2% of the victims who are injured due to medical malpractice seek legal compensation.
  • Medication errors are the most common type of medical malpractice according to the Journal of the American
  • Medical Association with on average 1.5 million people injured due to medication errors every year.

Who is Responsible for Injuries Due to Doctor Error?

The litigation process for medical malpractice and particularly doctor error can include any type of doctor, surgeon, or healthcare professional. Due to the sheer number and variety of different types of doctors in any patient’s treatment, the litigation process for doctor error/medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and often has multiple parties involved. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, several parties may be involved in your particular case. These may include:

  • Individual doctors: Healthcare professionals including anesthesiologists, cardiologists, dermatologist, gastroenterologist, gynecologist, neonatologist neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurses, obstetricians, oncologists, ophthalmologists, orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians, pharmacologists, pharmacists, physicians assistants, plastic surgeons, radiologists, urogynecologist, urologist, vascular surgeons, and more may be held liable for damages incurred as a result of their errors in a patient’s treatment.
  • Hospitals. A hospital may be held liable due to the negligence of its employees. When a hospital hires doctors and other medical staff, they are responsible for making sure they only hire applicants with sufficient training and experience. They are also required to ensure full-staffing and fair treatment to reduce the amount of exhaustion-related mistakes which might otherwise occur. To fail to do is negligent and can result in harm for their patients when their doctors make mistakes.
  • Health maintenance organizations. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are a kind of alternative to traditional health insurance which may offer a lower monthly premium and has its own specific network of doctors/medical providers. If an HMO is accused of including or retaining an unqualified doctor in their network, they may also be liable for errors that doctor makes in treating their patient.

Do You Have a Claim for Injuries Due to Doctor Error?

Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s injuries due to doctor error, your personal injury lawyer may identify possible claims for:

  • Medical expenses. Common injuries resulting from doctor error/medical malpractice may include: childbirth injuries; injuries due to incorrect dosage; injuries due to anesthesia errors; internal bleeding/organ punctures; paralysis; infections; other traumatic injuries; and, in the worst case scenario, death.
  • Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a doctor error/medical malpractice victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care.
  • Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic injuries.
  • Vocational rehabilitation.
  • Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
  • Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship.
  • Wrongful death.
  • Funeral expenses.

If you were injured by a doctor’s mistake, or if a loved one was killed by medical malpractice, you need a personal injury attorney that understands the emotional and physical toll these errors can take. An experienced attorney will be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.