There are so many cases that we get to read about where the patient had to suffer because of wrong diagnosis and treatment – things such as a left leg being amputated instead of right leg, or wrong kidney operation, wrong eye operation or being treated for flu when it was something else. The wrong treatment given by a medical practitioner because of his negligence is what we call Medical Malpractice. It could be failure to diagnose the disease, misdiagnosis of a disease, not providing the right treatment, or unreasonable delay in the treatment.
There is a specific medical malpractice law developed in many countries now. The law’s coverage may be different from one country to the other. Anyone providing medical care would come under this; which means even dentists, nurses, therapists and chemists would be included. Even hospitals and clinics would be charged for the mistakes of the employees.
Claims can be made by you incase of the following three things:
* If the medical service provider failed his duty of care as a case of negligence, and for which other providers would have done something else under the same circumstances.
* If the wrong treatment had caused you loss or damage; be it physical, mental or monetary loss.
* If it is reasonable to hold the provider guilty, then he has to pay for the harm or damages caused by the wrong treatment.
Medical Malpractice Insurance
Most medical providers now have malpractice insurance. This way they are covered from any liability claims made by the patient. The cost of this insurance has risen after the growing number of claims made, and moreover, the reduced supply of the insurance coverage led to the loss of the insurers. Usually the attorney of the patient makes the claims, and if the damages can be agreed, then the damages would be paid by the insurance company which has insured the medical provider. Otherwise, the attorney has to file a case in the court and based on interrogations, discoveries, and documents provided, the case will be settled.
Though almost all diseases come under medical malpractice, the five top most diseases that receive the highest monetary awards are:
1. Breast cancer
2. Lung cancer
3. Colorectal cancer
4. Heart attack
The allegations made are mostly for delayed diagnosis or improper testing. So as a result of the delay, the patient suffers severe complications which may sometimes lead to death. This is the reason why large monetary awards are related with these diseases.
There are several obstacles for you to overcome to successfully win the award. The first thing that you should know is that you should start the case before the statute of limitations runs out. This is the time period under which the case should be filed, as in many areas compensation is not paid after the expiry of the time period. The second obstacle for you is to prove that it was malpractice and not just a medical error as a result of side effects caused by drugs or surgeries. So do not let your case be proved a medical error, which is considered normal.
For any legal advice you must consult a good and well practiced attorney or someone you can trust.