It isn’t always clear what medical malpractice (med mal) is, since it seems there are new developments in medical technology daily that raise the bar for the acceptable standard of care, creating opportunities for medical malpractice.
Generally speaking, the term medical malpractice means negligence caused by health care professionals leading to injuries or the death of a patient. Medical malpractice has no particular method or place in which it strikes. It just happens to anyone, anytime, when they least expect it.
At one time medical malpractice wasn’t as prevalent, or more likely, was not recognized for what it was; thus, it went unreported. It is a situation still present today, as many people don’t realize they have been or are a victim of med mal. It is far too ingrained in society not to question the wisdom of doctors when, in fact, we should always ask questions as well as be our own medical advocates.
This is something not many people know: at the time of the first visit to a physician, the health of the patient is NOT the responsibility of that doctor; however, it becomes the responsibility of the doctor once treatment has commenced. A smart patient needs to keep track of doctor’s appointments, diagnosis, prescriptions and treatments.
So, what types of medical malpractice are there – the most common ones? Malpractice may happen at any time thanks to a delay in treatment, the result of medications prescribed, or even as the result of improper monitoring and/or administration of anesthesia.
In general, the most common forms of medical malpractice are birth injuries and defects, wrongful death, surgical errors, cosmetic surgery errors, breast implant malpractice, dental errors, psychiatric malpractice, and unnecessary surgery. No matter what the malpractice may be, be it a breast cancer misdiagnosis to mismanagement of a heart attack, the patient has the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek compensation for damages.
A word or two of advice about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit: do not wait or you will miss the statute of limitations. Most states have a two-year limitation, but don’t assume that is the case. Speak to a highly qualified attorney and find out what the statute of limitations says in your state.
If you choose to wait longer than two years, your chances of getting compensation drastically drops, statistically speaking, which isn’t to say you may not get compensation, but the chances of doing so are low. If you think you are a victim of medical malpractice, seek competent legal counsel to obtain justice.
Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Atlanta personal injury, Atlanta business law, Atlanta criminal defense visit, Webbdorazio.com.