You undoubtedly seek treatment from a medical doctor or other heathcare provider when you are ill or injured with the expectation that the doctor or healthcare provider will help the situation, not make the situation worse. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometimes, doctors make mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes form the basis of a valid claim for medical malpractice. As a patient who has suffered because of a medical error or mistake you likely want to know “What kind of mistakes amount to medical malpractice?”
Doctors are not expected to be infallible. Even the law understands that a doctor can make an honest mistake and that errors do sometimes happen. When a mistake causes injuries, the law needs a way to determine if those injuries are compensable. In other words, was the mistake the result of medical malpractice? To answer that question, the law looks to whether not the doctor breached the “medical standard of care”, defined as “the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice.” Basically, the law looks at whether another doctor with the same education and experience would have done the same thing. This is why an expert witness, in the form of another doctor or healthcare provider in the same field as the defendant, is almost always needed in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Although every medical mistake occurs under a unique set of facts and circumstances, some common mistakes that may lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit include:
- Surgical errors – operating on the wrong person or the wrong body part; leaving a foreign object inside the patient; waiting too long to operate.
- Diagnosis errors – failing to diagnose a condition that did exist; diagnosing a condition that did not exist; waiting too long to diagnose.
- Anesthesia errors – giving a patient too much anesthesia; not giving a patient enough anesthesia; failing to recognize and anesthesia allergy; failing to recognize a dangerous drug interaction.
- Medication errors – filling a prescription with the wrong medication; filling with the wrong dosage; failing to recognize a drug allergy or dangerous drug interaction.
The above list is far from exclusive. There are virtually an endless number of scenarios that could give rise to a valid claim for medical malpractice. These are only a few common types of mistakes that frequently lead to a valid medical malpractice claim because of the nature of the mistake.
If you have additional questions or concerns about medical malpractice, or you believe you are the victim of a medical mistake, contact the Louisiana medical malpractice attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.