According to Becker’s Hospital Review, $763,088,250 was paid out in medical malpractice awards in New York State in 2012. New York State ranks as one of the top five states for medical malpractice payments, and many insurance companies do not feel that the awards represent proper compensation for victims. The insurance companies have fought hard to make the process of filing a negligent doctor claim more difficult, and they are making progress.
Before you decide to attribute patient injuries to a negligent doctor, you should first become familiar with the most
common types of medical malpractice suits that are filed throughout the state. In order to get your voice heard, you must first establish that you have a valid case that the courts will accept.
The Basis For A Medical Malpractice Case
In order for a medical malpractice case to exist you must prove that the doctor was negligent and that negligence led to patient injuries. The process used to be a bit more relaxed than it is now, but there are still a large number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed each year.
The key to proving your case is to hire an attorney who has the resources necessary to answer complicated medical questions. Once you establish that the doctor’s negligence caused your injury, you then have to prove that the injury created some kind of loss. The process is not easy, but a successful medical malpractice suit can help to stop doctors from practicing who are consistently injuring patients.
Four Common Scenarios Of Malpractice Lawsuits
There are many reasons that can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit being filed and scenarios are going to be different. However, below are some of the four most common reasons why individuals end up filing lawsuits.
1. Improper Diagnosis
If you have ever wondered why you have to see an army of specialists before your general practitioner will diagnose your problem, then that is due in part to medical malpractice laws. One of the most common causes for medical malpractice and patient injuries is a misdiagnosis by the doctor. To do everything they can to get a proper diagnosis, doctors will often ask a lot of questions about how you feel and send you to get a battery of tests.
A good example of how misdiagnosis can affect a patient comes from the story of Itzhak Brook, a medical specialist from the University of Georgetown School of Medicine. When his throat started bothering him, he went to his general practitioner and was told that he had acid reflux. After seven months of treating the condition as acid reflux, it was found that Dr. Brook actually had throat cancer. While he was lucky to be alive, he lost his ability to speak when his voice box had to be removed in an emergency procedure. The incident caused Dr. Brook to realize that anyone can be the victim of misdiagnosis, and the consequences can be severe.
2. Incorrect Treatment
The way that conditions get treated change constantly as medical research finds out more about how certain medications work and what conflicts are caused by various medications being used at the same time. It is your doctor’s responsibility to give you proper treatment by staying up to date on all treatment options, and understanding the ill effects that old treatments can cause.
3. Improper Risk Notification
If a particular medication you have been prescribed can make your drowsy and you get into a car accident because you took the medication before you got behind the wheel of a car, then that is a mistake your doctor has made. Even though some of the risks doctors offer can seem benign in your case, it is still their responsibility to warn you of possible side-effects.
The Doctors Company tells the story of a patient who started taking a medication at the advice of three different doctors. One of the side-effects of the medication was the possibility of getting Lupus-like symptoms that could lead to the formation of Lupus itself. Instead of warning the patient about this important side-effect, all three doctors assured the patient of the positive effects of the medication. When the patient started to experience Lupus-like symptoms, they sued all three doctors and the drug manufacturer for withholding this important information.
4. Not Keeping Proper Records
These days, medical records are instantly accessible thanks to digital filing systems. If you have to go see a specialist, then that specialist can pull up your records instantly and start prescribing treatment. But if your records are incorrect, then that can cause a cascade of events that can lead to potential injuries and other conditions for you to deal with. It is the responsibility of each doctor who treats you to keep proper records, and not doing so can result in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
It is highly recommended that you contact an attorney immediately if you feel you have a malpractice case because your statute of limitations could run out and invalidate your claim. If you feel that you have bee injured due to a doctor’s negligence, then contact your attorney immediately and make sure that you get the proper compensation for your injuries.