Patients Who Receive Care from Negligent Doctors Deserve Compensation for Their Unnecessary Medical Complications

One of the most important elements in a doctor-patient relationship is trust; but while this element is a requirement that leans on the patient’s side, the doctor’s duty, which is to keep this trust alive, can only be done by provision of quality care.

The best ways of providing quality care are through timely treatment, correct diagnosis and effective medication plus taking time to really listen to patients’ complaints during initial consultation periods (many doctors have fallen into the practice of meeting and diagnosing patients only within 15 minutes, the duration of office visits accorded by many doctors to patients to enable them to meet as many patients as possible during the day).

Quality care, however, is only a byword to many present day medical professionals (such as doctors, nurses and surgeons). Failure of many different individuals in the medical field in meeting the standards of care required and expected of them results to millions of errors which, in turn, lead to serious injuries or, sometimes, patient death.

This failure is identified as “medical malpractice” and these wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis, delayed or wrong treatment, surgical errors, birth injuries, wrongful death, emergency room errors and hospital negligence, among others.

Medical errors are definitely preventable; thus, it is a totally sad fact that despite its being such, it ends up claiming 98,000 lives in the U.S. every year (this figure is based on a study made by the government’s Institute of Medicine, which also shows 15 million yearly occurrences of preventable medical errors in the U.S.).

Often, for the purpose of seeking compensation, medical malpractice lawsuits are filed against hospitals where the medical professional, who committed the harmful mistake, is employed. This legal strategy is called “Respondeat superior,” or “vicarious liability” which means, “let the master or superior answer.” It refers to the legal responsibility imputed on employers for the harmful or injurious mistakes committed by their employees while performing their job.

According to the law firm Mazin & Associates, PC, “Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff each have the responsibility of caring for the health of their patients to the best of their abilities. If they do not apply their best efforts to every case, then tragic consequences often arise. Unfortunately, many doctors do not apply the appropriate level of care when handling patients. A doctor’s negligent actions often create additional medical complications and cost patients time, money, and even their lives. Any preventable illness is unjust, especially when a doctor, whose duty it is to maintain the health of a patient, creates it. For this reason, medical malpractice lawyers believe that patients who receive care from negligent doctors deserve compensation for their unnecessary medical complications.

Why Medical Errors Might Occur

A number of actions (or inactions) can account as medical malpractice. Prescription medication errors are just one of the ways that a person can suffer from medical malpractice. Taking the wrong dosage of a certain medication or taking a wrong medication altogether can result in serious health complications or even death. There are many ways prescription drug errors occur, the most common being mislabeling, failure to warn patients of the side effects, administering the wrong prescription, or prescribing a medication to which the patient is allergic to. In order to have a successful medical malpractice or injury claim, it is important to know who should be held responsible for the medical error.

Generally, anyone who is involved in the prescribing of the medication can be held liable to medication errors. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, these people include (but are not limited to) physicians, pharmacy departments, hospitals, medical staff, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. It is therefore important for your lawyer to investigate and gather evidence on who directly committed the prescription drug error in order to present a strong case.

Wrong medications or dosages are often a mistake committed by physicians or nurses. Bad handwriting from doctors have resulted to millions of injuries and even death around the United States, and although this problem is slowly fading in numbers, human errors due to stress or fatigue can lead to medications administered wrongfully or in the wrong amount. Another issue to look into is whether the medication was labeled properly or that the medication did not provide enough information on the risks and side effects. According to the website of Evans Moore Attorneys, because these mistakes can often be due to negligence on the part of the drug manufacturers, a product liability lawsuit is also a possible legal option. Regardless of how much you trust your doctor, it is always important to talk about possible side effects, as well as possible drug interactions and allergic reactions that may occur.

Because the victims of prescription drug errors can lead to life-threatening conditions and even death, it is important to first get proper medical attention to relieve the problem.

Medication Errors a Form of Negligence

Medication errors are not common, particularly at nursing homes. However, when they do occur, it can be confusing to decide what legal option to take; can you make the nursing home liable? Are you filing for a medical malpractice claim or a personal injury claim? One of ways to determine which claim to file is to see if there is medical negligence.

Courts often define medical negligence as failure on the medical health care provider’s part to practice and provide the degree of care and skill required from them in accordance to their specialty. Also taken into account are the advances in the medical profession and the resources that are available to the nursing home facility. Medical negligence through medication errors are very easy to commit. According to the website of Hach & Rose, LLP, a medication error can occur through the administration of the wrong medication or from the wrongful dosage of the needed medication.

Other causes of medication errors are when the prescription negatively affects the patient’s diet or other medication that they are taking. Mislabeled medication is also a problem that causes medication errors, along with misinformation or withheld allergies and other taken medications. The effects of these medication errors on nursing home residents can vary from nominal to fatal. Suspecting a medication error administered to your loved one should immediately prompt you to contact a physician in order to straighten out the situation.

A Massachusetts personal injury lawyer would probably tell you that medication errors are often visible through medical records, so obtaining such evidence can be crucial. If there is evidence of medical errors that caused injury to the patient, then the victim or the family of the victim can file for an injury claim or medical malpractice lawsuit.