What Is Considered Medical Negligence?
We don’t anticipate medical negligence when seeking help from a medical practitioner. We rightfully expect a standard of care from the trained and experienced providers whose expertise we rely on. When a doctor or health care practitioner fails to provide that care, and we or someone we care about is injured, there might be a case for medical malpractice.
If you have been injured or someone you love has passed away due to medical negligence, the devastation and sense of betrayal can be overwhelming. At that time, it is in your best interest to seek the help of a skilled Orlando medical malpractice attorney. Call Colling Gilbert Wright at (407) 712-7300 for a FREE case evaluation. Our lawyers can handle the details of your case while you focus on healing.
Defining Medical Negligence
Many people equate the terms medical negligence and medical malpractice. In a broad sense, they are interchangeable when referring to errors that result from a medical professional. But in a more strict sense, medical negligence refers to one specific, yet crucial, part of a medical malpractice case.
Medical negligence is defined as any act or failure to act by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care. Standard of care in medicine refers to the level of treatment that any medical professional would deliver in similar circumstances.
Negligence of any kind, including medical, is a central part of determining fault in any personal injury case. When a medical professional deviates from the accepted standard of care in your treatment, they can be deemed negligent.
It’s important to note that medical negligence itself does not necessarily prove medical malpractice. It’s when negligence leads to personal injury that a malpractice case can be pursued.
What Are the Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical negligence can have devastating consequences. Perhaps the patient only sustains a minor injury. Maybe the injury is more serious, causing lifelong medical complications, infirmity, or even death. No matter the severity, an injury suffered at the hands of a practitioner you trusted is traumatic.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of medical negligence, investigating and filing a claim can be overwhelming. Hiring a malpractice lawyer can help to ensure that just compensation is pursued while allowing you to focus on what’s important—your physical and mental well-being.
An attorney will be well-versed in determining whether your case meets all of the elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit. These elements are:
Duty of Care
As long as a practitioner-patient relationship is established, the practitioner has a duty of care. They are expected to act for the patient’s benefit, always keeping their best interests at the forefront.
Breach of Duty
The breach of the duty of care is where medical negligence comes in. If the medical practitioner has breached their duty by failing to provide an acceptable standard of care, they have been proven negligent.
The element of causation identifies a direct link between the breach of duty or negligence and the injury suffered by the victim. This element is the hardest of the four to prove.
The victim must have suffered quantifiable economic and/or noneconomic losses due to their injury. These may include medical bills, lost wages, pain & suffering, loss of consortium, etc.
These elements may seem straightforward, but they rarely are. Because this can be a complex process, you’ll need the help of experienced medical malpractice lawyers to help you navigate your claim.
What Are Some Examples of Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence can occur in many different forms and settings, and no specialization is devoid of occasional breaches of duty. Some examples of how negligence can occur include:
Misdiagnosis, Delayed Diagnosis, or Failure to Diagnose
These are the most common types of medical negligence. They occur when a healthcare provider incorrectly diagnoses a medical condition, fails to diagnose it in a timely manner, or fails to diagnose it at all. These failures may result in the patient receiving the wrong treatment or no treatment at all, leading to serious harm or even death.
Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
Another type of medical negligence is failure to obtain informed consent. This occurs when a healthcare provider fails to fully inform the patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a particular treatment or procedure. The patient cannot make an informed decision about their care without the complete information.
Performing the wrong procedure, operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient’s body, using dirty instruments, or any mistake during surgery that harms the patient are common examples of surgical errors.
Medication errors can involve prescribing the wrong medication, administering the wrong dosage, failing to recognize an allergy to the medication, or failing to monitor the patient for side effects or drug interactions.
Emergency Room Errors
In a hectic emergency room, negligent errors can take many forms. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, failure to run necessary tests, medication errors, delayed treatment, failure to follow up on treatment, and more are all possible ER errors.
Anesthesiology is a delicate and precise science. When a patient suffers an anesthesia overdose, the result could be brain injury or death. An overdose could happen if the patient was given the wrong type or dosage of anesthesia or if it was administered at the wrong rate, among other causes.
Negligence can also occur before, during, and after childbirth. A birth injury could occur due to a failure to monitor the mother and baby during labor and delivery, failure to recognize signs of fetal distress, or the use of excessive force during delivery, resulting in injury to the baby.
Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
Abuse and neglect in nursing homes, assisted living centers, and other facilities is another devastating form of medical negligence. Examples of this type could be physical, emotional, medical, or sexual. For instance, neglecting to provide necessary medical care, failing to monitor residents for changes in condition, ignoring a patient’s basic needs, or allowing physical or sexual abuse to occur.
Read More: How to File a Nursing Home Complaint
Contact a Medical Negligence Attorney Today
We rely on medical professionals to provide us with competent care. We entrust them with our injuries, ailments, and lives, and they spend theirs studying how to treat and heal us. Yet, errors still occur.
Some mistakes may be unavoidable. However, others may result in harmful, dangerous, and even deadly consequences. The failure to uphold a reasonable standard of care is medical negligence. If it results in harm to a patient on the part of a medical professional, it is medical malpractice.
At Colling Gilbert Wright, we work with a team of medical experts to determine the facts in your case and establish fault by showing that the negligence on behalf of your healthcare professional resulted in your injury. Through thorough investigation, we’ll determine the facts to pursue the compensation you deserve.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of medical negligence and want to learn more about your options, contact our medical malpractice lawyers today to schedule a FREE consultation. We proudly serve those who live in Orlando and nearby areas of Florida.