Mankato Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Americans trust their doctors and other health care professionals to provide safe, effective treatment using methods established and accepted by the medical community. When physicians or other health care providers inflict harm on their patients, either intentionally or due to negligence, the injured victims may file medical malpractice lawsuits to recover their losses. Medical errors, delayed or incorrect diagnoses, prescription errors, informed consent violations, and breaches of patient confidentiality can turn into costly lawsuits for physicians and may result in other serious consequences as well.
Understanding Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice lawsuits roughly follow the same framework as any other personal injury lawsuit, with a few exceptions. First, actual harm or loss must have occurred. If a doctor treats a patient in a way that the patient would have refused, but no lasting harm or discomfort occurred, there is no case. Plaintiffs must be able to prove the doctor or other defendant in question caused tangible losses or physical harm. Plaintiffs also need to prove that an official doctor-patient relationship existed, meaning they must show the doctor agreed to treat the plaintiff and the plaintiff agreed to be treated.
If you wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will likely need to undergo a medical board review of your case. The medical board will consider your claim and the accused individual’s statements to determine whether a lawsuit is valid or warranted. If the review board believes malpractice has occurred, the plaintiff’s attorney can start the process and file a complaint for your case.
Types of Malpractice
Medical malpractice can apply to various situations. Some examples include:
- Delayed/incorrect diagnoses. Doctors use a process of elimination to deliver their diagnoses, and it’s crucial for them to be as accurate as possible. While some diseases and conditions mimic the symptoms of others and it’s understandable that errors sometimes occur, a delayed or incorrect diagnosis is malpractice if a court deems another reasonable, similarly skilled physician would have made a correct diagnosis in the same situation.
- Medication errors. Pharmaceuticals can have dangerous interactions with some substances, and many patients require various medications to heal wounds and overcome illnesses. If a doctor prescribes the wrong medicine or dosage, fails to account for interactions with other medications, or a pharmacy makes an error in dispensing the medication to the plaintiff, the responsible party is liable for malpractice.
- Surgical errors. Surgeons sometimes leave medical devices or surgical tools inside patients. In some situations, a surgeon may operate on the wrong body part or even the wrong patient due to miscommunication or negligence.
- Gross negligence. When a doctor or health care professional commits an error so grievous that even a reasonable, untrained adult in the same situation would have acted differently, this is gross negligence. An extreme example would be reading an x-ray backward and amputating the wrong limb from a patient.
Winning Your Case
Medical malpractice cases often result in large awards for damages. Plaintiffs often sue for their medical expenses to repair the damage done by the defendant. In many cases, this can involve several surgical procedures or extensive and expensive treatment plans. Plaintiffs will also typically claim damages for pain and suffering, and a judge will consider the facts of the case and expert witness testimony to decide a fair amount.
If a health care professional’s actions caused you to miss work, you can sue for your lost wages. If an incident of malpractice prevents you from returning to work, you can sue for the future income you would have earned. If you have suffered losses from medical malpractice, connect with reliable legal counsel who will fight for you in court. Reach out to the team at Knutson & Casey for a free consultation about your medical malpractice case today.