Physician Malpractice at a Glance

When a medical professional neglects to perform their medical responsibilities and a patient suffers harm as a consequence the result is medical malpractice.

Laws Pertaining to Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice laws vary from state to state. As far as lawsuits are concerned, medical malpractice ones are fairly common in the United States. However, if you are an injured patient filing a malpractice claim, there are four components that need to be proven: that a medical specialist owed a professional duty to the patient; that duty owed was not met; that an injury resulted from that breach; and that damages, such as pain and suffering, ensued.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

There are types of medical malpractice that are more common than others. Childbirth injuries cause harm to either the mother or child either before, during or after birth. A obstetrician’s failure to identify medical conditions or birth defects due to mindless prenatal care can occur. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a serious medical condition, which delays needed therapy or worsens a condition, is another reason that malpractice suits are raised. Also, errors in prescription of medications, be it dosage or type, can be harmful to a patient and lead to grounds of malpractice. Medication errors harm approximately 1.5 million people in the United States every year, per Nolo. Surgery and anesthesia errors also lead to malpractice suits. Mistakes in the operating room could cause permanent injury or even death.

Physician Malpractice Cases

The best source for checking to see if your physician has had a malpractice case against them is the state medical licensing board. However, in an effort to be thorough, you will need to check every state that the physician has practiced in. You can find out this information by using the Doc Finder search function on the American Medical Association website.

Dental Malpractice Cases

Dental malpractice cases are similar to that of medical cases in that negligence on the part of the dental professional causes pain and suffering for the patient. The largest dental malpractice verdict in the United States was awarded in Spokane County, Washington. A 29-year-old former cheerleader was awarded $14.8 million after several oral surgeries left her disfigured and in chronic pain.

Malpractice Insurance

One way that medical professionals protect themselves is by carrying malpractice insurance. These policies cover property damage, bodily injury and pain and suffering in relationship to negligible medical practice. A person’s state and specialty are factors that determine the cost of medical malpractice insurance. If you’re a medical professional, it’s important to cover yourself, as you never know what can arise down the road.