Medical malpractice is a mistake or negligent action a medical professional performs resulting in the death or injury of a patient. From medication errors to surgical mistakes, medical malpractice is the third largest killer in the United States, with over 250,000 patients dying in medical malpractice incidents every year – the thousands of other victims who don’t die often suffer permanent injury.
Causes of Medical Malpractice
• Health Care Industry Issues: Lack of funds, delayed adoption of new technologies and “inherent inability for doctors to stay up-to-date on every condition their patients may have” due to time constraints.
• Doctor Error: When a physician commits malpractice through human error or gross negligence during diagnosis, surgery, the prescription of a medication or a treatment plan.
• Patient Error: Failure of the patient to report symptoms or relevant medical information or not following advised instructions for recovery.
A potential lawsuit in New Jersey or New York may be dependent on the cause of the medical malpractice.
Types of Medical Malpractice
• Surgical Errors: Incorrect procedure during the surgery itself or administering the wrong dosage of anestesia beforehand.
• Hospital Errors: Initial misdiagnosis of a condition or failure to prescribe the proper medicine and treatment plan.
• Child Birth Negligence: Errors occurring during the delivery of an infant.
• Prescription Error: Mistake in type, dosage, labeling or instructions for taking a prescription drug.
There are two types of damages that can be recovered from a medical malpractice case:
• Actual: direct compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic compensation is awarded to make up for the expense of additional medical care and lost wages incurred, while noneconomic compensation is awarded for non-monetary losses and injuries, such as disfigurement, loss of function and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
• Punitive: Punitive damages are awarded in certain cases to specifically punish the damaging conduct or negligence of the defendant. While more uncommon in medical malpractice cases than actual damages and only allowed in certain states, puntitive damages are often rewarded “to set an example to discourage others from repeating the act.”
The majority of patients who are injured due to medical malpractice do not sue, and only a fourth of medical professionals disclose their errors. Know your rights – if you or a loved one is one of thousands suffering from a medical error in New Jersey or New York, call us and we will review your case.
Sources: legalview.com, thedoctors.com, medicalmalpractice.com