Many of us turn to a doctor to help us get well when hurt or sick. But what happens if that doctor or other healthcare professional causes harm? What different kinds of injuries might result from a provider whose practice hurts a patient more than it helps?
Medical schools train doctors in ways to help patients while reducing risk. However, every decision a healthcare professional makes can have ramifications. Those who practice in the medical field also attend seminars and other professional education opportunities to remain up-to-date with providing top care to patients.
In West Virginia, medical malpractice continues to be a concern throughout the legal community. Single incidents of malpractice bring individual harm. Providers not held in check could go on to harm multiple other patients.
Patients May See Several Healthcare Professionals
The types of injuries relating to medical malpractice in West Virginia and across the nation go beyond someone not having a good bedside manner. In modern provider facilities, care may come from individuals other than the doctor. All play important roles in the type and quality of care a patient receives:
- Physician Assistants
- Insurance Administrators
- … and more.
Medical patients may interact with several types of healthcare professionals on an outpatient or short-term basis. Other patients receive care in a hospital, nursing facility, or another longer-term setting. If you or a loved one fall victim to medical malpractice anywhere in this continuum of care, it helps to be aware of where or when these hazards might occur.
Personal Injuries Due to Medical Malpractice in West Virginia
Part of the discussion about medical malpractice must include the most common types of harm that patients experience. A larger number of personal injuries can occur in the following areas:
Misreading Laboratory Results
These correspond to the wrongful interpretation of data by either the attending physician or other specialists. This may range from blood tests to other internal scans, such as x-rays and more.
Surgical Errors/Unnecessary Surgery
Failure to Treat/Medical Negligence
We recognize that mistakes happen and having some built-in checks can often avoid these forms of medical malpractice. Going over information more than once and checking identification or patient information may keep misinformation from becoming hazardous.
Prescription Drug Errors
Liability for these types of matters can lead to extenuating problems. While birthing is a natural process, taking an incorrect action during birth can result in a lifetime of suffering. Workers may miscalculate prescription doses or fill them incorrectly, or not check for side effects with other drugs a patient may take.
Deficiencies in any one of these areas can bring harm to patients who are looking for relief for their pain and discomfort. Adding to an already difficult situation, some people may not think to pursue any type of compensation. They may complain about the problem to friends and family members without speaking to a knowledgeable malpractice lawyer about their options.
Due to the lack of specialists or doctors in many rural areas, patients who experience harm by a physician may not feel they are in a position to see a different one. We encourage patients to get a second opinion on a diagnosis or procedure, but it can become yet another hurdle in care. What might an injured patient do to stay safer after discovering possible malpractice?
Some Safety Steps If You Encounter Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, you may seek to take some steps to support your safety, documentation, and more. Think along the lines of what you can do to protect yourself and your medical data. Taking time to make note of important names and dates will help to track other pieces of information. Consider taking the following steps to ensure your safety in a malpractice situation:
- Request a copy of your medical records.
- Switch providers by asking for a referral.
- Continue to seek medical attention, and do what your providers tell you.
- Keep a journal of the incident, your injuries, the dates, times, and names of people you speak with, and any follow-up care you receive.
- Consult with an experienced malpractice attorney within two years of the occurrence.
As the last point emphasizes, time is of the essence in turning to legal help. The sooner you can consult the expertise of a malpractice lawyer, the better. Beyond the names and problems you share, the attorney must then pursue additional information in putting together a case of medical malpractice or negligence.
How Much Proof Does a Patient or Plaintiff Need to Show?
Proving malpractice against a medical provider means making claim to show negligence. A plaintiff must prove each of these elements with evidence: The duty of the provider in the normal standard of his or her practice, and how much their action deviated from this standard. Proof must also relate to how the malpractice directly caused injury, and the type and severity of damages.
We mentioned earlier that medical providers manage risk with every decision. They maintain malpractice insurance to cover this liability and manage claims patients may pursue.
Call Fox Law Office to Pursue Medical Malpractice Claims
Proving every aspect of malpractice may not be easy. If the doctor did commit a violation of medical ethics, the industry must hold him or her accountable. If an injured party fails to assert their rights and hold the doctor accountable, they may lose opportunity for closure, as well as receiving compensation. Doctors unsanctioned for their actions could go on to hurt others.
Consult with a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer at Fox Law Office in Hurricane, WV, promptly. Time is of the essence in obtaining evidence of injury and putting together a case for malpractice. The team at Fox Law Office is ready to help you file a claim for compensation. We get results for our clients by working hard to seek maximum recovery while protecting your rights.
For a convenient phone consultation with our attorneys to discuss your medical malpractice experience, call Fox Law Office toll-free at 1-855-324-3684. You may also contact us online for a prompt response. Revisit our blog regularly for future updates, and follow us on Facebook.