Q: When is something considered malpractice?
A: Before I became a lawyer, I worked as a Respiratory Therapist with extensive experience in ICU, CCU, and the Emergency Room. Most doctors and other health care professionals are dedicated and competent. However, sometimes due to carelessness, oversight, fatigue, lack of training or other factors, mistakes are made which can result in serious injuries to their patients. These injuries are considered malpractice.
These are common types of medical malpractice:
Failure to diagnose. The health practitioner didn’t diagnose correctly or missed a diagnosis and that caused a worse outcome.
Improper treatment. If the health practitioner either chooses the wrong treatment or administers the wrong treatment, there could be malpractice.
Failure to warn a patient of known risks. Doctors have a duty to warn patients of known risks of a procedure or course of treatment -- this is known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient does not know or understand the risks and the treatment or surgery was performed, this could be considered malpractice.
Q: I like my provider. Will this hurt him/her?
A: Malpractice insurance exists for these events. Medical and legal professionals carry this insurance to help the injured.
Q: Is it expensive to hire an attorney?
A: There is no cost to the client until there is an award (payment) at the end of the case. The attorneys take a percentage of the award. There are very rarely fees that the patient/client has to pay during the negotiating and trial periods of the case. There are costs, though, which include paying expert witnesses, requesting medical records, evaluations, court costs and so on that are paid by the law firm and collected at the time of settlement
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