How Do You Know If You Have a Case for Medical Malpractice?
Unfortunately, medical errors are a common occurrence in the United States. According to the Journal of Patient Safety, approximately 440,000 patients die each year as a result of preventable errors by healthcare professionals in hospitals. This figure does not account for the many more patients who suffer serious injury due to medical errors.
Despite the frequency of medical errors resulting in serious or deadly harm to patients, malpractice is often difficult to identify. If you believe you have been injured or lost a loved one due to negligent medical care, it is in your best interest to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible about your case.
If you are looking for a medical malpractice attorney in Providence, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd can help. Our team has been serving clients in medical negligence claims throughout Rhode Island for more than 40 years.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
The elements of a medical malpractice claim are:
- The medical practitioner owed you a duty of care
- An error or omission on the part of the practitioner violated the standard of care
- You suffered injury due to the error or omission
- Your injury or injuries resulted in physical and/or economic harm
To determine if you have a valid claim, your attorney will thoroughly review your medical records and work with experts to prove if medical negligence caused your injuries and what compensation you may be entitled to as a result.
What Is a Duty of Care?
The duty of care is a legal term for the obligation a physician or other healthcare provider has to the patient. It is the principle behind the doctor-patient relationship.
Physicians and other providers are expected to treat patients in the way that a reasonable, prudent practitioner would. Violations of this standard may be considered medical negligence.
What Is an Error or Omission?
A medical error is a preventable lapse of care that results in harm to the patient. These errors are frequently the result of negligence on the part of a healthcare practitioner. Patient harm from medical error can occur at the individual or system level.
Medical errors can take many different forms, including:
- Misdiagnosis or delay in the diagnosis of cancer and other serious conditions
- Wrong-site surgery and other surgical errors
- Errors in the administration of anesthesia
- Errors in the delivery room resulting in birth injuries
- Prescribing the wrong medication and other drug errors
An omission, meanwhile, is a failure to take appropriate action. Examples include:
- Failure to diagnose a heart attack
- Failure to diagnose a stroke
- Failure to order necessary testing
- Failure to prescribe proper medication or perform a necessary procedure
- Failure to monitor the patient for infection or complications
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Failure to timely identify fetal distress during labor
An expert medical malpractice attorney and one or more experts in the field of medicine where you sustained your injury are crucial for identifying possible errors and omissions in your case.
What Injuries May Occur Due to Medical Errors?
The exact nature of the harm a patient sustains as a result of medical negligence can vary from minor harm to catastrophic injuries. Depending on the circumstances, some of the adverse effects of a medical error may include:
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Permanent impairment of an organ or bodily function
- Loss of a limb or amputation
- Burn injury
- Cardiac arrest
- Birth asphyxia
Expert review of your medical records is crucial for determining what caused the injury or adverse event. If negligence was a factor, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Ultimately, the damages in your case will depend on the losses you have suffered as a result of the medical negligence. After a comprehensive investigation, your attorney can advise you what compensation may be recoverable.
Potential damages in a medical malpractice claim include:
- Past medical expenses related to the negligence
- The cost of ongoing and future medical treatment, including medications, therapies, surgeries, and other necessary treatment
- Past lost wages
- Future loss of earning capacity
- Assistive devices, modifications to your home and vehicle, home-based services, and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium and society
If your loved one died as a result of medical negligence, you and your family may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice wrongful death claim. Recoverable damages may include:
- Conscious pain and suffering your loved one endured
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Funeral and burial or cremation costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium and society
- Loss of household services
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Providence Today
Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has achieved unsurpassed results in medical malpractice claims. Our attorneys have expert knowledge of complex medical errors, enabling us to build a strong case on your behalf. We treat you and your family with empathy and respect, and each member of our team works to achieve the most favorable result in your case.
Please call (401) 273-8330 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney in Providence. Your initial consultation is free, and you only pay us a fee if we are successful for you.