While many people feel there are far too many medical malpractice lawsuits, in reality there may be an excess of medical negligence occurring across the nation. In fact, of the hundreds of thousands of patients who sustain injuries directly linked to the negligence of the healthcare system, few actually file a lawsuit. According to CNBC, medical errors are the third leading cause of death, following heart disease and cancer. Many more more suffer non-fatal injuries as a result of a preventable medical error. Clinical Advisor found that surgical events which should “never” happen, do happen at least 4,000 times per year.
Research conducted in 2012 at Johns Hopkins University concluded that at least 39 times per week a surgeon leaves an object inside a patient. Operations on the wrong body part happen nearly twenty times a week. Despite these statistics, the motivation for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is almost always much more than financial. Patients harmed by a medical professional may want to ensure others do not endure the same harm or may simply want answers as to what went wrong. Obviously, a surgical procedure is, by its very nature, risky, however if you were harmed by a negligent surgical error, an experienced Mississippi malpractice attorney can help determine whether you have a valid medical malpractice case.Understanding Medical Malpractice
Any time harm results because a medical professional failed to perform his or her medical duties competently, medical malpractice may have occurred. In order to prove your case, the following elements must be present:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship between you and the doctor or medical professional.
- Some type of negligence occurred. You may be unhappy with the results of your medical procedure or treatment, however this does not, in itself, constitute medical malpractice. Your medical professional must have failed to act in a manner consistent with how another competent medical professional would have acted, under the same circumstances.
- Your injuries must correlate to the negligence of your medical professional—in other words you must be able to show that the harm you suffered is directly related to what the medical professional did—or did not—do, rather than from a prior disease or injury.
- Your injuries must have led to specific damages, including physical or mental pain, lost wages, lost earning capacity or additional medical bills.
As an example, assume you are rushed to the ER with stomach pains. An ER doctor examines you. At this point a doctor-patient relationship has been established. The ER doctor diagnoses you with appendicitis and preps you for an appendectomy. You are wheeled into the operating room where the surgeon removes your healthy gallbladder instead of your appendix. Because of this error, your appendix become infected and burst, plus you have lost your gallbladder for no good medical reason. At this point, medical malpractice has occurred. Whether the negligence lies with the doctor who charted the facts of your case or the surgeon who removed a healthy organ will be determined through your medical records. The majority of medical malpractice cases are due to improper treatment, a failure to properly diagnose, or a failure to warn the patient of specific, known risks of a procedure or treatment.The Different Types of Medical Malpractice
There are many types of medical malpractice, as well as many different levels of medical malpractice. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include the following:
- Perhaps the most common type of medical malpractice is associated with anesthesia errors. Defective equipment can cause an anesthesia error, but more often anesthesia errors are due to negligent or incompetent actions by the anesthesiologist. Anesthesia errors can lead to such symptoms as abnormal pulse heart arrhythmia, damage to the brain or other organs, blurry vision, confusion, dizziness, birth defects, cardiovascular system collapse, stroke, seizures, nerve, artery or vein damage, and even coma or death. Many anesthesia errors revolve around too much anesthesia for the patient’s size/weight.
- Emergency room negligence is another common type of medical malpractice. When a medical professional fails to act quickly in an emergency situation, the results can be devastating. Emergency room errors can be due to: insufficient training, overworked or overtired personnel, unsanitary conditions in the emergency room, sloppy record-keeping, an insufficient number of medical personnel on a particular shift, failure to properly evaluate or treat the emergency, delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, failure to take a complete medical history, or medication errors.
- The hospital where your injury occurred could also be responsible for those injuries and may be included in your lawsuit. Hospitals are responsible for evaluating the qualifications of all medical personnel. The hospital may also be liable for any of the following: refusal to treat, neglect of a patient, failure to perform necessary tests, use of unsterilized equipment, improper use of anesthesia, administering an incorrect drug or the correct drug in an incorrect dosage, failure to properly interpret test results, post-op infections, surgical errors or surgery performed without consent of the patient.
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis by a physician can severely compromise a patient’s health. When a serious illness goes undiagnosed or is not diagnosed correctly, the illness can progress, leading to further injury and death.
- Postoperative Negligence—all patients are entitled to a certain standard of care following a surgical procedure in order to recognize symptoms of infection and monitor vital signs.
It is widely assumed that malpractice claims are responsible for the increase in health care costs. In reality, the costs associated with malpractice claims equal a very small percentage of total health care costs. Further, the mere threat of medical malpractice lawsuits has been shown to improve health care outcomes and the mortality rate.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you are likely confused about what you need to do, and anxious about your health. Your Mississippi medical malpractice attorney must have a solid understanding of medical issues and be able to accurately decipher medical charts and documents. You need an experienced Mississippi medical malpractice attorney who will advocate strongly for your rights and answer the questions you have about your case and your future.Contact Our Jackson Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If you are injured by a medical error or medical professional negligence in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Mississippi medical malpractice attorney who will protect your rights and assist you in receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for injured Mississippi patients and their families– to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. We can help you obtain the money you need to fully recover. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.
- Anesthesia Malpractice
- Birth Injury
- C-Section Complications
- Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice
- Dental Malpractice
- Emergency Room Errors
- Failure to Diagnose Terminal Illness
- Heart Attacks
- Labor and Delivery Negligence
- Medication Negligence
- Misdiagnosis of Threatening Disease
- Operating Room Negligence
- Placental Abruption
- Uterine Rupture