Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners – these are the people we turn to when we are sick or injured. We put our trust in them to make the right diagnosis, provide proper care, and help us get better. Most healthcare professionals go above and beyond to provide the best care possible, but unfortunately, there are those who are negligent, inattentive, or not competent in their role. Rather than helping a patient get better, their actions lead to more serious complications that can worsen an illness or even be fatal.
Unfortunately, medical errors and negligence are not uncommon as hospitals and health care facilities put their bottom line over quality care. If you or a loved one did not receive the appropriate medical care, you may be legally entitled to compensation for any injury or worsening of illness you experienced. Having an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side can help you get the settlement you deserve.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a complicated area of the law. Not only are we dealing with specialized information and complicated medical issues, but also because there are three specific criteria that must be met within your case.
Violating the Standard of Care
A healthcare provider is expected to possess a standard knowledge and ability and provide the same level of care that is normally provided by equal healthcare providers in the same role. If the action they took (or failed to take) failed to meet the expected skill or minimally expected level of care as laid out in their professional guidelines, it means negligence or malpractice can be established.
Injury or Death Caused by Negligence
A health care professional failing to meet the proper level of care is the foundation of malpractice, but it’s only one aspect of criteria. It also has to cause worsening of illness, injury, or even death. An example of this would be giving a patient the wrong medicine. If they were given the wrong medication but didn’t have any adverse effects from it, that is not considered medical malpractice. On the other hand, if the patient experienced significant negative effects from being given the wrong medicine, this could fall under the definition of malpractice.
Significant Damage Resulting from Injury
The third criteria that must be met is that the plaintiff must have experienced severe or significant damages from the mistake or negligence. Using the incorrect medication example, the plaintiff would have had to have had severe and ongoing side effects from the mistake. Examples include:
- Inability to work/loss of income;
- Chronic pain;
- Emotional distress and hardship;
- Significant medical expenses
Common Examples of Medical Negligence and Malpractice
Medical malpractice comes in a variety of forms, and what may seem like a minor mistake can cause severe repercussions. Some common examples of malpractice and negligence include:
- Birth injuries that cause physical or developmental disability
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Release from medical care too soon
- Lack of follow-up or aftercare
- Prescription errors
- Emergency room errors
- Surgical errors and unnecessary surgery
- Nursing errors
- Procedural errors
- Disregarding or failing to take patient history
Choosing Irons & Irons P.A.
Having an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side can prevent you from being taken advantage of by insurance companies. Often, victims of medical negligence are approached by a representative from the facility or hospital offering a settlement which is offered in order to protect their reputation and their bottom line rather than offer you fair compensation. An attorney can negotiate a fair settlement or, in other cases, litigate the claim in court.
At Irons & Irons P.A., we fight for our clients, using our dedication, experience, and knowledge to get the results we are seeking. Led by medical malpractice Attorney Harry H. Albritton, Jr., our staff includes a registered nurse who is able to analyze medical records with a keen eye for detail to find mistakes and errors, plus we have a network of experts who are able to provide valuable information and, if necessary, witness testimony.
Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Bern
If you or a loved one is a victim is a victim of medical negligence or malpractice, contact Attorney Harry H. Albritton, Jr. at Irons & Irons, P.A. We can provide a case review and consultation to help you determine your next step. To schedule a consultation, reach out to us at 252-320-7399 or fill out the form below.
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