Medical Malpractice: Injured
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Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice laws are aimed at protecting the patient from negligent medical treatment. These cases usually arise when the patient has been injured due to the improper actions of a healthcare professional. Take note, though--these cases can also arise through the inaction of the healthcare professional.

Medical malpractice is governed by state law and each state varies. But the basics are the same: the healthcare professional owes a duty to the patient and that duty entails competence in performance. But in order for there to be a duty, there must first be a special relationship between the medical professional and the injured party. For example, a doctor in a restaurant owes no duty to help a stranger at another table who is having a heart attack, unless the doctor comes forward and agrees to help.

Recently in Medical Malpractice Category

Last week, a California judge sentenced Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng to 30 years to life in prison for murdering three of her patients who fatally overdosed. It marks the first time a doctor in the United States has been convicted of murder for overprescribing drugs.

Beyond newfound criminal liability, can doctors be civilly liable for patient overdoses?

Can I Sue for a Skin Cancer Misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis is a legitimate claim in a medical malpractice lawsuit, and that applies to skin cancer like any other disease. But it is not easy to prove a doctor is liable for failure to correctly diagnose skin cancer.

Medical malpractice suits are complex. Proving misdiagnosis is particularly difficult because you must show that an absence of action, or failure to take the correct action, is what caused your injury. This is tougher than a suit where you show someone acted negligently causing injury. Still, people can and do sue doctors for failure to diagnose correctly, so let’s look at what you’ll have to prove.

Can You Sue for Radiologist Medical Malpractice?

You go on a ski trip and are injured. While your friends are on the slopes, you’re in a hospital emergency room getting x-rays. The radiologist tells you not to worry, it’s just a normal break and your ankle should heal up just fine in no time.

But that turns out not to be the case and you learn later that the radiologist read your x-ray wrong. Can you sue for medical malpractice? Yes, if you are injured due to the error. Radiologists are doctors with specialized training in the use of imaging and they are liable for medical malpractice.

Can You Sue a Doctor for a Medical Marijuana Recommendation?

Last week New York’s first medical marijuana dispensaries opened, and the state joined the growing number of places in the US that permit cannabis purchases for people with a doctor’s recommendation.

The question then naturally arises, given our litigious society, can you sue a doctor for medical malpractice based on such a recommendation? How does medical marijuana differ from prescription drugs?

Most personal injury lawsuits follow a fairly standard timeline: there’s an accident, the injured party files a lawsuit, there’s some discovery and settlement negotiations, and then a trial and damages verdict. But the timeline for a medical malpractice suits can be a little different.

The length of time for any case will generally depend on its complexity, and medical malpractice claims can be more complicated than most. And there are special time considerations to be aware of in medical malpractice cases. So here’s a general timeline for medical malpractice lawsuits.

Top 5: Doctors Most Often Sued

There are over 150,000 medical malpractice lawsuits filed annually. A recent survey of 4,000 doctors found that nearly half, or 47 percent, were named in such a lawsuit. So, obviously lots of doctors are getting sued.

But some kinds of doctors get sued more than others, and surgeons are particularly susceptible. Here is a list of the top five types of doctors most likely to be subject to litigation, according to CBS News.

Advancements in orthopedic surgery mean that athletes can return to playing after devastating injuries and the rest of us can live without chronic pain from damaged bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. But not all orthopedic surgeries result in miraculous recoveries.

So are orthopedic surgeons legally liable if you can’t return to your sport or life at 100 percent? And where do courts draw the line between a bad surgeon and a bad result?

A blood clot filter can save your life. An inferior vena cava or IVC filter can prevent a blood clot from blocking blood flow to the lung, thus reducing the risk of pulmonary emboli or acute deep vein thrombosis.

But blood clot filters can also be dangerous. An IVC filter left in too long can perforate the vein or detach from the vein and migrate elsewhere, causing unintended blockages or damage. So how long is too long when it comes to leaving in blood clot filters?

Can I Sue a Nurse for Medical Malpractice?

Nurses play a critical role in medical care and they can be named in a medical malpractice suit. But realistically, your lawyer will look for more defendants, particularly institutions with serious liability insurance whose failure to monitor the nurse might also be blamed for an injury.

Negligence in medicine is often not the fault of a single individual, so the institutions that employ medical professionals are included in a lawsuit. Whoever is involved in patient care will be scrutinized and administrators of hospitals and care facilities, such as nursing homes, have to defend policies and practices, training, and more.

We get a lot of recommendations by word of mouth, from friends, family, and Yelp. These can also be legitimate sources for warnings about stores, restaurants, even doctors to avoid. But what about handing out "Malpractice Alert" flyers to strangers in a doctor's parking lot and sending the flyer to doctors, their families, and their neighbors? A little over the top?

Not according to the Arizona Court of Appeals, who recently held that an injunction barring a disgruntled patient from complaining about his treatment was overbroad and unconstitutional.