Medical Malpractice: Injured
Injured - The FindLaw Accident, Injury and Tort Law Blog

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

Should Doctors Have to Tell Patients If They're on Probation?

Would you want to know if your doctor was on probation? Would it make a difference in how you received that expert's recommendations? Patients' rights activists think so and are disappointed that this week a California bill was nixed by the senate that would have required doctors to tell patients if they're under state supervision in an easy-to-read one-page document.

The information is already available online, but some say it's not easy to access. Still, California senators rejected legislation making individual disclosures a requirement, reports KQED News. Let's look at what was proposed and why it's controversial.

Can I Sue My Orthodontist?

You always hated your crooked teeth when you were a kid, so the first thing you did as a grown up was see an orthodontist. The relationship started out great but now you believe your orthodontist did a terrible job on your mouth. What can you do?

You can sue an orthodontist as you would any other medical care practitioner, but your suit will only succeed if you can prove medical negligence. There must be more to the story than just dissatisfaction with the results you got. A negligence claim in a medical context is called medical malpractice. Here is how it’s established.

Can You Sue the Military for Medical Malpractice?

If you are in the US military and are injured due to negligent medical treatment in the hands of military healthcare workers, you can recover damages. But you may not be able to sue civilly, depending on how and when you were hurt. Medical malpractice suits are barred for active duty military injuries, although there are alternative means to recover.

It's not impossible to get around the prohibition on suing military doctors for medical malpractice, but your lawyer will likely have to do some fancy legal footwork, and much will depend on the context of your injury. Let's look at some of the relevant doctrines.

When Can I Sue an EMT or Paramedic?

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics save a lot of lives working on the front lines of healthcare. Their roles are critical and the decisions they make at the scene of an emergency and transporting someone to a hospital can seriously influence long-term outcomes.

You might think then that these emergency medical workers are held to the same standard of care as any other medical practitioner, and you might be right in some cases. But state laws vary, and the question of whether you can sue a paramedic or EMT for injury will depend on a number of factors.

If you suffer from a high risk of blood clotting due to surgery or an accident, an inferior vena cava filter or IVC filter can save your life. But in most cases, IVC filters are only supposed to be temporary fixes: the Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly warned of the risks associated with IVC filters and documented hundreds of adverse health events due to leaving IVC filters in long after they are needed.

Some of these injuries have led to lawsuits, so here's what you need to know about IVC filters and your legal options:

Can I Sue for Injury From an Infected Scope?

In recent years, there has been growing awareness of deadly infections associated with the use of gastrointestinal scopes that cannot be cleaned completely. A new congressional investigation shows that the number of potential infections is much higher than originally thought.

Does this mean that you can sue if an infected gastrointestinal scope has been used on you? No. But if you have suffered an injury as a result of an infected scope's use on you and you can prove it, then you certainly have a valid basis for a medical malpractice claim. And you won't be alone -- there are already plaintiffs suing for injury from infected scopes.

What Is Your Medical Malpractice Claim Worth?

If you are injured due to the negligence of a doctor or hospital or in a healthcare setting, you have a medical malpractice claim. How much it will be worth depends on many factors.

The biggest issue is the extent of injury you’ve suffered, and that will largely dictate what you can recover. But there is also the opposition to consider: who you are suing. You may be bringing claims against multiple defendants and that could impact recovery. Here are some basic damages considerations.

Can I Sue a Doctor for Patient Profiling?

Patient profiling is a term used to describe a kind of discrimination by doctors. When a healthcare provider treats a patient based on their “type” rather than assessing them individually, that is profiling, and it can lead to problems in treatment.

Doctors should assess each patient individually, but profiling alone is not likely going to be a basis for a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, unless that profiling manifested in medical malpractice. So let’s explore the distinction between profiling, which is certainly unpleasant, and negligence law, which is based on actual injury.

What's 'Patient Harm' and Who Sues for It?

Patient harm is exactly what it sounds like: an injury to a person in a medical context. Hospitals and health care providers are legally obligated to report these incidents to state regulatory agencies, but there have been some very serious cases of patient harm that administrators did not report or did but made the harm seem more mild.

So, not only were patients hurt in the hospital but health care administrators broke the rules of reporting. In some cases of severe patient harm, hospitals reported that an incident occurred but omitted critical details that reveal the extent of the harm. Let’s take a look at a sample case and your options as a patient who has been harmed.

We all want our children to be happy and healthy, but sadly some children are born with birth defects or birth injuries. And while some may be genetic or random chance, some birth defects can be caused by medication, the environment, or even a virus. Some birth injuries can be caused my the negligence of doctors, nurses, or other medical personnel.

If a child’s birth defect or injury is the fault of another person or product, parents may consider suing the person or company responsible. Here are some legal tips for birth defects lawsuits: