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.


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Advancements in gynecology and obstetrics mean that women have access to more quality reproductive health than ever before. But that doesn't mean that all doctors are perfect, or that all medical outcomes are what we hoped for.

So can your gynecologist be legally liable for failure to diagnose an issue, or for prescribing the wrong treatment? Are obstetricians responsible for birth injuries? And how do courts draw the line between a bad OB/GYN and a bad result?

While the appendix is often described as a useless, vestigial organ, the bacteria-filled sac has the potential to kill if it becomes inflamed and bursts. While it is common for doctors to diagnose appendicitis, which is the inflammation of the appendix, failing to diagnose it can potentially lead to medical malpractice liability. Additionally, when it becomes inflamed, surgery is required to remove it. Anytime surgery is required, there is potential for medical malpractice not just for surgeons, but also anesthesiologists.

Generally, medical malpractice claims require showing that your doctor failed to use the same standard of care that another doctor in the community would have used. This means that even if your doctor made a mistake by not diagnosing appendicitis, that alone may not be enough to substantiate a malpractice claim if other doctors would have made the same mistake.

If you're the victim of medical malpractice, you could be entitled to compensatory damages, which are intended to repay you for a particular loss, detriment, or injury. (These differ from punitive damages which are intended to punish bad actors.) A specific set of compensatory damages covers pain and suffering, and in medical malpractice cases, that can be significant.

But healthcare providers have tried to push back on pain and suffering damages and limit the amount that can be awarded in a medical malpractice case. Here's a look at how much you may receive for medical malpractice pain and suffering.

Even though a therapist or psychologist may not have spent as much time in school as a medical doctor, they can still be held liable for medical malpractice, also known as professional negligence, when they make mistakes in treatment or diagnosis. Although medical malpractice cases involving medical doctors tend to involve bodily injury, malpractice arising from a therapist’s, or psychologist’s, treatment tend to involve self harm, and/or harm to others.

Generally, a medical malpractice or professional negligence case against a therapist or psychologist will be treated similarly to a case against a medical doctor. The patient must prove that a duty was owed, breached, and that the breach caused the injury. In the professional negligence context, the duty owed is a moving target that depends on what the community’s standard of care dictates.

Following up on the announcement earlier this year, the FDA recently issued a press release updating the warnings on fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which, until now, were very commonly prescribed. These antibiotics, including levofloxacin (Levaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin, and gemifloxacin (Factive), have been associated with disabling and potentially permanent side effects.

Due to the way the drugs were marketed to doctors and patients alike, patients have filed suit against the manufacturer as a result of falling victim to side effects that the manufacturer knew about but did not disclose. While lawsuits have been filed against the drug manufacturers, the medication is still being prescribed, despite the dangers. The new warnings from the FDA make clear that the drug’s use “should be reserved for these conditions only when there are no other options available.”

Ask most Americans which of their five senses they would least like to go without, and chances are they will say, "Sight." Our eyesight and vision is one of our most coveted aspects, and many consider blindness the worst thing that could happen to them.

So it's no surprise that we take eye health and care so seriously, and why optometrists are held to such a high standard of care. And if an optometrist fails to provide eyesight and vision care up to that standard, lawsuits are possible.

One of the leading brain surgeons that co-founded the North Shore University Hospital’s Chiari Institute is facing three malpractice lawsuits over surgeries to correct Chiari malformations. The suits all allege that Dr. Bolognese improperly or needlessly performed a surgery to correct a Chiari malformation in each of the three separate plaintiffs.

The Chiari malformation is a rare condition where part of the brain forms under the brainstem where it connects with the neck and spinal cord. The effects of a Chiara malformation are varied from no symptoms at all, to severe. Currently the only treatment is surgery.

There are fewer malpractice claims against pediatricians than any other specialty, according to a recent study. But that same study concluded that a higher percentage of pediatric claims went to trial. Perhaps that's because, pediatricians are tasked with providing medical care for our children, and their mistakes, though few, can be especially tragic.

Here's what you need to know about pediatric care and the possibility of medical malpractice lawsuits.

It's easy to look back at medieval medical practices and wonder how they ever thought it would work. Theories about the four bodily humors may seem quaint in retrospect, but given the way medical knowledge and technology evolves, it's almost certain future generations will look back at medicine in our time and similarly wonder what we were thinking.

So which controversial medical treatments are still in practice? Here's a look at a few.

When a chiropractor’s medical treatment causes a patient injury, that patient may be able to sue. While chiropractors are not medical doctors, they can still be liable for malpractice or professional negligence. State laws differ on what the action might be called, but each cause of action generally considers the same elements to prove a claim against a doctor or a chiropractor.

Injures alleged against chiropractors can be serious. For example, it was discovered that a famous model, Katy May, died at the age of 34 allegedly as a result of chiropractic treatment. After suffering from an on-set fall during a photoshoot, she hurt her neck. When the pain did not resolve itself, she sought chiropractic treatment. As a result of the treatment, an artery in her neck was pinched which caused her to have a stroke and die following the treatment.

Although this situation may sound like a textbook case of medical negligence, that may not necessarily be the case.