What Is Medical Malpractice?

Many misconceptions are out there about the nature of medical malpractice lawsuits. People tend to think that disgruntled patients and their lawyers are out to bring down the medical profession and make everyone's health insurance rates go up through exorbitant claims. After all, goes the common sentiment, a human body is an imperfect organism and things are bound to go wrong from time to time in the course of medical treatment. Critics often want to put limits on recovery that people can obtain in medical malpractice lawsuits.

It is easy to entertain such notions until you or your loved one is on the receiving end of medical negligence. Medical malpractice or medical negligence means that a doctor, nurse, therapist, hospital or other health care professional did not follow widely accepted standards of care, and someone was harmed as a result. Legal remedies exist for the protection of those who placed their trust in a caregiver's competence, only to have that trust betrayed through carelessness or gross negligence.

In A Nutshell, "Medical Malpractice" Means Bad Medicine

The ultimate meaning of medical malpractice hits home hard when you or your family member has suffered because of a medical mistake. Besides pain and suffering, you are likely to incur real costs. Common types of medical malpractice include:

  • Wrong site surgery: Your botched surgery may not have made the evening news, but it is all too common an occurrence when a surgeon mistakenly operates on the wrong side of the body or cuts into a part of the body that has no need for surgery.
  • Foreign object left in body: Operating rooms are sometimes busy places. Surgeons may become distracted or surgical technicians may miscount clamps and sponges, with the result that something is left in the body. In most cases, this will mean a second surgery, with increased risks and possibly additional damage to the body or a greatly prolonged recovery period.
  • Medication error: Whether it was overmedication, administration of the wrong drugs or failure to administer necessary life-saving medications on time, a medication error may be caused by:
    • A prescribing physician
    • A pharmacist
    • A nurse
    • An anesthesiologist
  • Misdiagnosis: A medical clinic that fails to inform you of a cancer diagnosis can cause as much harm as a doctor who fails to diagnose your symptoms correctly.
  • Birth injury: Did an obstetrical nurse or obstetrician fall down on the job, leaving your child with lifelong challenges caused by a birth injury?
  • Emergency room error: Disastrous psychiatric cases, heart attack cases and stroke cases involving mistakes in emergency rooms are often compensable. Ask a lawyer about your case.

Did a physician, pharmacist, nurse or physical therapist commit an error that resulted in serious injury, illness, worsening condition or death? An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help determine whether this has occurred and help you pursue compensation you are eligible for. T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law, has helped many families recover damages to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Did Your Painful Experience In A Medical Context Amount To Medical Malpractice? Ask A Kentucky Attorney

You may have a valid claim worth pursuing if you were seriously harmed when a health care professional failed to follow accepted standards of care. Contact T.J. Smith, Attorney at Law, by phone at 502-792-7937 (Louisville) or 270-261-4114 (Central Kentucky) or via email.