Three Common Causes For Medical Malpractice Claims
Feb. 2, 2023
Medical malpractice is an area of law that focuses on protecting people who have suffered harm due to negligent medical care. When a doctor or other healthcare provider fails to provide the level of care expected of them, the patient may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
When filing a medical malpractice claim, it is important to understand the most common causes of such claims. Our medical malpractice attorneys at Adams Cross, LLC can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled, no matter what caused the harm. With an office in Olathe, Kansas, we represent victims of medical malpractice throughout the state, including Lawrence, Wyandotte County, Johnson County, and across the Kansas City metro area.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to meet the accepted standards of practice within their profession. When this happens, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries or deaths. The victim may be able to seek compensation from the doctor or hospital responsible if they can prove that the injury was caused by negligence on behalf of the healthcare provider.
Under Kansas law, victims of medical malpractice must bring legal action within two years from the date the injury becomes reasonably ascertainable. However, the state follows a four-year “statute of repose” that prohibits victims from suing doctors or other negligent parties if more than four years have passed from the act that led to the damage.
Common Causes for Medical Malpractice Claims
It is important for individuals considering filing medical malpractice claims to understand common causes so they know what types of errors might qualify them for such action against negligent medical professionals or organizations responsible for those mistakes. Common causes for medical malpractice claims are:
Diagnosis errors. A missed or incorrect diagnosis can be one of the most devastating medical errors made by medical professionals. Diagnostic errors can lead to delayed treatment, misdiagnosed illnesses and conditions, and even wrongful death.
Failure to properly treat a diagnosis. Once you have been correctly diagnosed with an illness or injury, it is up to the doctor to give you appropriate treatment for that condition. A failure by the doctor to provide adequate treatment could result in further harm or even death due to an undiagnosed condition.
Surgical errors. Surgical errors occur when there is negligence during surgery—such as using unsterile equipment or leaving tools inside of the patient’s body after the surgery has concluded—which can cause serious injury or death if not addressed right away.
No matter what type of medical error was made, if it was caused by negligence on behalf of a healthcare provider, you may be able to pursue legal action by filing a medical malpractice claim against them to receive compensation for any losses incurred.
Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice?
In most cases, doctors are the ones who are held accountable for medical malpractice cases. However, nurses and other healthcare professionals can also be held liable under certain circumstances.
In addition, hospitals and clinics may also be sued for medical malpractice if their employees were negligent in providing care or if there was poor oversight leading to an incident of medical negligence. In some cases, insurance companies may also be named as defendants in a medical malpractice lawsuit if they were involved in denying liability or refusing payment for a valid claim.
Victims of medical malpractice have the right to seek justice and hold those responsible accountable by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against them. Consider speaking with a knowledgeable attorney to identify all the parties that can be named as defendants in your medical malpractice lawsuit.
Basic Elements of a Claim
Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need to make sure that your claim meets the following elements:
The doctor/patient relationship. The first element is establishing that a doctor/patient relationship exists between the doctor and the patient. This means showing that the patient had sought out and received treatment from the medical professional. The doctor must have agreed to provide medical care and treatment for the patient, not just given advice or performed a physical exam.
Negligence. Once the relationship has been established, it needs to be proven that there was negligence on behalf of the doctor. Negligence means that the doctor failed to meet their standard duty of care when treating the patient, meaning they did not perform up to par with what would be expected from any reasonable healthcare professional in similar circumstances.
Injury caused by negligence. The third element is showing how this negligence caused injury or harm to the patient. It must be proven that if not for the negligence on behalf of the healthcare provider, then this injury would not have occurred. It must be directly linked back to their negligent behavior or inaction.
Damages. Finally, damages must be proven in order for a medical malpractice claim to succeed. Damages are defined as losses suffered due to the injury sustained by negligence, including lost wages, pain and suffering (mental anguish), additional medical expenses incurred because of negligent treatment like rehabilitation costs or medications prescribed because of misdiagnosis or undiagnosed illnesses/injuries/diseases, disability, disfigurement, loss of companionship, and others. All these damages need to be quantified in terms of monetary value before being presented in court as part of a successful claim against a healthcare provider or institution responsible for providing negligent care.
Medical malpractice claims can seem daunting at first glance, but understanding each component will help you navigate through it successfully if you find yourself considering filing one.
Recovery Begins With a Call
Medical malpractice is an unfortunately common occurrence that can lead to devastating consequences such as injury or death. If you believe you have been the victim of medical negligence, it’s important that you contact an experienced attorney who specializes in this area of law so they can help you get the justice you deserve. Call our medical malpractice attorneys at Adams Cross, LLC to discuss the details of your case during a free consultation.