We trust our doctors, nurses and other types of healthcare providers to provide personalized, attentive care to help us heal and keep us healthy. And for the most part, they do. But healthcare providers are, like us, human beings and just like us, sometimes they make mistakes. 

And sometimes, their mistakes injure us, prolong our illnesses or force us to pursue more drastic medical measures than we’d initially anticipated needing. Their mistakes can cost us tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, life-changing injuries and lost opportunities to continue doing the things we love most. 

An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you recover what you lose when you face medical negligence through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice is a complicated legal area and if you’ve been injured, you need an advocate who’ll work hard on your behalf to get you the money you deserve. Here are a few key facts anybody who’s suffered a medical injury should know:

Medical Malpractice Stems from Negligence 

In a medical malpractice case, “negligence” is defined as a healthcare provider’s failure to comply with the standard of practice for a given medical condition in a way that another healthcare provider wouldn’t reasonably have done. 

The standard of care for a medical condition is the standard, accepted treatment course taken by healthcare providers when facing that condition. For example, the standard of care for a 2nd degree burn is a cold compress followed by a daily cleaning of the wound with antimicrobial soap. When faced with a patient suffering from a 2nd degree burn, a doctor is reasonably expected to follow this standard of care. 

There are circumstances where a healthcare provider might need to take action that does not comply with a set standard of care, such as when the patient is allergic to the typically prescribed medication for her illness. A doctor who takes an action under these circumstances is acting reasonably and thus not considered negligent because when faced with the same situation, any other doctor would reasonably have done the same thing. 

But a doctor who fails to give the patient any medication or a medication that’s ineffective for the patient’s illness after learning the patient has certain allergies may be deemed negligent and thus, liable for any damages the patient suffers as a result of not receiving prompt, appropriate treatment. 

Malpractice Comes in Many Forms 

When you think of “medical malpractice,” the first image that comes to mind might be a careless surgeon leaving equipment inside a patient after surgery or an obstetrician whose rough handling during birth breaks a newborn baby’s bones. While these are certainly two examples of medical malpractice, they are far from the only ones.

Other types of negligence that may be deemed acts of malpractice include:

  • Failure to order specific tests to determine a diagnosis
  • Incorrectly diagnosing a condition or failing to diagnose it at all due to a lack of testing or assumptions made about the patient’s symptoms
  • Failure to use sterile medical equipment or to maintain a sterile medical environment 
  • Discharging a patient prematurely
  • Failure to follow up with the patient after a medical procedure to ensure he is recovering as expected
  • Giving a patient the wrong medication for his condition
  • Giving the patient the wrong dosage of medication for his size
  • Giving the patient medication he cannot take safely due to allergies or other medications he currently takes
  • Performing unnecessary surgery
  • Failure to take precautions to prevent infection after surgery

All of these errors can cause the patient to suffer a new injury, a new illness or a worsened condition. This can mean anything from a longer recovery time for the patient, a worsened prognosis, significantly higher medical expenses, disability or even preventable death. 

To Recover Compensation, You Need to Prove Negligence Occurred

Through a medical malpractice claim, you can recover damages like:

  • Your medical expenses
  • Your missed wages
  • The emotional and mental anguish you experienced
  • Your reduced future earning capacity 
  • Your reduced quality of life

But in order to recover these damages, you need to prove that:

  • Your doctor failed to follow the standard of care for your condition
  • Your doctor took an action that another doctor would not have reasonably taken when in the same position
  • You suffered quantifiable damages because of your doctor’s negligence 

Your lawyer can craft a medical malpractice claim that makes all three of these points clear. Don’t wait to get started on your claim – the sooner you take action, the sooner you can potentially recover compensation to cover your losses. 

Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today

Proving medical negligence can be difficult, which is why you should work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer when you’re suffering from a medical injury. Call 617 973-9950 today to schedule your free consultation with Lovenberg & Associates, P.C. and learn more about your rights and legal options as a victim of medical negligence.