Medical negligence claims are legal actions taken against healthcare providers who fail to provide adequate care to patients. Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, can have severe consequences for patients, including injury, illness, or even death. In this article, we will explore what medical negligence claims are, the types of claims, and how to file them.
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide a standard level of care, resulting in injury or harm to a patient. This can include errors in diagnosis, treatment, medication, surgery, and more. Negligence can occur due to a lack of skill, knowledge, or care on the part of the healthcare provider.
Types of Medical Negligence Claims
There are many types of medical negligence claims, including:
Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: When a healthcare provider fails to properly diagnose or delays the diagnosis of a medical condition, resulting in harm or injury to the patient.
Surgical errors: When a surgeon makes an error during a procedure, such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving a foreign object inside the patient’s body.
Medication errors: When a patient receives the wrong medication, dosage, or has a negative reaction to medication due to a healthcare provider’s negligence.
Birth injuries: When a healthcare provider fails to provide adequate care during childbirth, leading to injury to the mother or newborn.
How to File Medical Negligence Claims
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered harm due to medical negligence, you may be able to file a medical negligence claim. To file a claim, you should:
1. Contact a Medical Negligence Lawyer: Consulting with an experienced medical negligence lawyer can help you understand the legal process and determine if you have a viable claim.
2. Get Medical Records: Obtain copies of your medical records, including any test results, charts, and reports that relate to your injury or harm.
3. Document Evidence: Take notes and document any evidence that can support your claim, including witness statements, photographs, and records.
4. File a Complaint: Start the legal process by filing a written complaint of negligence with the appropriate healthcare provider, hospital, or medical institution.
Medical negligence claims can be complex and challenging, but they offer patients the opportunity to seek justice and compensation for harm or injury caused by healthcare providers. If you are considering filing a medical negligence claim, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced medical negligence lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you receive the compensation you deserve.
WHEN DO I HAVE A MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIM?
If you have been treated for a medical condition and because of that treatment you have suffered adverse effects you may have a medical negligence claim. The common example is that a patient enters a hospital to have surgery done on a part of his/her body and comes out of surgery with conditions that they did not arrive with.
For example, a patient enters a hospital to have the right leg removed and due to negligence the left one is removed instead. A medical negligence claims can also stem from a misdiagnosis of an illness, failure to treat a condition according to currently accepted standards in medical treatment and, very often, negligence in administering anesthesia.
WHEN SHOULD I FILE MY CLAIM?
A medical negligence claim usually has a short statute of limitations. In New York, for example, the effected party has a window of two (2) years and six (6) months to file his/her complaint with the appropriate court. The rationale behind this is that insurance companies have a heavy lobbying industry and wish to curtail your ability to file suit.
The statute of limitation, for that reason, does not begin to run at the time that you noticed the malpractice but from the time you should have known. For this reason it is very important that, upon the discovery of a possible medical negligence claim, one does not sit on his rights and one consults an attorney and files a medical negligence claim as soon as possible.
WHAT IS COVERED IN THE DEFINITION OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE?
Although it would seem to a normal person that any and all actions of negligence taken upon a medical professional would be fit for a medical negligence claim, this is incorrect. States define what constitutes medical negligence differently. For instance, in some States leaving a foreign object, such as a sponge or surgical tool, inside a patient does not carry with it the requisite thirty (30) month statute of limitations.
Instead it has only a one (1) year period to which the plaintiff knew or should have known of the malpractice. To a common person it may seem totally illogical that something of this nature would have a shorter statute of limitations as opposed to a longer one considering the difficulty in detection. The honest truth is this is what the law is. When considering a medical negligence claim it is of the plaintiff’s best interest to discover the intricacies of the statute of limitations as soon as possible and plan his/her suit accordingly.
One last wrinkle in the statute of limitations is that for ongoing medical treatment. The definition of most States’ statute of limitations refers to the date of last treatment as the starting point. If an individual is seeking medical treatment that is ongoing and it results in malpractice the date that the statute of limitations begins to run is the end of the treatment. A good example is when a patient is treated for cancer. Even if the malpractice occurred in year two (2) of the treatment and he/she continued treatment until year four (4) his/her statute of limitations would not begin to run until year four (4).