Medical Malpractice refers to an event or circumstance in which a healthcare professional’s actions or lack of, result in injury or harm to the patient. Essentially, when the care provided to the patient is substandard and it results in negative consequences for the patient, malpractice has been committed. It is important to note that in order to establish (and prove) a medical professional committed malpractice it must be proven that
a) They made a mistake
b) That the mistake resulted in damage.
Errors can be a result of commission or omission. In errors of commission the doctor, nurse or technicians made a decision that resulted in some form of damage to the patient. On the other hand, errors of omission refer to the lack of action that results in pain, suffering or even death to the patient. There are a wide variety of circumstances in which errors of omission can be made. Any situation in which a professional fails to follow protocol, and that failure is to the detriment of the patient, this is considered an omission. In these instances, the healthcare provider is guilty of negligence. Common instances are when a doctor or nurse forgets to administer a drug, adjust equipment or monitor the patient’s status.
On the other hand, unfortunately, errors of commission refer to instances when healthcare professionals remember to perform their tasks but do so incorrectly. An example of this would be an incorrect calculation of a drug that is administered resulting in a lethal overdose. In many cases, malpractice is a result of lapses in communication and/or judgment.
Medical Malpractice often adversely affects the victim’s life. Once a patient’s life is irreparably changed they are entitled to seek damages. Determining who is responsible and at fault is usually a long process. A thorough investigation into the facts needs to be conducted and just because it is determined a mistake was made doesn’t automatically equate to a malpractice settlement. In order to obtain an adequate settlement, your attorney needs to establish causation. Usually the most substantial evidence for causation is the word of an expert witness who can state and show that the pain, suffering, loss of function or other ailments is a direct result of the doctor or nurses negligence.
Many times, victims of medical malpractice lose their ability to perform tasks, live a normal life, and be self-sufficient. In addition to the lifestyle changes, victims are subject to chronic pain and suffering. On top of the physical effects, the psychological damage that is done is debilitating. Even when the nervous system is not damaged, victims lose the ability to do the things they are most passionate about. Once a victim is no longer able body, they become dependent on technologies, medication and professional assistance just to survive. In addition to that, most people who fall victim to malpractice are unable to work and earn a living. All of this needs to be considered and a settlement should not only take into account the current losses but also any future implications and costs associated with life moving forward.
This is extremely emotional for victims and families, which is why it is essential to have a compassionate, aggressive attorney who will fight for your best interests moving forward. Insurance companies and institutions are going to look out for their own best interests and a skilled malpractice attorney will look out for yours. The process can be taxing and while a seasoned attorney greatly increases your chances of receiving monetary compensation, they can also see the process through during this difficult time allowing the victim to adjust to their life and future.
Riley, Williams & Piatt are Indianapolis Attorneys who have successfully recovered millions for victims of Medical Malpractice. Contact them for a case evaluation today.