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A medical injury lawyer may be required when a healthcare professional fails to provide treatment at the accepted standard. Every year, more than 100,000 people in the U.S. are killed due to negligence or error caused by healthcare providers. Between 2000 and 2002, more than a million patient safety infractions incurred. These errors may cost a victim hundreds of thousands of dollars, along with any health complications caused by the incident. The financial burden and subsequent health costs prompt around 15,000 malpractice suits every year.
In these suits, the plaintiff must establish four points to prove damages to the court. A medical injury lawyer must show that:
• A service was owed. The healthcare provider has a legqal duty to provide adequate care when taking in a patient.
• Standards were not followed. The healthcare provider must adhere to an accepted course of treatment for the patient.
• The incident resulted in injury. The plaintiff must show that the provider’s error or negligence was directly responsible for the injury.
• Damage occurred. Every claim must demonstrate physical, financial or emotional damage that arose due to negligence or error.
Proving all four requires extensive documentation, patient and doctor interviews and expert testimony. A victim may have trouble gathering this documentation and deciding what facts to show during a deposition. Locating the best experts may also be difficult. Because these cases are so complex, it helps to have an experienced medical injury lawyer. In Houston, only a handful of attorneys have the experience and case history to properly handle any type of malpractice suit. Many attorneys offer free consultations to people considering filing a suit. During this consultation, the victim should verify that the attorney has overseen similar suits in the past and secured a favorable outcome.
Malpractice covers a wide range of incidents, including doctor negligence and error. Birth injuries, misdiagnoses, surgical and prescription drug errors, or delayed treatment are all common reasons for filing a suit. However, a medical injury lawyer can help in many other situations, as negligence and error can cause a large number of health complications. Misdiagnoses are common in healthcare, but some of them are caused by incomplete testing. If the doctor fails to investigate the patient’s medical history, they may not be prepared enough to diagnose the patient. If the doctor is slow to perform tests or rushes through the process, the patient should consider filing a suit if they are harmed.
Prescription drugs are involved in many incidents of error or negligence. Prescription drugs can interact with other drugs dangerously or cause severe or fatal allergic reactions. Occasionally, the doctor will order a dosage that is either too low or too high. When seeing a pregnant patient, the doctor must be sure that any prescribed drugs will not cause birth complications. The FDA regularly releases information regarding drug safety in pregnant patients. A doctor that doesn’t remain up to date on safety research may prescribe a drug that causes severe birth deformities.
Finally, surgical errors, like operating at the wrong site or administering too much anesthesia, can result in permanent damage to the patient.
A medical injury lawyer may be able to help in any of these situations. A patient who believes they have been harmed by error or negligence may be able to get restitution with the help of an expert malpractice attorney.