When you seek help from a doctor, you expect them to be cautious and know what they’re doing. If you have serious pain or illness, trustworthy medical professionals are your only option to get back to good health. Unfortunately, not every patient receives the proper care they deserve from medical professionals. Medical negligence occurs far more often than most people would imagine. It’s one of the leading causes of death in America and there are thousands of medical negligence lawsuits each year. For victims of medical negligence, there are legal options available to them to help regain control of what’s been taken from them due to neglect.
Medical professionals who act negligently and harm their patients need to be held accountable. At Latona Law, we strongly believe this and will fight for victims of medical negligence in Bethlehem.
How is Medical Negligence Determined?
Legal matters are always complex, but ones involving medical negligence tend to be even more so. This is because lawyers not only have to have expert knowledge of the legal field but of the medical field as well. For most medical negligence cases, other medical professionals will need to be brought in to prove if negligence occurred. Doctors and hospitals will already have the legal assistance to try and show that they did not act negligently. They’re prepared for events like this to happen ahead of time, whereas you were blindsided by the event. Because of the legal teams available to medical professionals, proving medical negligence is difficult without a qualified lawyer.
In a medical negligence case, the following five things need to be proven:
Doctor-patient relationship – First, you need to show that you and the medical professional had a relationship. This means you sought treatment from them and they agreed to take on this responsibility.
Duty of care – Anytime medical professionals treat their patients, they’re legally obligated to treat them with a “standard of care.” This level of care is what any other competent medical professional with a similar background would do in the same situation.
Breach of duty – When a medical professional doesn’t provide the standard of care and causes additional harm to their patient, breach of duty occurs.
Causation – If a negligent act did occur, it needs to be proven that it’s the direct cause of a patient’s problems.
Damages – The harm done to a patient needs to have resulted in damages for the patient, such as financial or emotional damages.
Common Types of Medical Negligence
Anytime a patient gets treatment from a medical professional they could be at risk of medical negligence. Even if you’re initially being seen for a small issue, medical negligence can turn it into serious health complications. Many people would assume that once medical neglect occurs, most medical professionals would take caution to prevent it from happening again. In reality, medical negligence in the same situations occurs repeatedly each year.
Some of the most common types of medical negligence we see include:
Anesthesia errors – Administering too much anesthesia could lead to brain damage and other issues throughout the body. If too little is administered, it could cause the patient to be subjected to pain during an operation.
Diagnosis errors – If a medical professional does not thoroughly listen to patients or neglect to give them proper tests, they could be misdiagnosed. This can cause the patient’s actual condition to worsen without treatment or force them to undergo unnecessary treatment that can harm their health.
Prescription errors – A doctor may prescribe a patient with the wrong medication or the correct medication but in an unhealthy dosage. They could also be given the medication of another patient by mistake.
Surgical errors – Surgeons may operate on the wrong body part or the wrong patient altogether. They may also leave surgical equipment inside of the patient, such as a sponge. Infections and other complications can occur after the operation without proper care.
Damages in a Medical Negligence Case
Of course, no amount of money will undo the heartbreaking and painful events that have already occurred to you. Victims of medical neglect will face damages for years or a lifetime after the event occurs. After neglect occurs, you and your family will be left to deal with the major financial expenses it’s caused. Because of someone else’s neglect, your family could be struggling to make ends meet. On top of that, you also need to deal with the emotional damage it’s caused you. Receiving compensation for the damages that have been can make it easier for you and your loved ones to heal from this experience.
Some, but not all, of the damages you could be compensated for as a victim of medical negligence include:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of a spouse, or parent for minors
- Lost wages from missing work due to injury
- Physical pain caused by a medical professional
- Medical bills from treating your injury
Medical Negligence Lawyers in Bethlehem
Medical negligence is preventable and should never happen to anyone. To get through this, you need to work with lawyers with extensive knowledge, experience, and resources. At Latona Law, our lawyers take on only cases that involve medical malpractice. This gives us the ability to handle your case with the care and precision that it deserves. We’re ready to help you get justice for the harm that has been done to you and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
We offer a free consultation for victims of medical negligence or their loved ones in Bethlehem. Contact us today to go over any questions and concerns you may have.