Improper Medical Treatment Attorneys
When visiting their doctor, patients rightfully expect that a certain standard of care is provided. Providing improper treatment is a breach of the duty owed to the patient. Generally speaking, improper treatment occurs whenever your physician fails to provide you with timely and correct care. It involves any circumstance in which a patient’s condition is not handled appropriately. Often, failure to diagnose a condition leads directly to improper medical treatment. Both can exist and are often litigated together.
According to the Journal of Patient Safety, approximately 500,000 deaths occur as a consequence of medical errors. This astounding figure places medical errors behind only heart disease and cancer as leading causes of death in the United States. For various reasons, only about 1 to 2 percent of these are ever litigated. A significant number of medical errors are a result of improper medical treatments.
It is important to realize that not every imperfect outcome is the result of negligence. Society does not expect doctors to be infallible, and allows for some errors in judgment. Equally as important – there are times when physicians do everything right, and the outcome is not good. On the other hand, when the wrong treatment is prescribed due to negligence, the doctor may be held liable if their wrongdoing causes you injury.
McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm can help you identify when your doctor has behaved negligently and hold them accountable for their wrongdoing. With our help, you can recover financial compensation to help pay for the injuries and expenses you incur as a result of your doctor’s improper treatment. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us today by calling (479) 783-0036.
How do treatment errors typically happen?
According to The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, most treatment errors occur for the same general reasons.
In some cases, the patient receives no treatment at all. This usually stems from a misdiagnosis, lack of knowledge, or overt and purposeful negligence.
Another common error is being given improper treatment after being misdiagnosed. The improper treatment may include the wrong surgical procedures or medical interventions.
Medication errors are a significant source of improper treatment. A medication error has been defined as a failure in the treatment process that leads to harm to the patient. Between 500,000 and 1.5 million preventable adverse events from medication errors occur each year in the United States, with an estimated one medication error daily for each hospitalized patient.
Finally, there can be a delay in diagnosis which results in improper medical treatment. For example, a missed appendicitis diagnosis may result in a failure to perform life-saving surgery.
Physicians are required to promote patient welfare. This includes being committed to lifelong learning and to maintaining the medical knowledge and clinical skills necessary for the provision of quality care. There are abundant professional resources that are readily available to assist the physician. Since medical information has increased, it is now easier than ever for doctors to stay abreast in their fields.
Many instances of improper medical treatment are the result of a physician’s medical knowledge becoming obsolete. Staying abreast in medicine is a proactive process, and physicians have a duty to maintain competence. Medicine is evolving at a rapid pace. The availability of abundant resources makes it reasonable for physicians to maintain core competencies. Without doing so, they risk losing relevance and posing a danger to the public.
How are diagnoses missed?
A wide range of actions can be defined under the heading of improper treatments. Some of the more common missteps include:
- A doctor may overtly miss or misread a test or report that shows a treatable disease. In this case, non-treatment is a form of improper treatment
- Inadequate pre- or post-operative care
- Unnecessary surgery
- Wrong side surgery
- Gauze, sponges, and tools left in the body after surgery
- Pharmaceutical mistakes such as incorrect drug or dosage
Standard of Care
A patient generally entrusts a doctor with their life. Expectations of a patient are two-fold: doctors are expected to provide medical treatment with all the knowledge and skill at their command and will not do anything to harm the patient by prescribing improper medical treatments.
The law requires that your doctor treat you “at a level of care that a reasonably skilled doctor, with a similar background and in the same community would have provided under similar circumstances.” Failure to do so is a breach of the physician’s duty to the patient.
Improper medical treatment liability is not limited to physicians. Any healthcare provider can be sued for improperly treating his patient, including nurses, nurse practitioners, medical technicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, and dentists.
Getting the Legal Assistance You Need
Litigating negligence claims based on improper medical treatment is complicated. For instance, your lawyer must establish that the injury suffered was directly linked to improper medical treatment. This is referred to as causation and can be tricky, because the opposition will likely argue that the injury was preexisting, or else was caused by something unrelated to the treatment error. You will also have to prove that your healthcare provider was negligent in the eyes of the law. Doing so will likely be impossible without the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Why Choose McCutchen & Sexton?
If you or a loved one has been injured by improper medical treatment, you need an attorney who will zealously advocate for your rights. You have likely endured needless pain and suffering, as well as financial losses that may seem overwhelming. The lawyers at McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm have won many improper medical treatment cases in the past, and we are ready to do the same for you.
Contact our medical malpractice attorneys at McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm today at (479) 783-0036 so we can start to build your case and help you to rebuild your life.