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Common Medical Malpractice Questions

The laws and procedures surrounding Medical Malpractice can seem daunting if you aren’t familiar with the specifics. We’ve compiled some of the most common questions asked regarding Medical Malpractice to help you better understand what is it and what it involves.

Q: What is the statute of limitations on Medical Malpractice cases?

A: In general, the statute of limitations for Medical Malpractice cases is two years. However, that can sometimes be open for interpretation. You have two years to file from the time the incident occurred, or from when a family member, loved one, or guardian should have realized the issue. The later part of that statement is what is open-ended. A reasonable argument needs to be made to justify any delays in realization of a potential health issue.

Q: What qualifies as Medical Malpractice?

A: Medical Malpractice can be broadly defined as any time in which an injury results from a medical professional failing to adhere to the medical community standards of care. Wrongful death, medication errors, birth injuries, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and negligence are some examples of Medical Malpractice. If you still have questions about whether what you or a loved one are experiencing qualifies as malpractice, please contact us.

Q: What is the difference between Malpractice and Negligence?

A: There are several types of Negligence; Malpractice is a type of negligence that involves a licensed professional. As such, Medical Malpractice is the negligence of a licensed medical professional- including doctors, nurses, and technicians- that is caused by carelessness. If a medical malpractice injury is found to be due to intentional harm, it can become classified as criminal negligence which has its own set of standards and procedures.

Q: What is the most common type of Medical Malpractice case?

A: Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are the most common types of malpractice case brought to court. Not only can these mistakes cause a delay in treatment at a critical point in care, they can also cause incorrect and potentially harmful medications to be prescribed causing even further harm. This scenario is frustrating for patients and can mean extended treatment times, worsening symptoms, or even fatality.

Q: Is informed consent always required prior to beginning treatment?

A: Informed consent refers to a patient’s right to fully understand the risks associated with a recommended medical treatment or procedure in order to make a decision that is right for them. In order for a medical professional to proceed with treatment, they must receive informed consent from the patient, guardian, or loved one. However there are certain scenarios in which informed consent. In the case of an emergency in which immediate treatment is required in order to preserve the patient’s life, it is not necessary for the medical professional in charge to receive informed consent. There are also some exceptions surrounding the anticipated emotional response of the patient and informed consent.

Should a doctor anticipate an overly emotional response, anxiety, or a response that would worsen a patient’s condition, details can be made vaguer or withheld entirely. This is a difficult scenario and is a breadth of supporting information is needed in order to make a solid decision.

If you’re still unsure about whether or not you should pursue a medical malpractice claim, contact us to schedule a consultation. As is the case with most law suits, the details make the difference.