What You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice

Nov 06, 2020
by The AMA Law Team

What You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice

Whenever you suffer an injury or fall sick with some ailment, you visit a doctor or some other healthcare professional for treatment. Typically, they will diagnose the root of the problem and then create a treatment plan to improve your condition, whether through medication, physical therapy, alternative treatments, or surgery. More often than not, they do just that.

However, in many cases, healthcare professionals fail to live up to this duty. For one reason or another, a doctor or healthcare professional acts with negligence or recklessness, and patients pay the price. In these cases of medical malpractice, healthcare professionals leave patients with injuries or side effects worse than what they initially came to get treated for in the first place.

Whether through misdiagnosis, dangerous drugs, or defective products, you can and should hold these healthcare professionals accountable for their actions. Through medical malpractice claims, you can hold these doctors responsible while seeking compensation for the damages you suffered. Medical negligence can come in many forms, which makes these cases complicated.

That is why you need to assistance of a trusted medical malpractice attorney on your side. At AMA Law, our team of Oklahoma medical malpractice attorneys has years of experience assisting countless clients recover damages for their injuries. Through our expansive legal knowledge and aptitude, we have an advantage in the courtroom. If you suffered injuries due to medical negligence, contact AMA Law and let us help.

Types of Medical Malpractice

There is not one form of medical malpractice. It can happen in a wide range of situations for various reasons, whether from a doctor leaving a foreign object in a patient during surgery or overprescribing a patient. Some of the most common types of medical negligence include:

  • Failure to Diagnose: A doctor fails to diagnose a condition, which would have led to correct treatment and a better outcome.
  • Misdiagnosis: A doctor fails to diagnose the right condition or disease, which prevents the patients from receiving the appropriate treatment.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: A doctor fails to diagnose an illness or injury early, which allows the issue to progress and worsen.
  • Surgical Errors: A doctor makes a surgical error when they perform the wrong procedure, perform unnecessary surgery, damage neighboring organs, nerves, or tissues during the surgery, use nonsterile equipment, leave foreign objects (surgical equipment, sponges, etc.) in the patient’s body, and much more.
  • Anesthesia Errors: An anesthesiologist provides the wrong amount of anesthesia, fails to review and note any patient risk factors, fails to provide the patient with correct instructions and information before the surgery, or fails to monitor a patient’s vitals.
  • Prescription Errors: A doctor prescribes the wrong prescription drug, overprescribes, fails to warn a patient about potential side effects, and more.
  • Defective Products: While the FDA regulates medical devices, they can often be defective, either by a design or manufacturing defect that leads to patients suffering injuries or even death.

These are just a handful of medical malpractice cases that our Oklahoma personal injury law firm has seen. If you received medical care that you believe led to adverse reactions or further injury, contact AMA Law and let us review your case. You may have the right to file a medical malpractice claim.

Common Injuries

There are plenty of things that can happen in medical negligence cases. While not every case leads to injury, many of them do. These injuries can range from mild to severe, depending on the circumstances. Some of the most common injuries sustained in medical negligence cases include:

  • Infections
  • Damages to organs, tissues, or nerves
  • Internal bleeding
  • Illness or disease
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Brain damage
  • Overdosing
  • Death

Requirements When Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Before you start the legal process of a medical malpractice claim, there are a few things you need to prove in order to ensure your case is a success. Some of these are:

  • The Existence of a Doctor/Patient Relationship: You must prove that you had a preexisting relationship with the physician you are filing a claim against, proving that you had hired them, and they agreed to provide treatment.
  • A Violation of The Standard of Care: When a doctor/patient enter a relationship, they agree to a standard of care. This standard is accepted as an adequate medical treatment by any competent medical professional. You must prove that a doctor was negligent or reckless, and their actions led to your injuries. Remember, just because you are unhappy with treatment does not mean negligence occurred. They must have caused harm that no competent doctor under normal circumstances would do.
  • You Sustained Significant Damages: For your case to be viable, you must prove that the injuries you suffered resulted in significant damages due to medical malpractice. You must show that you suffered a disability, loss of income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, or significant medical bills (past, present, and future).

Additionally, you will also need an expert testimony to establish that malpractice or negligence did occur. Oklahoma Statutes Section 12-19.1 states that “the plaintiff shall be required to present the testimony of an expert witness to establish a breach of the relevant standard of care and that such breach of duty resulted in harm to the plaintiff.” This witness testimony is a crucial part of your medical malpractice claim.

Filing a Claim

When you experience medical negligence, you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim in Oklahoma. According to Oklahoma Statutes Section 76-18, “(a)n action for damages for injury or death against any physician, healthcare provider, or hospital licensed under the laws of this state…shall be brought within two years of the date the plaintiff knew or should have known, through the exercise of reasonable diligence.”

That means you must file a medical malpractice claim within those two years, or a court won’t hear your case. However, if you did not find that negligence occurred right away, you can prove that you could not have discovered an error through the “exercise of reasonable diligence.”

These cases are incredibly complicated. There is a bevy of laws that regulate medical malpractice. Fortunately, the expert Oklahoma medical malpractice attorneys at AMA Law have years of experience with these cases. Our knowledge and skills give us an edge that evens the playing field against those that harmed you.

If you believe that a healthcare professional’s negligence or recklessness led to you suffering injuries, contact AMA Law and let us fight for you.