Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is quoted as saying, “primum non nocere,” which is Latin for “First, do no harm.” A modern interpretation of this principle is that a healthcare provider must always properly prescribe the correct treatments or tests and perform them competently. If a healthcare provider violates this principle and causes unnecessary harm to the patient, the healthcare provider may be held accountable for his or her actions.
What Is the Definition of Medical Malpractice?
There is no universal definition of medical malpractice, but when a healthcare provider causes harm to a patient due to improper treatment that results in damages, it may constitute medical malpractice. The extent of the damages as a result of the healthcare provider’s mistake determines the severity of the malpractice, so if a healthcare provider does or does not do something that results in injury, trauma, or death, it is more likely to legally be considered medical malpractice.
What Are the Types of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can come in a variety of forms, and these are just a sample:
- Diagnostic errors, such as failing to diagnose a condition or prescribing the wrong diagnosis.
- Surgical errors, such as mistakenly damaging internal organs or operating on the wrong body part.
- Medication errors, such as prescribing the wrong medication or administering the wrong dosage.
- Anesthesia errors, such as administering the wrong amount of anesthesia or causing complications due to failing to investigate a patient’s medical history.
- Childbirth errors, such as causing harm to the fetus or the mother due to negligence.
If a healthcare provider commits any of these mistakes and it results in damages, it may be considered medical malpractice.
What Can You Do If You’re a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If you believe you may be a victim of medical malpractice and want to pursue a case with a medical malpractice lawyer, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company and inform them that you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice. Afterward, collect all your medical records from the healthcare provider. These records are vital to your case and may help prove malpractice has occurred. You may also use these records when you seek a second opinion. A second opinion may help prove malpractice; in addition, this provider may be able to identify and treat any harm you may have suffered as a result of malpractice.
Medical malpractice can lead to severe and long-lasting complications and even death, and a medical malpractice like one from Andersen Morse & Linthorst may be able to hold the healthcare provider accountable. If you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice, consult a medical malpractice lawyer to explore your options.