When Can You Sue For Medical Malpractice?

There are several instances in which you can sue for medical malpractice. The following represent the most common medical malpractice types: 

  • Anesthesia errors — Injury can occur if your anesthesiologist administers too much or too little anesthesia or is negligent in monitoring your vital signs during surgery. 
  • Emergency room negligence — Emergency room negligence can happen when emergency rooms get overcrowded. When ER patients are neglected, they may receive the wrong treatment or medication. 
  • Failure to secure informed consent — You have a right to direct what happens to your body, but your doctor or healthcare provider may fail to get consent prior to providing you with treatment.
  • Healthcare worker fatigue — Because healthcare workers often work long hours, they sometimes make costly mistakes. 
  • Hospital-related infections — Your nurse, doctor, or other healthcare providers, may contribute to you receiving an infection while in their care due to sub-standard sanitization.
  • Inadequate diagnosis — If your doctor fails to diagnose your condition or if he or she diagnoses the wrong condition, the results can be critical.
  • Medication errors — Doctors, pharmacists, or other medical professionals can make mistakes with your medication, including prescribing, fulfilling, or administering medication.
  • Surgical negligence —Mistakes in the operating room can cause serious consequences. Making an incision in the wrong place might damage neighboring organs or cause permanent nerve damage. 

How Long Do I Have to Sue for Medical Malpractice?

The rules for medical malpractice statutes of limitations differ from state to state, but generally, a lawsuit must be brought as soon after the injury occurs as possible. Depending on the state you live in, the time period could be six months to two years. If you don’t file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the court will dismiss your case. 

When the statute of limitations begins also depends on the state. In certain states, the clock starts ticking when the negligence occurred; in other states, it begins when you should have discovered the injury. 

A medical malpractice attorney can help you learn the statute of limitations in your state and how they apply in your case.

How Do I Know I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, hospital, or other health care professional causes an injury to the patient through a negligent act or omission. The negligence could be caused by mistakes in treatment, diagnosis, health management, or aftercare.

Your claim must contain the following characteristics in order to be deemed medical malpractice under the law:

  • Your standard of care was violated — The standard of care is a set of medical standards recognized by the profession and acknowledged by law as being the acceptable threshold of medical treatment that would be performed by sensible health care professionals under similar circumstances.
  • Negligence caused your injury — Proving a violation of the standard of care is not enough for a medical malpractice claim. You must also prove your injury was caused by negligence. If your injury happened without negligence, or negligence happened and did not cause an injury, there is no case.
  • Significant damages resulted from your injury — For a medical malpractice claim to be viable, you must show medical negligence led to an injury that caused hardship and suffering, significant medical bills, loss of income, unusual pain, and disability. 

If you feel your doctor or healthcare professional was negligent in your care contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for a consultation and case review.