Medical malpractice can have long-lasting, devastating effects. If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, it may be helpful to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party (i.e. the physician, other health professional, or medical facility). The following will discuss some of the most common types of medical malpractice cases.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a term used to describe an occurrence where a hospital, physician, or other health care professional causes injury or death to a patient, either from negligence or omission. In these cases, the injured patient (or his family, in cases where the patient dies) is allowed to sue the liable party to receive compensation for his injuries.
Georgia Medical Malpractice Law
O.C.G.A. § 9-3-70 outlines Georgia’s law regarding medical malpractice. This statute provides a cause of action for the recovery of damages based on the death or personal injury of any person in which it is alleged that such death or injury resulted from the negligence of a healthcare provider.
What are the Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases?
The following are some common examples of medical malpractice cases:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: Many medical malpractice cases often result from either misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. A misdiagnosis can occur when a physician fails to do any of the following:
- Identify clinical signs and symptoms
- Order required medical testing or complete necessary follow-up procedures
- Refer the patient to the appropriate specialist
- Failure to treat: A physician’s failure to treat a patient is a violation of that physician’s duty of care. Failure to treat can be exhibited in any of the following ways:
- Releasing a patient too early from the hospital
- Failing to provide necessary instructions for follow-up care
- Failing to order required medical tests
- Failing to consult a patient’s medical history before prescribing medication or treatment
- Prescription drug errors: When health care providers make errors in prescribing drugs, it can be extremely detrimental to the health of the patient. These types of errors can include:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong dosage
- Failing to recognize potentially dangerous drug interactions
- Neglecting to recognize signs of drug abuse in a patient
- Surgical or procedural errors: If a physician makes an error while conducting surgery, it can literally put the patient’s life at risk. Some various types of surgical errors include the following:
- Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient
- Incidentally leaving surgical tools inside the patient
- Failing to adhere to proper surgical procedures before, during, and after the surgery
- Childbirth injuries: Injuries that occur during childbirth as a result of a physician’s negligence can have devastating, long-lasting effects on a child. Some of these types of injuries that typically occur during the childbirth process can include:
- Providing substandard prenatal care
- Failing to provide a C-section when necessary
- Mishandling a baby during or after birth
- Improper use of forceps or using excessive force when removing a baby from the vaginal canal