When a medical professional performs below the accepted standard of care, their negligent acts or omissions can cause significant harm to patients. Misdiagnoses, misreading test results, surgical errors, and other issues may lead to a worsening of the original condition, a new condition, or several other health problems. While medical malpractice has noticeable physical effects, it also has emotional and financial impacts that might not be as immediately apparent. Anyone injured by a medical professional’s negligence may have the right to seek compensation for damages they sustained. Because these are some of the most difficult cases to litigate, it is vital that experienced and skilled legal counsel represents claimants.
At Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., we are ready to leverage our knowledge and talents to pursue justice for medical malpractice victims. Please call our Kansas City lawyers at (888) 398-2277 or contact us online today to schedule an appointment.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional does or doesn’t do something when treating a patient that results in injury to that individual. Not all medical errors reach the level of malpractice.
For a medical professional’s negligence to be considered malpractice, they must have:
- Violated the standard of care: Those working in the medical profession are required to carry out their duties in adherence to the accepted standards of the field. Generally, that means they provide treatment in a way that a similarly situated and reasonably prudent professional would.
- Caused injury: The patient must have suffered an injury because the medical professional acted below the standard of care. In other words, absent the professional's actions or inactions, the patient would not have been harmed.
- Caused damages: The patient must have sustained significant damages to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Damages include things like pain/suffering and past and future medical bills. Typically, small damages are not enough to warrant a medical malpractice claim because the cost of litigation would outweigh the potential financial recovery.
Medical malpractice can take various forms.
A few examples include the following:
- Missed diagnoses
- Surgical errors
- Improper medical dosage
- Premature discharge
- Failure to order the correct tests
Types of Harm Patients Can Suffer
A medical professional who performs below accepted standards places the patient at risk. The consequences of medical malpractice are far-reaching, affecting various aspects of the patient’s life.
Some of the effects of medical malpractice include the following:
- Physical impacts: Because of the medical professional’s negligence, the patient’s health condition may not get treated or may worsen. Likewise, they could develop a new problem. Depending on the type of malpractice, they may lose their hearing, vision, use of a body part or organ, or other physical issues.
- Emotional impacts: Going through a traumatic event such as medical malpractice can have various psychological and emotional effects. The patient might suffer depression or anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, or emotional distress.
- Financial impacts: Victims of medical malpractice might have to undergo additional surgeries, receive ongoing therapy, take medications, and make frequent doctor visits. The costs for these extra medical treatments can add up. To make matters worse, the patient may be unable to return to their previous job or might have to stop working entirely, affecting their income.
Pursuing a Claim for Compensation
The impacts of a medical malpractice case can never truly be erased. Still, victims can take legal action to help relieve some of the burdens they face because of what happened.
By filing a claim, victims may receive compensation for damages. These include economic damages, such as lost earnings capacity, ongoing medical expenses, and rehabilitative costs. They can also include non-economic damages like those associated with psychological harm, extreme pain, and emotional distress.
Pursuing compensation can also serve as a way to hold the responsible party accountable for the harm they caused.
Getting Help from an Attorney
Patients are right to expect doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to hold themselves to the profession's accepted standards when providing treatment. However, if negligence occurs, responding and taking legal action is crucial.
As mentioned earlier, medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex. They can also be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful. Going through these matters without the help of an attorney is inadvisable.
Even before the case is filed, a lawyer can evaluate it and determine whether pursuing a claim is reasonable, considering the costs to litigate and the financial recovery one can expect. Additionally, the attorney can gather necessary documents, conduct legal research, and develop arguments to demonstrate that the medical professional breached their duty of care and caused injury resulting in damages.
Speak with Us During a Free Consultation
If you were injured because of a medical professional’s negligent acts or omissions, reach out to our Kansas City lawyers at Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. We are steadfast in our pursuit of justice and fair compensation for injured parties.
To get started, please contact us at (888) 398-2277.