The Anatomy of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: An Inside Look with Medical Attorneys

Medical malpractice is the term used to describe the area of law that deals with a doctor’s, hospital’s, or healthcare provider’s negligence resulting in injury or death. Medical malpractice lawsuits are intricate and demanding legal cases that require attorneys to understand both medical and legal aspects comprehensively. 

Handling medical negligence or malpractice cases requires embarking on a journey of thorough investigation and analysis. Medical malpractice attorneys delve into medical records, consult and hire expert witnesses, and navigate complex legal frameworks with unwavering diligence to gather evidence and construct a solid and persuasive case. 

Our team at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst is passionate about finding justice for our clients and pursuing accountability in the healthcare industry. We are an experienced team with a proven record of favorable verdicts and settlements. Even more importantly, we have helped our clients find closure by helping them understand what happened to their loved one, and helping them to hold the negligent party accountable. This is an important step after grievous and painful situations. 

We know the challenges you may be facing after experiencing the negligence of a healthcare professional, and we can be a resource for you and your family. This article looks into some of the most common questions about medical malpractice and the role a malpractice attorney serves. 

Is Every Medical Error Malpractice? 

It is important to note that not every unfavorable outcome or medical error automatically constitutes malpractice. Establishing negligence in malpractice claims requires meticulously examining various factors, including the incident’s circumstances, having an expert review the records to determine whether or not the standard of care was breached, and the resulting damages were caused by that standard of care not being met. Attorneys carefully analyze these components to determine the viability of a malpractice claim. 

There is a standard of care that medical providers are held to, and when patients are not treated accordingly, the doctor or provider may be held accountable for their negligence. The careful discernment of a skilled Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyer ensures that legitimate cases are pursued while preventing frivolous lawsuits that could strain the legal system and burden healthcare professionals.

What Does the Burden of Proof Mean in Medical Malpractice? 

The burden of proof is critical in medical malpractice lawsuits and rests upon the plaintiffs (the person(s) bringing the case against the medical provider). To succeed, plaintiffs must demonstrate that the actions or omissions of the healthcare provider breached the standard of care within their profession, directly leading to the patient’s injury or harm. 

Attorneys, like the experienced team at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst, play a pivotal role in assisting plaintiffs in collecting and analyzing evidence, which may encompass medical records, expert opinions, and witness testimonies. This collaborative effort between lawyers and trusted medical experts strengthens the case and enhances the pursuit of justice.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases 

Surgical Errors

Surgical errors are a common cause of medical malpractice cases. Surgical mistakes may include various errors, including operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical materials or instruments in the patient, performing the incorrect procedure, nerve damage, infection due to procedural error or unsanitary surgical environment, or many other surgical errors.  

Medication Errors

Malpractice cases often include medication errors. A physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner may prescribe the wrong drug or dosage. A pharmacist could misread a prescription and provide the wrong medication to patients. A life-threatening reaction caused by medication could also cause medical malpractice. 

Incorrect Treatment 

When a doctor or provider incorrectly treats an illness or injury, there can be harmful or deadly consequences. If a doctor, nurse, or staff member neglects to treat you when you are critically injured or ill, their neglect may also be considered malpractice. 

Birth Injury Malpractice

Birth injuries can occur when a doctor, nurse, or other medical provider makes an error during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Preventable birth injuries or birth injuries caused by a provider breaching the standard of care may result in a malpractice case. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common types of birth injury. Cerebral Palsy is caused when a newborn is deprived of oxygen during birth. Additional mistakes that may result in birth injuries include improper monitoring or failure to perform a C-section when necessary.

Misdiagnosis

The consequences can be extreme or even fatal if a diagnosis is incorrect. And thus, either treated incorrectly or not at all. One example is when cancer is misdiagnosed, precious time is lost that may be critical in treating the disease. Patients have higher survival rates when cancer is detected and treated in the early stages. Therefore, if a patient is not correctly diagnosed when symptoms first appear, the disease may progress further, and treatment may be ineffective later.  

Failure to Diagnose

One of the most frequent kinds of malpractice is a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an illness or injury. One example could be a staph infection dismissed by a provider and later spreading to the blood or causing critical infection to part of the body. Sometimes, failing to diagnose a serious disease, injury, or illness can cause severe illness, harm, or death.

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia errors can cause permanent injury, brain damage, or death. Common mistakes by an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist include improper monitoring during surgery and failure to review the patient’s chart, medical history, or drug allergies.

Bedsores

Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, occur when a patient is left in the same position for too long. Most often seen in nursing homes and hospitals, they are a sign of neglect or improper care. Bedsores can lead to infection and other serious health problems if not treated promptly.

Why Pursue a Medical Malpractice Case? 

Medical malpractice lawsuits play a significant role in maintaining accountability, improving patient safety, and safeguarding the integrity of our healthcare system. These lawsuits extend beyond the pursuit of financial compensation; they aim to promote transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement in healthcare practices. Attorneys and the general public share a collective interest in fostering a fair and just environment that prioritizes patient safety and encourages the healthcare system to strive for excellence. Our attorneys are Oklahomans who hope to ensure a high standard of medical care in Oklahoma, just as you do.  

What Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Do? 

Attorneys, as advocates for justice, are responsible for representing their client’s best interests and upholding the principles of fairness. By navigating the intricacies of malpractice claims, understanding the burden of proof, and acknowledging the significance of legal malpractice, the medical malpractice attorneys on our team can effectively navigate the complex landscape of medical negligence with expertise and diligence.

We Pursue Justice and Accountability 

As we pursue a case, we encourage a system that values patient safety and accountability. In each case, we partner with our clients to work towards a healthcare environment that strives for excellence and ensures justice for those affected by malpractice.

In conclusion, medical malpractice lawsuits require a delicate balance of legal expertise and a deep understanding of the human impact involved. Attorneys serve as guardians of justice, fighting for accountability and advocating for those who have suffered from medical negligence. 

By navigating the complexities of malpractice claims, attorneys play a vital role in improving patient safety and upholding the integrity of our healthcare system. With a shared commitment to transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement, we can foster an environment that prioritizes patient well-being and ensures justice for all. 
We have over 75 years of collective experience in prosecuting medical malpractice cases. If you believe you have a medical malpractice case, please contact our team for a free case evaluation.

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