When we get sick or hurt, we go to the doctor or hospital for treatment. We trust that the medical professionals we see will do all they can to treat the medical condition we have. This includes following all protocols to ensure that no mistakes are made in our treatments. When there are mistakes made by a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare workers, the results are often catastrophic for the patient and can even result in the patient’s death. These incidents happen more and more and are increasing each year at an alarming rate.
In fact, according to national statistics, medical errors and negligence are the third leading cause of death in this country, following heart disease and cancer. Many of these incidents result in medical malpractice lawsuits. These cases have become so frequent that it is estimated there is more than $3 billion spent each year in malpractice settlements.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Malpractice is defined as an incident where a medical professional deviates from the accepted standard of care in their treatment of a patient. Standard of care is what a reasonable medical provider would do under the same circumstances. If it is determined that the medical professional did not meet the standard of care and that failure resulted in an injury to the patient, then both the medical professional and/or the medical facility can be held accountable.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Unfortunately, most patients and their families may not even realize that the action of the medical professional is negligent until it is too late. Some of the more common medical negligence behaviors that we have seen at our Virginia malpractice law firm include:
- Diagnostic testing mistakes or failure to order necessary tests
- Discharging too soon
- Errors made taking patient history
- Failure to identify symptoms
- Inadequate follow-up care
- Medication errors
- Misinterpreting or overlooking laboratory results
- Surgical errors, such as operating on the wrong body area
There are many forms malpractice can take – surgical, medical, pharmaceutical, birth injury, and emergency room errors. But one of the alarming facts about malpractice is that many victims are unaware they have been injured until they begin suffering symptoms. It is not uncommon for errors to go undetected for weeks, months, or even years. When the error is finally diagnosed, the victim may have suffered irreparable harm.
Contact a Virginia Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you or a family member has suffered serious illness due to a doctor’s missed or late diagnosis, contact a seasoned Virginia medical malpractice attorney to discuss what legal options you may have. The attorneys at our personal injury firm understand how devastating medical errors like these can be to a family, not only emotionally, but also financially.
At Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn, we have been advocating for injured victims for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you and your family the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries and losses you have suffered. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation and find out how our legal team can help.
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An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.