When Can You File a Medical Negligence Lawsuit?

Every year, the medical industry creates successful innovations that advance healthcare technology and help offer better care. For example, 2023 witnessed the use of nanocomposite seaweed to monitor health through wearable sensors. It became the world's first ‘highly' accurate and sustainable sensor technology for tracking pulse, blood pressure, joint movement, etc.

Even then, the industry is not devoid of errors when it comes to providing care. Approximately 251,000 people die due to medical malpractice and negligence. Similarly, 29.2% of adverse health effects occur due to medical negligence.

Usually, such cases arise when doctors and nurses deliver improper medical care. These mistakes can include misdiagnosis, incorrect medications, etc. Medical device distributors and manufacturers can also be held accountable for equipment failures. When that happens, patients tend to file lawsuits against the responsible parties.

In this blog, we will discuss three such instances that can lead to medical negligence lawsuits.

#1. When There Is a Misdiagnosis

On average, 8,718 lawsuits were filed between 2017 and 2021, alleging medical negligence that involved misdiagnosis. Misdiagnosis occurs when your healthcare provider cannot identify the disease or condition. These carry a significant risk factor that can affect your quality of life.

When a disease is misdiagnosed, the doctors cannot provide appropriate treatment. As a result, it leads to the progression of the illness and the development of other health conditions.

In Iowa, Joseph Dudley received USD 27 million after winning a medical negligence lawsuit resulting from a misdiagnosis. The man checked into an emergency room at the Iowa Physicians Clinic for flu-like symptoms. However, the doctors misdiagnosed it as a common influenza virus and sent him home.

As it turns out, it wasn't the flu but meningitis. Upon not receiving any treatments, Dudley suffered permanent brain damage. His family ended up receiving payouts for future pain, emotional suffering, loss of body function, etc.

#2. When There Is a Medical Device Failure

A medical device's malfunction or defectiveness can cause irreparable harm, leading to serious health problems. These can happen due to improper testing and the use of low-quality materials. Insufficient maintenance and human error can also lead to medical device failure.

An example of this would be Bard PowerPort devices. These were once considered the most reliable implanted ports for easy vascular access before the FDA recalled them in 2020. Technically, the Bard PowerPort could withstand higher pressure when doctors administered fluids through the catheter.

According to TorHoerman Law, the manufacturers didn't use industry-grade materials so that they could reduce production costs. Instead, they made the Bard PowerPort with a mixture of barium sulfate and polyurethane. That's why the devices were prone to fracturing, damage, and migration.

The manufacturers knew about the issues but still distributed the defective products. Hence, the device failed and caused severe complications among various patients. They received injuries like deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, necrosis, infections, and damage to the vein.

Therefore, the victims filed a Bard Power Port lawsuit claiming medical negligence, failure to warn, and corporate misconduct. With the help of a lawyer, victims can receive individual compensation of between USD 10,000 and USD 100,000.

#3. When There Is a Mistake During Surgery

Lastly, you can file a medical negligence lawsuit based on the mistakes the surgical team makes in an operating room. For that, you need to be aware of the following surgical errors:

  • Administering the incorrect medicine or dosage
  • Performing a procedure on the wrong site
  • Failing to abide by basic protocols and hygiene rules
  • Causing internal bleeding and accidental nerve damage
  • Leaving foreign objects at the site of surgery

Recently, a man sued two University of Washington doctors for removing the wrong organ during surgery. He had come to the emergency room with severe stomach pains. Upon diagnosis, the doctors found that it was an acute case of appendicitis. Hence, they quickly scheduled him for an appendix removal.

During surgery, the doctors couldn't locate his appendix and instead removed part of his bowel. Once he regained consciousness, the man's pain worsened when bowel contents spilled into the abdominal cavity. Soon after, he filed a medical negligence lawsuit against the doctors for a botched surgery.

The Way Forward

The total payouts from medical negligence and malpractice lawsuits can reach millions. For instance, in 2021, a Minnesota student was awarded USD 111 million in such a case. The plaintiff claimed the doctors at St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates were negligent in their care. His lawsuit states that they failed to diagnose his acute compartment disorder, leading to serious complications.

Do you want to receive such compensation by winning a medical negligence lawsuit? Then, you'll need to hire a personal injury lawyer to navigate the litigation process. They'll help you gather evidence, assess damages, and determine liability. Doing so will let the attorneys build a strong case before a jury to get the compensation you deserve for the injuries.

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