If you have suffered at the hands of a medical professional’s negligence, then you don’t need to be told how devastating the aftermath can be. Injuries due to medical malpractice can cause serious illness or injury, whether it be due to an incorrect diagnosis, missed diagnosis, or surgery gone awry. If you or a family member are suffering from negligent medical treatment, then you might be eligible for a medical malpractice claim. While such a claim in itself cannot heal the harm a medical professional may have caused to you, a successful case can bring you justice in the face of hardship and earn you the money needed to cover the cost of recovery.
Medical malpractice can a particularly complex area of personal injury law. Part of this is due to the fact that the information needed to prove your case can be very extensive both in breadth and scope, and the proceedings are very particular. If you have been injured by a medical professional, the attorneys at Litster Frost are ready to bring their expertise to table for you.
What is Medical Malpractice?
The National Center for Biotechnology Information defines medical malpractice as “any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.” In other words, when a doctor does something–or fails to do something–in a careless manner and causes you injury, he or she has likely committed medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice can refer to both improper care and withheld care. Meaning, a healthcare provider could have given you improper care in the course of a hospital stay, surgery, or routine examination, resulting in injury or fatality, or the healthcare provider may have neglected to offer care in an instance where care should have been given.
Idaho law defines medical malpractice in a much more precise way. The law shows when medical malpractice conclusively exists, but more importantly shows that you’ll likely need an attorney’s help in deciphering exactly how your case should proceed.
What is the Established “Standard of Care”?
Unfortunately, there is no agreed-upon medical definition for the target standard of care. Because the medical field is so wide-ranging, it is impossible to define specifically how each physician should proceed in each case in a medical sense.
However, a legal definition of the standard of care does exist. The Journal of Clinical Oncology states that the legal standard of care is defined as “the caution that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would exercise in providing care to a patient . . . .” In other words, “a physician has a duty to exercise the degree of care expected of a minimally competent physician in the same speciality and under the same circumstances.”
So, what does this all mean? To put it simply, a doctor must meet the minimum reasonable standard for good medical care when treating you, which is a pretty low bar. If you can show that your physician failed to meet this minimum standard–that they failed to take the proper measures in protecting you–this may constitute cause to bring a claim against your provider.
It’s important to note that negative medical outcomes due to choices made by a physician do not necessarily equate to a successful medical malpractice suit. If a doctor recommends a course of action that doesn’t end up working–for instance, suggesting radiation instead of chemotherapy–then you might not have a case. To avoid wasting valuable time and money in a case that might not succeed, it is important to get an attorney’s insight on the validity of your case.
What Types of Medical Malpractice Do You Handle?
Many types of medical malpractice exist. The most common that we see in our offices include:
- Wrong prescription: When a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or a pharmacist fills the prescription incorrectly, the results can be disastrous for you.
- Missed diagnosis: if a diagnosis is missed and would have been caught by a reasonably competent physician, and that missed diagnosis led to negative complications or disease progression, then you might have a case.
- Birth injuries: Incorrect use of forceps or vacuum in the extraction of an unborn child during delivery can lead to spinal injuries, nerve damage, or even death.
- Retained instrument: According to USA Today, more than a dozen instruments are left inside of a patient every day, resulting in pain, infection, follow-up surgeries, and in some cases, death.
- Anesthesia errors: Anesthesia is a delicate process, and the wrong dosage and be deadly. If an anesthesia error negatively impacted you, then it is important to contact an attorney to help you recieve compensation.
- Defective products: In some cases, the problem in a medical malpractice case isn’t the medical professional, but rather a piece of equipment. If medical equipment malfunctions and results in injury, then you may have grounds for a claim.
What is the Statute of Limitations on a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Idaho state law allows you up to two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. That means that you have two years to gather all evidence to bring a lawsuit, which can be a difficult and tedious task. This requires obtaining medical records, taking statements, culling through legal precedent and building a comprehensive case that gives you the best chance of winning your case. This process can take a lot of time, so don’t wait to contact an attorney.
Injured by a Medical Professional? Call Our Office Today
If you are ready to learn more about options for filing a medical malpractice claim in Idaho, contact the attorneys at Litster Frost today. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be extremely complicated, and your chances of a good outcome are much higher with a reputable attorney fighting on your behalf. Here at Litster Frost, we know how to file claims that get results. Our personal injury firm deals with many medical malpractice cases every year, and we have both the knowledge and experience needed to give you a great chance of success. Don’t wait any longer to get in touch; give us a call at (208) 333-3330 or contact us today. You deserve justice, and we’re here to help you get it.