Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional acts negligently while providing care to a patient, which harms the patient. Medical malpractice claims often arise when medical professionals fail to adhere to a reasonable standard of care.
Common Medical Malpractice Errors and Their Consequences
Medical malpractice is a serious issue, and the consequences can be devastating. Here are five of the most common medical malpractice errors:
#1. Childbirth Injuries
Several things can go wrong when a doctor, nurse, or midwife is negligent during childbirth, resulting in injuries to the baby, the mother, or both. Childbirth injuries often fall into one of two classifications:
Negligent Prenatal Care
If negligent medical care is provided to the mother during pregnancy, it can cause significant problems for both the baby and the mother. Most often, doctors fail to identify birth defects, ectopic pregnancies, or a medical condition that the mother has that could complicate the birth, such as hypoglycemia, gestational diabetes, or anemia.
A pregnant patient’s doctor could be liable for medical malpractice if they fail to provide adequate prenatal care or diagnose certain medical issues. Your Las Vegas personal injury attorney must prove the duty owed by the doctor to provide adequate prenatal care.
Negligence During Delivery
Failure to recognize potential birth complications, such as a tangled umbilical cord or other conditions that cause fetal distress, can cause the baby to suffer brain damage or cerebral palsy. Physical injuries can also occur if a doctor negligently pulls the baby with too much force, potentially causing spinal cord, nerve, or brain damage, broken bones, or fractures.
A doctor or nurse who assists with the delivery could be held responsible for any injuries resulting from their negligence. For example:
- If they fail to diagnose a problem before it’s too late and provide poor care
- If they fail to respond appropriately when complications arise during labor or delivery
- If they perform an unnecessary procedure without the patient’s consent, such as using forceps
#2. Errors During Anesthesia
An anesthesiologist can be considered negligent if they fail to clearly instruct a patient on the importance of following all pre-operative instructions or fail to assess a patient’s entire medical history for potential complications. Similarly, failing to administer enough anesthesia, administering too much, or not monitoring the patient’s vital signs can be considered medical negligence as well. The manufacturer of any defective medicine used during anesthesia could also be held accountable.
#3. Errors During Surgery
During surgery, many mistakes can be made that result in harm to the patient. Accidental injury to organs or tissues that are not part of the surgery or performing the operation on an incorrect body part are common medical malpractice claims based on surgical errors. Some medical negligence that occurs during surgery may take years to discover, such as a surgical tool being left in the patient’s body.
The surgeon who performs the procedure is usually considered the most responsible for surgical errors. A surgeon may also be held liable if they delegate tasks to other medical professionals that are not performed correctly or if they fail to act promptly during an emergency situation.
In addition, any other medical professionals involved in the surgery could potentially be held liable. For example, if your surgeon delegated a task to an assistant who did not perform it properly, then both doctors could be held responsible.
#4. Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
Failing to make a timely diagnosis of a condition is a common medical malpractice claim because the patient could have obtained treatment if the correct diagnosis had been made sooner.
If your doctor failed to diagnose your condition or delayed doing so, you may be able to sue them for medical malpractice. A Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help determine if it was reasonable for them to miss your diagnosis or if they deviated from the accepted standards of care.
#5. Medication Errors
Medication errors can occur at various levels of the prescription process. For example, a doctor could prescribe the wrong drug or the wrong dosage. The pharmacist or pharmacy technician could also make a mistake when filling the prescription or when reading the script due to a doctor’s poor handwriting. Sometimes, one patient’s medication is switched with another, which can cause great harm.
Pharmaceutical companies are also responsible for developing and manufacturing safe drugs and for providing warnings about any possible side effects or dangers. A pharmaceutical company may be liable if they fail to provide adequate warnings about a drug’s risks or ensure that the product is safe before it reaches the market.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Las Vegas Help?
If you were injured by a doctor’s negligence, a Las Vegas medical malpractice attorney can help you pursue legal action by:
Determining if You Have a Case
Medical malpractice requires proof that the doctor breached their duty of care and caused your injury. Our personal injury lawyers understand what this means in Nevada and can determine if you have a case based on your circumstances.
Explaining the Law
A Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can explain how medical malpractice law works and what evidence is needed to prove that the doctor was negligent.
Collecting and Analyzing Evidence
Our personal injury attorneys can collect and analyze evidence from your medical records and other sources to build the strongest possible case.
Advising on Whether to Settle or Go to Trial
Understandably, after being injured by someone else’s negligence, you likely want to see justice done immediately. However, this is not always possible. In some cases, there may be a better outcome by settling instead of going to trial. Your Las Vegas medical malpractice lawyer can advise you on what is best for your situation.
What to Do After a Medical Malpractice Injury
If you or a loved one were injured by medical malpractice in Las Vegas, it is important to contact a Nevada personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better chance you have of preserving your rights and obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Contacting an attorney quickly is especially important because of Nevada’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits. You must file your lawsuit within four years of the date of the incident or two years from the date of discovery.
For wrongful death and product liability claims, you must file within two years of the date of the incident or discovery. However, for nursing home medical malpractice, you only have one year from the date of the incident to file a claim – so time is of the essence.
Talk With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Las Vegas Today
Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, which is why you need a Las Vegas medical malpractice attorney to help you fight for justice. The good news is that doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals can be held responsible under Nevada law.
If you believe that you are the victim of medical malpractice or medical negligence, reach out to the Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group. Contact us today to get started on your medical malpractice claim.