According to statistics, roughly one-third to one-half of all physicians face medical malpractice actions during their career, and for those that have been sued, nearly half face a potential second action. In general, medical malpractice lawsuits arise where a health care professional breaches their duty of care to a patient and the patient suffers harm. Several factors go into this analysis, such as determining whether a doctor/patient relationship exists, establishing the standard of care, and that a breach occurred. Further, it is critical to connect the breach to the harm caused.
Some of the main complications leading to lawsuits include the failure to diagnose a condition and complications from surgeries. This may include a primary care physician failing to refer a patient to a specialist when appropriate, or not sufficiently documenting a patient’s history or complaints.
Other forms of communication errors include during shift changes and the failure of nurses, doctors or other staff to properly inform the next regarding crucial patient care issues. In some situations, this may be due to failures in recording of electronic health care information. Studies show increased instances of medical malpractice stemming from errors in e-health records usage - often due to health care workers’ difficulties in inputting information and proper usage of the document system.
While medical malpractice can occur in a wide variety of instances, often the error is due to a communication error. When a substantial injury occurs as a result, it may be possible to file a successful claim for medical malpractice and recover damages.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been harmed due to medical negligence, please contact the dedicated Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for a confidential consultation.