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Medical Negligence: Common Type and Claim Requirements
Know about Medical Negligence
When you think of medical negligence, the first thing that comes to mind is surgical errors. Everyone has heard the horror stories of operations performed on the wrong body part or the wrong patient. We have all heard stories of sponges being left inside a patient or other errors that lead to severe complications for the patient.
We do not, however, think of prescription errors when we think of medical negligence. This is very surprising when you look at the facts. A large majority of medical negligence cases have to do with the patient being given the wrong medication, and that error causes harm.
Why Are Prescription Errors So Dangerous?
Prescription medications are made from careful combinations of chemical compounds. Most medicines already come with a potential risk for side effects when used correctly — taking too much of these medications at any given time, the chances for severe side effects increases. There is even a possibility of death.
If your medication is not strong enough, the potential for harm still exists. Taking too little medication may prevent your condition from stabilizing or may allow that condition to worsen. If this happens, there is a potential that the condition becomes unmanageable or untreatable unless serious actions are taken to correct the mistake.
How can a Prescription Error Occur?
There are several ways that a prescription error can occur in several different ways. Some of the more common ways include:
- The doctor prescribes the wrong medication for a disorder
- The doctor prescribes the wrong strength of the medication
- Hospital dispensary issues the wrong medication or wrong strength of the correct medication
- Staff member mixes medications when dispensing to multiple patients
- Doctors handwriting is illegible and wrong medication is issued
- Pharmacy dispenses the wrong strength or wrong medication
- Drug interactions were not checked before writing a new prescription for a patient
- Drug allergies were not checked before issuing a new prescription
Of course, there are other instances where a prescription error can occur. If you believe that you have been injured by a prescription error, you are encouraged to speak with an OKC medical negligence lawyer.
Proving Medical Negligence Cases
Proving a medical malpractice case can be complicated. The state of Oklahoma requires that all cases are verified by another physician as malpractice prior to the filing of the case. Additionally, the insurance company that will cover the case will also try their hardest to prove that the event was just “poor results” and not malpractice.
The first thing that you should do when you believe that you have been harmed by a prescription error is to seek medical care from a different doctor to stabilize your condition. Your health is very important, and must be your top priority. Once your health has been stabilized, you should schedule a consultation with an OKC medical negligence lawyer.
Having an attorney manage your claim for medical malpractice will help protect your rights as an injury victim. Your attorney understands the requirements that must be met to prove medical negligence and has the resources available to make this happen.
Your attorney will also make sure that the insurer acts fairly on your behalf and that you receive the care you need to manage the injury you received. Any additional compensation that you are entitled to will be part of the negotiations process. Your attorney will make sure that any compensation package you receive will be complete and fair.
Establishing A Claim For Medical Negligence
There are four steps that must be proven to make a successful claim for compensation. All personal injury claims are required to meet these criteria:
- Establishing Duty of Care. Your attorney must show that there was a duty of care expected between the two parties. In a medical malpractice case, this is quite simple. The patient sought treatment from the medical care provider, and that provider had a responsibility to provide treatment that would not cause harm.
- Showing A Breach of that Duty. The next thing that must be established is that the person who was expected to act or perform their duties in a certain way did not do so. For a medical malpractice case, this would include providing the wrong care for a condition or issuing the wrong type of medications.
- Show That an Injury Occurred. You must be able to show that the Breach of Care caused you to be harmed. In the case of a prescription error, you can show what happened as a result of being given the wrong medication.
- Prove That the Injury Caused Losses. It is very important that you show that the actual injury caused you financial harm. This is generally a very easy point to prove because you most likely had medical bills from correcting the medical error. Additionally, any lost wages and other financial losses that were a result of the medical error would be included to make this point.
Working with an attorney that has a background in medical malpractice cases will allow you to build a solid case and meet the four requirements needed for a medical malpractice case.
One Last Thing To Remember
Being injured by the actions of a medical care provider should never be overlooked as a simple mistake. As a patient, you place great trust in the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and all other care providers. You place a lot of trust in these people, and that trust should not be broken.
The insurance company will make you feel as if you are doing the wrong thing in seeking compensation. They will tell you that all medical care has risks and that this was just a result of those risks. You are encouraged not to listen to this reasoning.
Filing a medical malpractice case against a care provider brings you justice for your injuries and covers your financial losses. It also brings to the attention of the care provider that they did something seriously wrong. By taking action against the responsible party, you may be saving someone else from being harmed in the future.