Going to the doctor or visiting any health care professional can be nerve-wracking and the last thing you want is for something to happen that probably should not have. There are times when a doctor or health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. This is considered Medical Malpractice. The negligence might be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.
Wisconsin state laws regarding medical malpractice are very specific, which is why you need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who understands local cases.
How Common is Medical Malpractice?
Unfortunately, there are many common instances where medical malpractice or negligence has led to serious injury or death. Examples include:
- Birth Injuries – Birth injury is injury or damage to the child before, during, or after the birthing process.
- Wrongful Death – Wrongful death lawsuits occur when damages are sought against a party for causing a death.
- Missed/Wrong Diagnosis – A wrong diagnosis occurs when a medical professional fails to correctly identify or diagnose a disease or condition which can lead to other conditions or long-term adverse health consequences.
- Improper Treatment
- Delay in Treatment
- Lack of Informed Consent – With few exceptions, medical providers must obtain permission granted with the knowledge of possible consequences and reasonable alternatives to the treatment.
- Retained Instruments/Tools After Surgery – A foreign instrument not removed during surgery is negligent.
- Wrong-Site Surgical or Other Procedures – Procedures performed in the wrong area than intended can result in injury.
- Dental Malpractice
- Nursing Home Neglect
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Determining if you have a case for medical malpractice is tricky. There is no quiz you can take to determine how strong your case is, but consider these questions:
- How long ago did the incident take place?
- Did you establish a patient-caregiver relationship? This means, the consulting physician or healthcare professional was hired by you and treated you directly (not solely a consulting relationship and not causal medical advice).
- Was the physician negligent rather than reasonably skillful or careful?
- Do you have a specific injury and is your injury directly related to the care you received (rather than a pre-existing condition)?
- Would the outcome have been different if proper care was provided in a timely manner?
Do I Need to Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are very complex, and you should contact a medical malpractice attorney to review the specifics of your case right away. Medical records will have to be requested and reviewed, mediation may be discussed, parties will have to be identified and expert witness testimony may have to be arranged.