Is a Medical Mistake Malpractice?
In 2008, video of a woman lying on the floor of a Los Angeles emergency room shocked many as it was broadcasted all over major news outlets. The woman spent nearly an hour lying on the floor, complaining of pain, before eventually falling unconscious and dying. Doctors had misdiagnosed the woman, and even though medical personal ignored her pleas for help, the hospital was not charged with criminal negligence.
Criminal Negligence vs. Medical Malpractice
The absence of criminal negligence does not indicate that medical malpractice has not taken place. Simply because medical personnel are not found guilty of breaking a criminal law does not exempt them for being liable for damages suffered by a patient due to their negligence, misdiagnoses, or improper treatment. Medical mistakes are not always punishable by prison time, but patients do have the legal right to hold medical practitioners accountable for their errors.
Medical malpractice is defined as improper or negligent treatment of a person under a medical professional’s care, which results in injury or death. A study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians examining primary care malpractice claims found that 68% of the errors were in an outpatient setting and resulted in more than 1,200 deaths. Medication errors are among the most common medical mistakes, causing injury to at least 15 million people each year.
If you or a loved one thinks that a doctor did not maintain the standard of care they are legally bound to, contact the Wausau medical malpractice lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-248-0171 to discuss your case and to determine your legal options.