When you think of medical malpractice, you may think it is something that applies only to doctors. While doctors are the ones often accused of medical negligence, they are not always the ones at fault. Any type of health care professional can commit and be accused of medical malpractice.
This means that the medical mistake does not have to occur inside an actual doctor’s office or hospital. Medical negligence is much broader than that and encompasses any type of medical mistake caused by a professional in the medical field.
Types of Health Care Providers Who Can Commit Medical Negligence
Most people are seen by doctors and nurses and therefore they are the ones we normally think of when discussing medical negligence. However, there are many other types of providers who may face medical malpractice charges.
Pharmacists can also commit negligence if they fill the wrong prescription or give you the wrong dosage, for example. Anesthesiologists may also be accused of medical negligence if they give too much or not enough anesthetic during a surgery and it leads to a worsened condition or death.
Surgeons, oncologists, gynecologists, ophthalmologists and orthopedists can also commit medical negligence. Radiologists and rheumatologists can be accused of medical malpractice if they cause injuries to patients. Specialists who focus on certain diseases and body parts—such as lungs, kidneys, liver and the heart—can cause harm to patients and face a lawsuit. Even specialists outside the realm of traditional medicine—such as chiropractors—have been sued for causing pain and even death.
Medical malpractice can also occur in the dental field. Many dentists have lost their licenses by extracting teeth that shouldn’t have been removed, failing to alleviate pain or causing other serious conditions.
Medical malpractice does not have to involve physical pain. Even psychiatrists can be sued for medical malpractice. Reasons may include failing to prevent a suicide, misdiagnosis, improper prescribing and engaging in a sexual relationship with the patient.
Elements of Medical Malpractice
Negligence alone is not enough for a medical malpractice case. In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, a patient must prove that the doctor was negligent and that this negligence led to injury.
The following elements must be proven:
- The doctor owed a duty to the patient (this is often proven through a doctor-patient relationship).
- The doctor breached the duty.
- The breach of duty caused injury.
- The injury resulted in damages.
All four of these elements must be present. If a person got advice from a doctor who is an acquaintance, or received advice from an article or TV show, and suffered damages, the person could not file a claim because he or she was not a patient, and the doctor had no duty.
Have You Been a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of situations. A medical mistake can lead to organ damage, serious illnesses, disability and even death.
The Miami personal injury attorneys at the law offices of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP have experience handling medical malpractice claims. These claims can be quite complicated, but we will aggressively fight for your rights. Request a free consultation by calling our law offices today at (305) 371-2692.