When people hear the phrase “medical malpractice” they frequently assume that a mistake has been made by a doctor. While this can certainly be true, medical malpractice can also be committed by other medical professionals.
Visit our last article on another medical malpractice lawsuit: A Delayed Diagnosis Claims The Life Of A 51-Year-Old Man
In one case, a 14-year-old girl went to her doctor seeking treatment for ongoing headaches and dizziness which were impacting her ability to participate in everyday activities. Her doctor decided to try treating her with a drug called Amitriptyline. While this drug is often prescribed as an antidepressant, it is also known for balancing out the central nervous system and is also effective at treating some chronic pain conditions such as headaches.
The doctor wrote her a prescription for 10mg tablets which she then took to Walgreens to have filled. After she began the medication, her dizziness became much worse and she began to have daily migraines. That’s when the mistake was discovered.
The pharmacy had filled the prescription but instead of 10 mg tablets, they gave her 100 mg tablets - ten times the amount she should have been taking.
Even though she discontinued taking the medication, her symptoms have persisted.
The teen and her parents filed a lawsuit against Walgreens, alleging that the pharmacy caused her symptoms to worsen because they prescribed her the incorrect dose. They further alleged that because her symptoms have persisted, she is unable to do many things that children her age are able to partake in.
Walgreens responded, saying that her migraines and dizziness existed prior to the incorrect dose being prescribed and that they shouldn’t be held liable.
The two parties were unable to reach an agreement prior to trial and the case went to court where a jury awarded the plaintiff $450,000.
As was stated previously, it’s not just doctors that can be held responsible through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Parties that can be held responsible include:
All of these entities are held to a standard and if they harm a patient, they risk being named the defendant in a lawsuit.
There are many forms of medical malpractice including:
Did you know that the state of New York accounts for 20% of all medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States? Many of those cases involve a surgical mistake. Every year, patients wake up from surgery to find that the surgeon operated on the wrong limb or performed the wrong surgery entirely. In some cases, the surgery goes well but the doctor leaves a foreign body inside which causes serious health issues later on.
Every parent is thrilled the day that their child is born. But if a doctor isn’t paying attention and makes a mistake, that brand new child will be injured within minutes of entering the world, putting their future at risk.
Doctors are responsible for ruling out all medical conditions that could be causing their patients symptoms. When a misdiagnosis occurs, the patient is then treated for a condition that they don’t have and they fail to get treatment for the one that they do have.
The compensation awarded by a jury is called damages. Damages are supposed to cover the losses, both monetary and non-monetary that the plaintiff has lost. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and emotional trauma. The losses can be both past and possible future losses.
One of the reasons that it’s important to work with an experienced attorney is that they are frequently in contact with medical experts who are able to determine, based on the patient's condition, what future medical treatments they may require and how much those treatments can be expected to cost. They can then testify in court.
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