Medical Malpractice: When a Mistake Takes the Life of a Loved One

According to a study released by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 patients in the U.S. die annually from medical malpractice. It is the third-leading cause of death. There are many ways in which medical malpractice can occur, which contributes to the problem. If you lost a loved one to medical malpractice, you may have grounds for suing the person or persons responsible who caused the death. If they passed away as a result of a medical mistake, contact a medical malpractice lawyer without delay.

There are many ways in which patients in Des Moines, Iowa may be fatally harmed by their medical provider. When the surviving family members are successful in their claim against the provider, it can result in a significant settlement. Those family members who were financially or otherwise dependent on the decedent can recover their financial damages that resulted from the medical malpractice. Request a free consultation with our medical malpractice lawyer to learn how Johnston Martineau, LLP can help your family in your time of grief.

Here are some of the most common forms of medical malpractice:

The Failure to Diagnose A Condition Promptly, Or Misdiagnosing a Condition Though it is not always possible for any doctor to accurately diagnose a patient’s condition, in many cases it is. If a different doctor who is competent in their ability to treat patients would have been able to correctly diagnose the patient and promptly, then the doctor’s misdiagnoses might be considered medical malpractice. A misdiagnosis could result in a condition worsening beyond the point of being fully treatable. For example, if the doctor missed an obvious growth on a patient’s diagnostic test, it could eventually take the patient’s life.

Incompetent Medical Treatment
If a doctor provides incompetent treatment or a form of treatment that a competent doctor would not choose for that particular condition, it may be grounds for medical malpractice. For example, if the doctor did not properly sterilize their instruments or the incision area, the patient can develop a severe infection which if left untreated, could result in death.

Failure of the Doctor to Warn Their Patient of Known Risks

A patient’s doctor is required by law to warn their patient of any known risks associated with a form of treatment or medication. The legal phrase for this is “duty of informed consent”. If the doctor does not inform the patient of the risks, then it does not provide an opportunity for the patient to decline that form of treatment or medication based on the risk involved. Subsequently, if the patient is harmed because of the known potential side effects, they may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Guidance from a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you lost a loved one because of a mistake made by their medical provider, you may have grounds for a claim. While a settlement cannot reverse what happened, it can send a powerful message to the medical community that such mistakes are not acceptable. Additionally, the settlement negotiated by your medical malpractice lawyer can make it possible to pay the bills that normally would have been paid by your loved one.