Medical error statistics indicate that, each year, more than 251,000 deaths nationwide, including Colorado, result from medical negligence. Victims of medical negligence often have to deal with mental and physical consequences. In some cases, people’s quality of life is forever harmed.
What is medical negligence?
Medical professionals are held to a code of conduct that mandates them to provide care at an acceptable standard. When a patient’s injury or condition is harmed or worsened due to a medical professional’s failure to provide care at the required level and expected expertise, he or she could be held accountable for medical negligence.
The following examples are considered medical negligence:
- Failure to provide emergency care despite being capable of doing it
- Failure to diagnose a patient whose symptoms were evident for any competent professional
- Failure to investigate the medical history of the patient before administering medication or treatment
- Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage to a patient
- Prescribing an incorrect drug for an accurately diagnosed condition
- Failure to advise, or providing misleading or incorrect advice about the risks of specific procedures
- Proceeding with surgical procedures without the patient’s informed consent
- Performing a surgical procedure on the wrong body part
- Failure to refer or transfer a patient when required
- Incompetence in taking action necessary for the patient’s benefit
- Failure to keep detailed records of prescribed treatments and observations of the patient
- Not seeing the patient as frequently as required by the condition
Anyone in Colorado who was a victim of a medical professional’s negligence might have grounds to file a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician. However, this is a complicated field of law. Before filing a lawsuit, it might be a good idea to learn about and understand the negligence elements to be established to navigate a lawsuit successfully.