When you seek medical treatment, you have the right to expect that the treatment you receive will make you better, not worse. Unfortunately, medical professionals like doctors, surgeons, chiropractors, and nurses can make mistakes, and those mistakes can cost you, the patient, significantly. When these mistakes rise to the level of medical malpractice, victims are typically entitled to compensation.
If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as you can. Mike Abelson is a medical malpractice lawyer in DC who is committed to helping victims of professional negligence recover compensation. To schedule a free consultation with Mike, call 202-331-0600 or send an email through this online contact form.
Specific Types of Medication Errors
One of the more unfortunate forms medical malpractice is when a patient is given medication to treat an underlying condition, but then the medication ends up harming them because it has not been administered correctly. Some of the common ways in which this happens include:
- Giving patients the wrong medicine altogether
- Giving patients the wrong dosage of the correct medication
- Over or under medicating the patients
- Mixing medications in ways that are harmful to the patient
- Failing to carefully examine the medical history of a patient before administering medication
- Not receiving informed consent from the patient before administering the medication
- Using wrong labeling or mixing up the labeling of medication
- Failing to warn patients about the potential adverse effects of the medication that they are taking
All these are incidents describe a situation where a medication is prescribed to treat a problem, yet it ends up causing serious harm to the person that takes it. In some cases, medication errors can be fatal, which can often result in a valid wrongful death case. Regardless of the severity of the error and the implications to the patient, any medication error cases are almost always complex and require the support of an experienced Washington, D.C., medical malpractice attorney.
Medical Errors that Lead to Serious Injuries
Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that negligent medical professionals will do everything in their power to cover up mistakes they have made. That might even include making victims appear unreasonable or hiding vital evidence of medical malpractice. An experienced attorney will be able to uncover all the relevant details through the rules concerning discovery.
If there is a cover-up, they can even get the court to order the hospital facility to open up the records. This can include compelling the production of certain documents or interviewing employees or staff under oath. In many cases, a thorough investigation at the discovery phase can avoid the need to take a case to court and result in a favorable settlement offer. For this reason, victims should be sure to retain an attorney who is familiar with medical malpractice litigation and who has successfully represented victims in the past.
Common Defenses to Medical Malpractice
Not surprisingly, many medical professionals and their insurers try and avoid liability by claiming that the victim’ s injuries were caused by something other than the medication error. In particular, someone accused of medical malpractice may argue that an injury was not caused by their negligence or malice, but was the result of any number of alternative explanations, including:
- The patient failed to disclose a pre-existing condition at the time of the procedure
- The advanced age of the patient, which can cause some complications
- The patient failing to inform the clinicians about some vital facts for the operation
- That they followed the rules and procedures of the profession but ended up with a negative outcome nonetheless
Despite these excuses, the reality is that a substantial number of Americans are injured by medical malpractice each year. Some of these deaths include cases of chiropractic malpractice as well. In many cases, victims and their families can recover significant compensation for the injuries they have sustained.
What Causes Medication Errors?
Existing research has shown that there are many complex reasons why doctors who are otherwise well-trained end up committing serious errors of judgment. Some of these include:
- Medical facilities that do not hire enough qualified staff to meet patient needs
- Members of staff who lack training, motivation, and proper pay to allow them to do their jobs
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- A lack of timely and accurate communication between staff members as well as between staff members and their patients
- A heavy workload that is dominated by out-of-date procedures that do not allow the clinicians to give personal attention to their patients
- Work schedules that do not allow physicians and other professionals to get adequate rest
Injured by a Medication Error? Call the Abelson Law Firm Today to Speak with a D.C. Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you believe that you have been injured by a medication error while receiving medical treatment, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, lost quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Attorney Mike Abelson is a medical malpractice lawyer who has been practicing law for more than 40 years and is dedicated to ensuring that each client he represents gets the full and fair value of his or her claim. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Abelson, call (202) 331-0600 or send an email through this online contact form.