Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional is negligent in medical care or in the attention needed. This can range in scope from a misdiagnosed illness to a surgery gone horribly wrong. Medical malpractice has implications that go well beyond the actual health effects – it can cause emotional trauma for patients and their families. Malpractice is a very serious crime and has many different moving parts.
Did the doctor ask all the right questions? Was the patient honest enough?
The only way to protect yourself is to have a lawyer who understands injury law in Maine as it relates to medical malpractice.
Below are only some of the many types of medical malpractice:
- Cancer misdiagnosis – Doctors and healthcare providers have been known to diagnose someone with a form of cancer that is not reflective of the true nature. This can mean a doctor tells a patient they have 6 months to live, only to find out later that the patient actually has 3 years. Vice versa, a patient may be told they have many years left and then a few months later find out they have only a few months. Similarly, symptoms that may look like cancer can be diagnosed as something else. All forms of cancer misdiagnosis are extremely painful on the patient.
- Nursing home abuse – Abuse in nursing homes happens far too often in Maine and can go undiscovered for years. This can be for a variety of reasons, including neglect by the providers, mismanagement of medication, verbal and physical abuse, sexual abuse, and failure to provide adequate care.
- Medication interactions – Sometimes a doctor may be cavalier in his or her willingness to prescribe a medication to a patient. Without thinking about how the new prescription may interact with current medications the patient is currently taking, the doctor may create a combination of various medicines that can be very dangerous and even fatal.
- Surgery problems – While under anesthesia, a patient has to surrender all control to a healthcare team. During surgery, there is no way to make sure the doctor or surgeon is performing the procedures correctly. Waking up from surgery and finding out that there was a mistake made is devastating to the patient and needs to be addressed immediately.
- Heart attack misdiagnosis – Maine has one of the highest rates of heart disease and heart attacks in the country. With thousands of people going to the hospital every year, it has become a common diagnosis by medical professionals when the first few symptoms match heart attacked. This does not, however, take into account a full diagnosis and can lead a patient to believe that their symptoms are for something else. Continued care and preventative measures can be affected, leading to major complications.
The medical field has a large budget to litigate against medical malpractice suits. Larger institutions, like hospitals, have vast resources and teams of lawyers who will do everything they can to fight against the patient. Understanding the statute of limitations for medical malpractice (up to three years from the medical incident), as well as the specifics that can be overlooked, can make the difference between success and failure.
If you have been involved in a medical malpractice case in Maine, Contact Nichols & Churchill immediately to schedule a consultation. They will assist you in any part of the process and make sure you receive justice you are entitled.
Additionally, you can learn more about on the medical malpractice FAQ page.