The vision many Ohio residents have of medical malpractice is not a pretty one. The thought of a botched surgery often comes vividly to mind. However, surgical errors are among the least common types of medical malpractice mistakes committed by doctors and other medical professionals.
Instead, legal commentators point to misdiagnosis as a leading cause of medical malpractice. Misdiagnosis can lead to patient injury in several different ways. The wrong medicine or the wrong dosage may be prescribed, the wrong treatment protocol could be initiated or proper treatment might be delayed or not started at all. It’s important to understand that medical malpractice can be an error of commission, where a mistake is affirmatively made, or an act of omission, where something that’s needed is not done.
Further complicating the level of proof needed for a malpractice case to proceed, it’s insufficient to simply prove a medical error was made that a medical professional of average standing would have avoided under similar conditions. It’s also necessary to prove the damages sustained by the patient would not have occurred but for the error. For example, say a patient’s cancer went undiagnosed for three months, and then proper treatment was administered, but the patient unfortunately died. If it can be shown that the condition was a particularly aggressive form of cancer, and the patient would have died even had treatment started immediately, there might be no malpractice.
The degree of proof needed in medical malpractice cases is substantial and the defenses are typically very assertive. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help determine if a particular case has merit.