Loss of a limb or amputation has affected approximately 2 million Americans. It is devastating for the amputee, as his or her life will never be the same again. Amputations are often caused by a traumatic situation or construction accident, diabetes, infections, cancer and tumors. Amputees suffer more than just physical pain. They also experience emotional and mental trauma because of what happened to them.
Sadly, some amputations can be prevented. Some are due to medical malpractice or negligence of the hospital or healthcare provider. When you find yourself involved in medcal malpractice, which can lead to amputation, you have to react fast.
Medical Malpractice Explained
Medical malpractice arises when a doctor, healthcare professional, hospital or healthcare facility causes an injury to a patient due to negligence or omission of an act. Everyone in the healthcare industry is required to provide the needed care for their patients. If they failed to meet the patients’ needs and eventually caused more harm, they are subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In order for one to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, these prerequisites should be noted:
- Standard of care violation. Medical patients have the right to receive top quality care when they are visiting or admitted to the hospital. When you fail to receive the type of treatment needed for your condition and it causes you harm or injury, there could be form negligence on the part of the hospital or medical professionals.
- Injury was due to negligence. You, as a victim of medical malpractice, must be able to prove that your injuries are due to the negligence of medical professionals.
- Injury caused serious damages. The negligence of the hospital of medical practitioners may have caused serious damage to you. Your injuries may require additional medical treatment or keep you from reporting for work.
Your situation may fall into one or all of these prerequisite categories. You need to provide evidence in order to build up your medical malpractice litigation.
Medical Malpractice and Amputation
There are medical reasons why a limb or part of a limb has to be amputated. Limbs that are very infected, usually due to diabetes or cancer, are surgically removed in order to save a person’s life.
Amputations that could be avoided are considered medical malpractice. Some examples include:
- Failure to diagnose and treat infections. Time is important when it comes to making a diagnosis. It could save or end a person’s life. Some infections spread throughout the body in a matter of minutes. If the medical practitioner fails to diagnose and treat it immediately, it may lead to amputation.
- Failure to prevent blood clots. There are instances when blood clots are formed, especially during surgery. If this is not prevented, it could lead to a more serious condition called thrombosis. Amputation is needed if the body part is severely damaged due to this condition.
- Removal of the wrong body part. Due to a misunderstanding in the patient’s records, the surgeon accidentally removed the wrong part of the body.
Steps in Filing for a Medical Malpractice Case
Having an amputation is worrying and unnerving. Getting an amputation due to medical malpractice is a different story. Placing your trust in the wrong medical professionals can lead to severe situations such as this. You can accept what happened, move on, and file a lawsuit against the people responsible for your situation.
Before you file a medical malpractice claim, you should follow these important steps:
- Produce proper documentation. Never forget to document everything that happened to you. This will serve as references when you make your claim. You can keep a record of your doctor’s reports, medical expenses, physical injuries and the aftermath of your amputation.
- Question everything. Do not be intimidated by your doctors and nurses. Do not be afraid to ask questions. If you feel like there is something wrong or you cannot understand some parts of your treatment, you should ask for clarification.
- Choose the right lawyer. Contact and hire a lawyer that specializes in this kind of case. Otherwise, your chances of winning your case may be lessened.
- Discuss everything with your lawyer. Before you make any claims, discuss everything with your lawyer. He or she will assist you on how to proceed with your case.
When involved in a medical malpractice case, you are not only fighting for your rights, but also your health. You placed your trust in a hospital or on the medical professional to help you get better. However, due to negligence or other causes, your health was jeopardized. If you do your part and prepare the necessary documents you need, you can file a medical malpractice claim.
Article written by Janine Penn. Janine Penn has been a law writer for more than a decade. She hopes to impart some of her wisdom to others through her written works. She is often reading a new book whenever she has the time.