When you need help from a Minnesota doctor or healthcare facility such as St. Cloud Hospital, M Health, Lakewood Health System, or United Hospital, you entrust them with your care and well-being.
Unfortunately, for some patients, their experience with medical providers can worsen their condition or result in unexpected injuries or illnesses due to errors of the individuals or organizations charged with their care.
If you suffer harm due to what you believe is the negligence of a provider trusted with your care, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. With the help of a Minnesota medical malpractice attorney, you can seek compensation for your damages when injuries or illnesses occur or worsen due to the actions or inaction of medical malpractice.
How Common Is Medical Malpractice in Minnesota?
Many patients hope that when they seek treatment from a doctor for an ailment or concern, they will get the help they need to address the health problem. A patient does not expect that a visit to the doctor for an evaluation, procedure, or treatment can leave them worse off than before due to the errors of a medical provider.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is not uncommon, and the incidences of harm and deaths is a rising concern. In a shocking revelation, a study by Johns Hopkins indicates that over 250,000 people can die yearly due to medical care and treatment errors. That staggering number surpasses many common ailments and diseases attributed to the highest death rates in the U.S.
The study suggests that it is not a disease but the medical system’s mistakes that lead to the country’s third highest cause of death.
Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
The process of seeking and receiving medical care can involve a team of doctors and other healthcare providers to care for an individual patient. At certain points in the process, errors and malpractice are more likely to occur than others.
For example, you may have an experience with a doctor that leaves you uneasy or unsure about your care plan. When you suffer an actual injury or deterioration of a condition because of a healthcare professional’s actions or lack of action, that may rise to the level of malpractice.
To file for medical malpractice, a doctor or another healthcare provider must do more than make a mistake. That mistake must cause you physical harm to give rise to a potential medical malpractice claim for damages. Patients can experience malpractice in different ways, and the experience of each malpractice victim is unique to their circumstances and the events leading to an injury or illness.
The prenatal and birthing processes are common areas of medicine where doctors can make mistakes that endanger the life and health of a mother and/or the baby. If you believe decisions your medical team made before, during, or after the birthing process led to preventable injuries to you or your baby, you may have a valid malpractice claim.
Common birth related injuries in malpractice cases can include stillbirth, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, hypoxia, hemorrhaging, spinal cord injury, Erb’s palsy, fractures, or nerve damage.
Diagnosing a patient’s condition is a common source of error that can give rise to medical malpractice claims. While it is not expected that a doctor will always know the answers to the symptoms a patient is experiencing, there are norms and standards within the medical profession that a provider must follow when evaluating and ultimately diagnosing a patient.
A doctor who ignores a patient’s complaints, fails to order proper diagnostic testing, or deviates from normal procedures, can result in a misdiagnosis, a delay in diagnosis, or a missed diagnosis altogether.
If your health suffers or you develop complications because of errors by a medical practitioner in the diagnostic process, you may recover compensation through a malpractice claim.
Medications may be a source of risk for patients in healthcare settings. If an individual receives the incorrect medication, wrong dosage, or it counteracts with other medications the patient takes, they may suffer life-threatening consequences. Mistakes involving medication prescription by a doctor, the fulfillment of a prescription by a pharmacy, or the administration of medication by a nurse or other provider in a healthcare setting can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Failure to Treat
Patients come to their doctors when they have concerns due to symptoms or discomfort they are experiencing.
Often, a doctor will go through diagnostic testing and labs to identify the cause of a patient’s complaints. Unfortunately, not all medical professionals will follow the standard of care required of their positions and may ignore or overlook a patient’s concerns, thus failing to identify and, in turn, treat their condition.
If you develop an injury or a condition progresses because of a doctor’s failure to properly treat you, you may file a claim for medical malpractice.
Errors Relating to Surgical Procedures
Surgeries can create heightened risks for patients due to most patients’ vulnerable state during this medical procedure. Mistakes by healthcare professionals during surgeries can become life-threatening or result in serious injury and harm to a patient.
Surgical errors are a leading cause of malpractice claims. Common surgical mistakes can include anesthesia-related problems, surgical instruments left in the body, surgery on the wrong body part, and internal injuries during surgery. If you believe you are a victim of a surgical mistake in your case, you may be eligible for compensation.
Can You Sue for Your Medical Malpractice Injuries and Damages?
Lawsuits are not always necessary for medical malpractice claims. In most cases, medical malpractice insurance coverage may cover the losses and damages you experience following a malpractice incident. Dealing with malpractice insurance companies, however, is not easy, and there is no guarantee that they will make you a settlement offer.
A medical malpractice lawyer can prepare and build your claim by collecting evidence to support the cause of your injuries and your damages. An attorney can attempt to resolve your claim without the need for a trial. However, you may need to go to trial depending on how settlement negotiations develop.
Common Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case
When you are a victim of medical malpractice, you can pursue damages you incur because of your injuries or the progression of an illness following a medical provider’s error. Accurately calculating damages for a medical malpractice incident is a difficult task that a medical malpractice lawyer can help guide you through.
Damages that pertain to injuries and illness can vary because of how much the condition can affect your life, future, and ability to function normally. Minnesota does not cap or limit medical malpractice damages, and a victim can pursue all losses that arise due to a medical malpractice injury or illness.
Medical Related Compensation
When you suffer a medical malpractice injury, the costs to repair the harm or to address the deterioration of your condition can be costly. In some cases, it may not be possible for a victim to fully recover, which can lead to a long-term need for continued medical treatment and care. As part of your medical malpractice claim, you can seek compensation for all expenses related to your medical care now and in the future based on your current health status and condition.
Compensation for Income Losses
Loss of income can have a profound effect on medical malpractice victims and their families after an injury. You may unexpectedly find yourself unable to return to work and earn a living when you suffer an injury or illness due to malpractice.
You can seek compensation for your income losses through medical malpractice claims. Additionally, if your condition causes long-term consequences and impacts, such as a permanent disability you may pursue future income losses, income growth potential, and other income-related losses.
Pain and Suffering Compensation
Enduring the pain of a medical condition or illness is difficult. When you suffer more harm than healing after an encounter with a medical provider that commits malpractice, this can lead to more pain, more suffering, and longer impacts on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Furthermore, becoming a victim of medical malpractice can cause trauma and future issues revolving around medical care, treatment, and trust in healthcare professionals. When filing a medical malpractice claim, you may seek compensation for damages due to pain and suffering, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction where the malpractice occurred.
Wrongful Death Compensation
Sadly, not all victims of medical malpractice survive the injuries or deterioration of their illness. The family of victims that die due to medical malpractice may have a valid wrongful death claim. The surviving family of a wrongful death victim may seek justice against the parties responsible and compensation for funeral and burial costs, medical bills, and the loss to the family due to the avoidable and unexpected death of their loved one.
What Is the Minnesota Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims?
The laws that apply to medical malpractice cases can vary depending on your jurisdiction. Additionally, medical malpractice claims often face a higher level of scrutiny. Certain statutes in the states where the malpractice occurs may require additional steps and actions by a claimant considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
While some jurisdictions provide generous statutes of limitations, others have short and limited timeframes for a malpractice victim to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible.
In Minnesota, a medical malpractice victim has four years from the date of the malpractice incident to file a cause of action for damages. Speaking to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible following a malpractice incident can ensure you follow all statutory deadlines and protect your right to seek compensation.
Should You Hire a Minnesota Medical Malpractice Attorney to Assist With Your Claim?
Medical malpractice cases are challenging. There is no easy medical malpractice claim, and a lawyer is the best option for a medical malpractice victim to get the proper advice and help they need when facing injury and damages due to the errors of a medical professional in Minnesota.
Malpractice insurance companies and even the providers that cause your losses will have their attorneys to defend and protect their interests in an insurance claim and court if necessary. Hire a medical malpractice lawyer with experience fighting for malpractice victims and a successful track record of results that benefit their medical malpractice clients.
Once an attorney represents you in a medical malpractice claim, they can support you with the resources you need to properly build your claim and collect the records and evidence available to prove your injuries and losses. Contact a Minnesota medical malpractice attorney near you for your free case consultation.