When Iowa patients are being treated by a doctor, they probably do not expect a harmful error to occur. However, in some cases, doctors and other medical professionals do make mistakes, and some of those may constitute medical malpractice.
Medical professionals should keep patients informed about any errors. While a doctor may fear that this could increase the chance of a lawsuit, it may actually make it less likely. Often, people simply want a solution to the issue. However, if a patient feels the medical professional who made the mistake is trying to downplay or avoid addressing the error, it may be time to contact an attorney.
People in such a situation may want to talk to the attorney and get a sense of whether a lawsuit is a possible solution. The legal process may take a long time. In the meantime, depending on the severity of the error, long-term care may be necessary. However, if there is a settlement or the lawsuit is successful, the related expenses may be covered.
Medical malpractice may take a number of different forms including giving a person the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, doing wrong-site surgery or leaving surgical instruments behind in a patient's body. A misdiagnosis can be another form of medical malpractice. In order to establish malpractice, the patient must have suffered harm, such as a worsened medical condition. It must also be demonstrated that the health care practitioner or facility failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care. An attorney representing such a patient will endeavor to establish the latter through a review of the patient's medical records and the opinion testimony of medical experts.