Medical Malpractice and COVID-19

We expect our medical professionals to be prepared for anything – even a new disease like COVID-19. Even an illness that spreads quickly should be diagnosed and treated according to protocols and the standard of care. When that care is not given, patients might resort to medical malpractice claims to get the compensation they need to recover from their doctors’ mistakes.

Elements of Medical Malpractice

Generally, the term ‘malpractice’ is used when a professional (like a doctor or nurse) fails to practice their duties in a way that hurts someone (like a patient). To win a medical malpractice claim, you typically have to prove the following:

  1. That the medical professional owed a duty of care,
  2. That there was a breach of that duty,
  3. That that breach of duty injured you, and
  4. That you incurred damages because of the breach.

There are several ways that COVID-19 treatment could be considered medical malpractice.

COVID-19 Patients

For someone with COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis could be a problem. For example, if a patient tells a doctor they might have been exposed to COVID-19, a reasonable person might expect the doctor to test them for the disease. Medical malpractice can occur if a healthcare professional ignores the possibility you might have a life-threatening illness, including COVID-19.

Likewise, you might show up at a hospital with a fever and flu-like symptoms. If the professionals you see just send you home and tell you to rest, you could develop severe complications. Inaction on their part could be considered medical malpractice.

Finally, the doctor or hospital might test you and realize you have COVID-19. However, they fail to give you the right medicine or breathing treatments. As your condition worsens, they realize how sick you are and put you on a respirator. By this point, your chances of survival have dwindled. You might have longer-lasting effects that prevent you from working or at least reduce your ability to work. In cases like this, you might be able to hold them responsible for medical malpractice and receive compensation for your inability to work.

Sometimes Medical Malpractice Claims Are Inevitable

Medical malpractice and COVID-19 are a concern for many people. These types of cases are complicated. Often, many parties are involved in the chain of treatment. Powell Law features James F. Mundy, Esq., as an attorney who has successfully litigated medical malpractice cases for several decades. Since 1906, our practice has evolved litigating personal injury claims, including medical malpractice cases, and building a body of knowledge and expertise that unquestionably provides our clients with an incomparable advantage. Powell Law has an established 115-year-old reputation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. Contact Powell Law at call (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE.

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