Medicine is not an exact science. Treatment that works for one person does not necessarily work on another. Medicine is progressing as doctors and researchers learn more every day about diseases and conditions. During the course of medical treatment, we trust our medical providers to do their best and provide us with sufficient information.
Not every medical procedure that fails or causes complications is automatically due to the fault of the doctor, nurse or other medical staff. Some procedures are risky and, despite taking every precaution and doing everything correctly, sometimes they fail or a person suffers from complications. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider causes an injury or death as a direct result of their action or inaction. Furthermore, this action or inaction must be something in which other medical providers would have done differently.
Unless the malpractice is clearly evident, such as amputating the wrong limb, to establish medical malpractice another doctor must be willing to testify that malpractice occurred. This is often difficult to obtain as doctors usually do not like to testify against another doctor in the same city or town. This can create frustration for victims as there may be malpractice but no one willing to testify on their behalf.
In addition to a negligence or malpractice claim, a medical provider may able be liable for failing to obtain “informed consent”. Informed consent consists of two components: (1) providing sufficient information and (2) obtaining consent to perform the actual medical procedure. The second part is generally easy to establish. It is the first part that is usually more difficult and often requires an expert to testify what information is “sufficient” to allow a patient to decide whether to undergo a medical procedure.
Contact Nebraska’s Lapin Law Offices if you or a loved one have suffered due to the malpractice of a doctor, chiropractor, nurse, therapist, hospital or other medical provider.