Accidents and injuries happen. Most people, at some point in their lives, will sustain an inconvenient injury that has a short-term effect on their daily life. Unfortunately for some individuals, injuries can last a lifetime, specifically those resulting from medical malpractice, but what happens when medical malpractice leads to a preventable amputation?

What is medical malpractice?  

Medical malpractice results when a doctor, hospital, or healthcare professional fails to competently perform their medical duties and causes an injury to a patient. This medical error could be a misdiagnosis, incorrect medicine dosage, health management, treatment, or aftercare. Medical professionals are expected to provide a certain level of standard of care. As such, they become legally responsible for any harm or injury sustained by a patient when there is a deviation from this standard. 

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. Approximately $4 billion was paid out in medical malpractice lawsuits in 2018, up from $3 billion in 2012. 

What is a preventable amputation? 

Amputation is a life-changing circumstance that results from a myriad of situations, such as accident-related trauma, complications due to diabetes, and severe car accidents. Unfortunately limb-loss resulting from medical negligence, known as preventable amputation, is a common occurrence. 

Performing surgery on the wrong body part, failing to prevent blood clots during surgery, not diagnosing and treating infections, and leaving surgical equipment inside a patient’s body are all examples of medical negligence that can lead to preventable amputation. 

Preventable amputation means lifelong medical expenses, loss of income due to rehabilitation and therapy, lasting pain and discomfort, and psychological distress. Adjusting to life after limb-loss is not without its challenges, but there are resources to make the transition as comfortable as possible. The Amputee Store strives to be a resource for product information, personal care guidelines, and lifestyle issues for the amputee community. Customers can expect to find the best quality products, such as prosthetic socks made by Knit-Rite, for practical prices. 

How to file a medical malpractice claim

A plaintiff will have to confirm four essential elements in order to file a medical malpractice claim. First, there needs to be proof that a doctor-patient relationship existed. There must be evidence that the plaintiff hired the medical professional (the defendant) and the defendant willingly accepted the job. The second element is proof that the doctor was negligent in relation to the patient’s diagnosis or treatment. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant caused harm that a competent physician, under the same circumstances, would not have. 

Next, the plaintiff has to show that—more likely than not—the defendant’s negligence led to the injury. This element can be difficult to prove since, oftentimes, malpractice cases involve patients that were already sick or injured. A medical expert will usually be required to provide testimony that medical negligence resulted in the injury. 

The fourth element of a medical malpractice claim is proving that the injury resulted in significant damages. Disability, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills are all considered significant damages. Medical malpractice lawsuits are expensive and time consuming, so in order to be considered a viable case, the plaintiff must show the significance of the damages. 

For victims of medical malpractice in Tennessee, trust the experience and expertise of a medical malpractice lawyer in Nashville from Cummings Injury Law. From navigating the statute of limitations and assessing the types of damages to pursue, to determining fault and winning the most damages, Cummings Injury Law has a strong reputation for helping victims overcome the trauma and hardship of medical malpractice.