How Does Medical Malpractice Affect the Elderly?

Mistakes happen, but when a doctor, hospital, nursing home or other health care provider makes a mistake, the results can be deadly. Medical malpractice can impact patient and their family. Legal remedies may be available.

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How Does Medical Malpractice Affect the Elderly?
2 Min Read September 2nd, 2022

Medical malpractice is more common and occurs more frequently than you might imagine. Sadly, when an older person is involved, the malpractice can have an impact on both the patient and their family. The effects may include mental and emotional distress, physical injury, and even loss of life. 

That is why, if a loved one has experienced medical malpractice, it is recommended that you contact a medical malpractice attorney in Pittsburgh to understand your legal options and decide how to proceed to recover the compensation you or your loved one deserve.

Medical Malpractice and The Elderly

Health issues are much more common in the elderly population. By requiring much more medical attention and care, they are also subject to a greater frequency of medical malpractice cases.

When a patient suffers harm during an interaction with a healthcare provider, this may be because the medical professional carried out improper conduct during treatment, did not correctly perform their medical duties, misdiagnosed or prescribed the wrong medication or the wrong dosage, or neglected to provide proper care. Any of these actions are defined as medical malpractice.

How do you prove medical malpractice?

It is expected that doctors and any healthcare providers have a duty of care towards their patients. Failure to provide that care can lead to a medical malpractice case.

Still, it is difficult to prove medical malpractice. To do so, the victim and their lawyer must show that:

  • There was an error in treatment – If so, the lawsuit can only be filed against whoever was directly involved in the patient’s treatment.

  • There was negligence – The malpractice lawsuit must establish that the medical professional failed to provide the needed medical treatment.

  • An injury occurred – Because there was a failure to provide adequate care, there are demonstrable injuries. If there is no demonstrable injury, it is not possible to file a lawsuit for malpractice.

  • It was the medical malpractice that caused the injury – If the patient suffers because of the treatment, it is not necessarily because there was medical malpractice. It may be because the treatment is difficult and the patient is weak or for any other reason. Your lawyer must prove that the loss or damage is the direct result of the doctor’s actions or inactions.

What are the most common types of medical malpractice in the elderly?

The great majority of elderly malpractice cases fall within these categories:

Failure to Inform of Known Risks

Doctors are bound by a duty of informed consent. This means that, despite how difficult it may be, the patient must be informed regarding the known risks associated with their treatment, medication, or procedure. This way, the patient can make an informed decision on how they wish to move forward. A patient who is not informed about the potential risks may sue for malpractice because, had they known, they may have opted against the procedure.

Failure to Diagnose

If the patient can show that a competent doctor should have been able to make a diagnosis that was missed in this case, they can sue for malpractice because a proper diagnosis would have resulted in a better outcome for them.

Failure to Provide Proper Treatment

Administering the wrong treatment or the right treatment in an incompetent way means that the patient may have a solid malpractice case.

Medical malpractice attorneys and provide the legal advice necessary for your family to decide if legal action is required.

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