Elements of Medical Malpractice Due to COVID-19

The misdiagnoses of COVID-19 patients is  likely to be responsible for a possible rise in medical malpractice legal cases, whereby the number of these cases may increase in the foreseeable future. This is partially due to the overcrowding of hospitals and health institutions beyond capacity where, in most instances, they are also understaffed.

Another reason why medical malpractice cases may be on the rise is that patients who require hospitalisation for various other health reasons may be neglected, as COVID-19 patients may be given priority.

COVID-19 is the largest global crisis in the medical field at the moment with severe cases needing urgent attention. It is clear why medical institutions are under severe pressure, which is worsened by the fact that at peak, there are thousands of COVID-19 cases at once.

How to Pursue Your Medical Malpractice Case, Should It Be Unrelated To COVID

For litigation purposes, you will have to demonstrate to the court, with evidence, that you informed staff of your condition and they showed little or no care. The best way of going about pursuing your case is to hire the services of a medical malpractice lawyer.

The attorney needs to have all the pertinent medical documentation and information relevant to the proceedings. Also, every relevant person who may serve as a witness, if necessary, must be readily available. This helps determine whether there may be a valid legal case and, if there is, the extent and the nature of compensation reasonably applicable.

Elements of Medical Malpractice

Below are some examples where an individual may claim for a medical malpractice and/or medical negligence case.

Medical Practitioner’s Actions or Omission of Actions

This occurs when harm is suffered as a direct or indirect result of action, inaction or negligence by the medical practitioner and/or health institution’s staff. Some of these examples can include:

  • misdiagnosis,
  • oversight of an essential step in treatment,
  • incorrect medical procedure followed,
  • failure to carry out action,
  • incorrect administration of medicine or treatment.

Reasonable Standard of Medical Care Not Followed

In this instance, the individual must give solid evidence of inappropriate medical care in order for the case to stand. The evidence is measured against the standard of care that is expected and offered by another institution or practitioner, and so it can be difficult to prove. In these instances, medical experts will be called upon to testify regarding what would constitutes a reasonable standard of care by a medical professional.

Adams and Adams Medical Malpractice Litigation

If the initial medical report (which is part of the process) finds that there is a valid medical malpractice then our team will take on the matter. To go about this, besides the need for a medical report, we also need to assess and determine whether it is a viable legal case; is the amount of work and money needed in the case justified by the probable compensation to be recovered, etc.

For more information on medical malpractice cases, advice, and other legal instances, contact us.

How can we help you?

We have offices in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, please contact your nearest office for any legal enquiry or assistance.

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