Whenever we visit a healthcare provider, we expect the physician or nurse to provide quality expert care regarding our health concern. While most healthcare professionals — doctors, nurses, physical therapists, surgeons, etc. — generally do their best to take care of patients, mistakes still happen. Unfortunately, sometimes these mistakes can have life-altering consequences for the victim. If a patient is not treated properly by a medical professional, the healthcare provider may be held liable for resulting harm.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
When a patient is injured by a healthcare facility or provider such as a hospital, physician, nurse, or other medical professional, that is likely medical malpractice. A failure to provide proper medical treatment can happen in many ways such as errors in testing, diagnosis, treatment, healthcare management, recovery and rehabilitation, or aftercare. Some examples of the most common medical malpractice claims include:
- Misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and delayed diagnosis: Every year approximately 12 million people are improperly diagnosed. For every one of these patients, a missed, improper, or failed diagnosis means a delay in treatment that would otherwise prevent harm or death.
- Birth injuries: While the birth of a child is a happy occasion, sometimes problems happen during the birthing process resulting in medical problems for the baby including cerebral palsy, and fractured bones.
- Surgery that is not medically necessary: Surgery that is not medically necessary can be the result of either a misdiagnosis or due to a physician failing to use more conservative treatment prior to surgical intervention. Serious complications can result from an unneeded surgery, including infection, hemorrhaging, organ damage, amputation, anesthesia errors, or even death.
- Mistakes during surgery: Surgical errors can happen in many ways such as physicians performing surgery on the wrong part of the body, cutting the wrong incision on the surgical site, or leaving a foreign object inside the patient’s body. Such errors can cause lifelong damage, infections, paralysis, chronic pain, and death.
- Prescription drug mistakes: When a patient is given the wrong medication or incorrect dosage, that patient can die. These mistakes also happen when patients are not made aware of all of the side effects associated with a prescription drug. In fact, a significant amount of prescription drug errors go unreported by affected patients.
Like a majority of other states in the nation, Nevada has a statute of limitations that governs the specific time frame within which an injured party must file a lawsuit or have the claim forever barred. For medical malpractice lawsuits, which are governed by Section 41A.097 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), a lawsuit must be filed within the earlier of three years after the date of injury or within one year after the victim discovers the injury or should have discovered the injury with reasonable due diligence. The most common exception to these strict deadlines is when a defendant healthcare provider or doctor hides the act, error, or omission upon which the malpractice action is based. In this scenario, the deadline stops running for the duration of the concealment of the alleged malpractice.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of medical malpractice in Nevada, or suffered any other personal injury due to the fault of another, contact the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Matt Pfau Law Group. We have experience fighting for the injured across Nevada and will do the same for you.