Minimizing Medical Malpractice Risks Due to COVID-19
The biggest fear that a doctor faces is getting sued for medical malpractice. No skilled physician wants to face a lawsuit for medical negligence. It not only shows that they are negligent but it can also lead to license loss, fines and other sanctions.
Medical malpractice is something that doctors worry about constantly, and this is especially true in the age of the coronavirus. They worry about how to properly treat a new virus and diagnose new cases as they work remotely. They are in a strange new territory, dealing with a disease they never learned about in medical school. Will they get sued for medical malpractice if a patient dies from COVID? How can they reduce their liability?
It’s too early to tell if malpractice will be an issue that stems from the more than 28 million coronavirus cases in the United States alone. There have been very few cases so far, but that number could spike in a few years, as medical malpractice cases seem to lag.
Misdiagnosis is the Biggest Issue
Doctors should not be especially concerned with COVID-19 treatment, but they should be focused on making sure it is diagnosed properly. Medical malpractice cases often stem from an incorrect diagnosis. The disease’s symptoms tend to mimic those of the flu, so a misdiagnosis is possible. Plus, the symptoms are varied. Some people get sick very quickly, while others are asymptomatic and not even feeling sick at all.
Compounding the situation is difficulties in testing. It can be hard to schedule testing. Sometimes test results can be delayed. Doctors are stressed out trying to deal with the mounting number of COVID cases. Patients have anxiety over possibly having the disease. Many patients and doctors prefer to do virtual visits, but this can make it even harder to get the right diagnosis.
Despite the concerns of misdiagnosis, there are things doctors can do to reduce their risk of getting sued for medical malpractice. The first step is to try to prevent adverse events. This is not always possible, but patient safety should be a number one priority for doctors. They should do whatever they can to keep the patient stable.
Even if an adverse event does occur, it does not mean a doctor will automatically get sued. Things happen. Many people have died from COVID, but that does not mean that every doctor will face a lawsuit. As long as the doctor communicates clearly up front about diagnosis, treatment, complications and prognosis, then they can build patient trust and reduce the risk of a lawsuit.
Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Medical malpractice can lead to serious injuries and even death. However, these cases are very complex and hard to fight and win without aggressive representation.
If you have experienced medical negligence, seek legal help right away from the Morristown medical malpractice lawyers at The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff. We will aggressively fight for your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (973) 455-1567.