Although medical malpractice is uncommon in the state of Colorado, it does occur when a medical professional infringes their duty to provide medical treatment to a patient where the course of treatment results in injury or death. The misfortune of a medical blunder is oftentimes life altering for the patient involved — when these treatments do occur, many wonder if they’ve experienced medical malpractice.
Representing personal injury cases — including medical malpractice — is something Steve Ray Law does exquisitely. Long ago, Steve Ray decided to break from insurance companies and advocate for those who needed it, the gravely injured. Join us in today’s post as we examine medical malpractice and the most common types.
Medical Malpractice in Colorado
Compared with other western states, the medical malpractice laws in Colorado are considered to be more physician-friendly and the statues are as follows:
- Medical malpractice laws must be filed within two years of the malpractice or two years after the injury surfaces.
- Although certain exceptions may exist, a medical malpractice case filed more than three years following will be barred under Colorado’s statute of repose.
- The state of Colorado places a hard cap on noneconomic damages that can be received in the medical malpractice suit.
- Malpractice claims against the state, in addition to those funded by the state, may be subject to a different approach than the Colorado medical malpractice laws.
Have You Experienced Medical Malpractice?: The Most Common Types
Failure to treat – This type of medical malpractice occurs when the medical professional makes a correct diagnosis but doesn’t offer the host of options available. This happens when physicians are bogged down with patients and their time is stretched thin, so the basic standard of care is compromised. This may look like a failure to offer follow-up care, releasing patient too soon, or referring a patient for care from a specialist.
Misdiagnosis – Many cases that are seen are misdiagnosis cases. The physician is careful in their evaluation but fails to come to an accurate and complete diagnosis. The doctor may happen to dismiss the patient with no illness or injury, or oppositely, diagnose them with a condition they don’t actually have.
Surgical mistakes – Surgical malpractice can happen in the following scenarios including:
- The wrong procedure
- An unnecessary procedure
- Damaging nerves, organs, and other body parts during surgery
- Providing the wrong amount of anesthesia
- Using non-sterile instruments
- Leaving medical equipment in the patient
- Failing to provide adequate care after surgery
Birth injury – Negligence can occur during birth, and it can be devastating for the excited and joyful parents-to-be. Birth injuries can occur in prenatal care where the doctor fails to provide adequate care, or during birth that result from surgical mistakes.
Delayed diagnosis – This is similar to a misdiagnosis, but in a delayed diagnosis, the doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis and then later down the line corrects it. In the time that spans between the two diagnoses is where the medical malpractice occurs. A patient may be delayed in necessary treatments, or their condition may worsen as a result.
Misprescribing pharmaceuticals – If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, an incorrect dose, or one the patient has a known allergy to, this is a form of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice happens, and if you think you’ve experienced one of the most common forms listed above, it’s important to understand Colorado’s medical malpractice statutes and work with an attorney who is willing to advocate for you.
For more information about how we can help with your medical malpractice case, connect with our office today.
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