At this point in time, it’s difficult to determine how the Coronavirus pandemic will evolve. It’s also difficult to predict how many people will be infected and how severely it will affect them. There is still a lot of speculation about how the tort system will respond to victims affected by the pandemic in the United States.
With that said, the state and federal government might pass laws affecting medical malpractice claims that may arise from coronavirus related cases. There might be a possibility that healthcare workers might be granted full or limited immunity from these claims.
Below are some of the possible situations that might lead to coronavirus medical malpractice claims:
- Hospitals’ lack of preparedness for a pandemic
- Exposure to the disease while undergoing treatment for a completely different illness
- Failure to diagnose the disease
- Delays to get treatment for unrelated situations because of the disease leading to patients getting harmed
If you live in Hyannis, MA, and you or a loved one has been affected by coronavirus as a result of medical negligence, you can contact us at 508-775-1660 for a free initial consultation. We will investigate your claim and represent you in a coronavirus medical malpractice claim.
Let’s Define What Medical Malpractice is First
In order for you to know whether you can file for a coronavirus medical malpractice claim, you first have to understand the basics of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice happens when a patient is harmed because a health care provider deviated from the accepted standard of care. The most common basis for filing a medical malpractice claims is misdiagnosis of a disease. Misdiagnosis in this case means your doctor examined you but reached the wrong conclusion about your condition.
An example would be a patient walking into a doctor’s office complaining about a headache and the doctor diagnoses the patient with an illness such as diabetes when in fact the headache is a symptom of a brain tumor.
In order for you to successfully file a medical malpractice claim, you need to prove:
- Your doctor or health care provider deviated from accepted standard of care and
- The deviation caused you harm
If your doctor misdiagnoses your illness, it doesn’t mean they committed malpractice. Some illnesses are not easy to diagnose and if the mistake is one that any doctor can make then there is no medical malpractice. This is why the focus on medical malpractice is what another medical professional would have done given a similar situation.
The problem with coronavirus is that it’s very challenging to diagnose because it presents symptoms that are very similar to other respiratory diseases. And as mentioned earlier, it’s a very new disease and it keeps evolving so any information about the disease keeps changing. This makes it very hard to establish a misdiagnosis for coronavirus.
However, every medical malpractice claim is unique and has its own set of facts. You should consider talking to a skilled medical malpractice lawyer about your situation.
Can You Sue a Healthcare Facility if a Loved One Died of Coronavirus?
It’s possible to successfully sue a healthcare facility if you can prove that they were negligent. To establish negligence you must show:
- The healthcare facility owed your loved one duty of care
- They breached duty of care and
- The breach caused the death of your loved one
All healthcare facilities owe their patients duty of care so what you need to prove is how they breached their duty of care and how their actions resulted in the death of your loved one.
An example of a breach of duty by a healthcare provider is failing to take reasonable steps to prevent your loved one from contracting the virus. If one of the patients or hospital staff showed symptoms of coronavirus and the hospital didn’t bother to isolate them, then the healthcare facility breached their duty of care.
Next step is to prove that your loved one contracted the disease while at the hospital and it’s the disease that caused their demise.
We can Handle Your Case Remotely
Many law firms have closed down their physical offices and are working from home. The good news is that we are still able to take on new cases because:
- We can send, review and sign documents through a secure email service
- We can conduct depositions via video conferences
- We can conduct hearings via phone calls
- We can negotiate settlements via phone calls
You can contact us by calling 508-775-1660 to schedule your free initial consultation today.