Coronavirus related medical malpractice cases are expected to explode
The coronavirus is leaving an indelible mark on the world, with the U.S. leading the way in new cases. As the number of deaths continues to rise with each new day, most states have issued stay-in-place orders, and it looks like social distancing is here to stay indefinitely.
As the pandemic continues, there will be a variety of legal claims of negligence or intent to harm as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Countless medical malpractice cases could arise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Already, personal injury attorneys throughout the country are being contacted by individuals who think that they might have a case.
Lawsuits involving medical malpractice are expected to be filed against nursing homes, hospitals, and health care providers for failing to properly care for or treat victims of the illness as well as failing to protect against exposure to the virus.
According to experts in the field of medical malpractice law, medical malpractice claims could include such things as:
- A lack of preparedness for a pandemic
- Failure to provide testing
- Failure to properly diagnose coronavirus cases
- Flawed test results
- Failure to prevent and/or limit the exposure of non-infected patients to the virus
- Failure that results in situations in which unrelated procedures were delayed due to the virus
Because the coronavirus has the ability to impair lung function, resulting in acute respiratory distress, many patients need to be placed on a ventilator as a life-saving measure.
Unfortunately, being intubated can often result in post-treatment complications.
What went wrong?
The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in illnesses, in some cases life-threatening or life-ending, for tens of thousands of people. While most medical and healthcare professionals are doing everything they can to help patients that have been diagnosed with the virus and that need medical care and treatment, mistakes have been made at clinics and hospitals and by primary care doctors, which could have resulted in harm to a patient.
A physician or medical professional could misdiagnose a patient and send them home without the proper care and treatment. In the ensuing days, that patient’s condition could worsen, and, by the time they return to the clinic or ER, their condition has taken a turn for the worst, or they could have died as a result of the delay in diagnosis and treatment.
Inadequate coronavirus testing due to a lack of available test kits or defective test kits as well as a lack of available ventilators necessary to treat victims of acute respiratory distress could also result in a medical malpractice claim for wrongful death.
Getting your questions answered
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance companies are preparing for claims and lawsuits, including coronavirus related medical malpractice cases. If you fell that you may have been injured or have lost a loved one as a result of medical negligence involving the coronavirus, you should contact an attorney that specializes in medical malpractice cases to see if it’s appropriate for you to file a claim.
Across the U.S., first responders, physicians, healthcare workers, and caregivers have been going above and beyond the call of duty to provide treatment and care to victims of the coronavirus. However, if you think that you have a valid claim of medical malpractice, the San Diego law firm of Scott S. Harris can help. Contact our firm to schedule a free case consultation.