When a Car Accident Injury Results in Medical Malpractice

In the aftermath of a car accident, it is often a rush, rush, rush to get the injured occupants to safety and treated immediately for their injuries. The more severe the injury, the greater the urgency. Unfortunately, this can also lead to medical mistakes, as the average medical malpractice attorney can tell you. Very often, because of the emergency nature of the individual’s medical condition, there is often no time for them or their family to see a second opinion, and they may end up in need of a lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer from Ward & Ward Law Firm. Even their family doctor may be out of the loop. The attending doctor is likely to be a complete stranger to the patient, and the patient has no understanding of the physician’s level of competence or experience. In effect, the patient and their family may have to simply put blind trust in the doctor and hope for a positive outcome. Unfortunately, not every story has a happy ending.

In fact, the third-leading cause of fatalities in the U.S. (after cancer and heart disease) is medical mistakes by healthcare providers. That’s a scary statistic. Even if the patient does not die because of medical malpractice, they may be severely or permanently injured. This can force the need for additional surgeries and procedures, a lengthier recovery time, and much pain and suffering.

Typical Car Accident Injuries

Many car accidents are fairly inconsequential and are often referred to as “minor fender benders.” However, when one or both vehicles are travelling at speeds over 35 mph, the instances of dangerous collisions rises significantly. As a general rule, the faster the vehicles are travelling, the greater the impact, and this is even truer when heavier vehicles such as trucks are involved. Every car accident is different because of the many variables involved: rate of speed, number of vehicles, weight of each vehicle, angle of contact, and so on. However, some types of car accident injuries are more common than others and they include:

·         Spinal fractures and breaks, and crushed vertebrae.

·         Head injuries including scalp lacerations, closed head brain injuries, and internal as well as external bruising.

·         Broken bones.

·         Severed limbs.

·         Neck injuries including breaks, tearing of muscles, etc.

·         Soft tissue damage.

·         Internal organ damage.

Medical Malpractice when Treating Car Accident Injuries

First, it should be understood what is considered to be an act of medical malpractice. Not every mistake made by a doctor qualifies as medical malpractice. If they make a diagnosis or perform treatment in such a way that is drastically different than a reasonably competent physician would do under similar circumstances, and that action on their part results in measurably harming the patient, it may be considered medical malpractice. For example, if the patient suffered a closed head injury that resulted in severe brain damage, and the physician diagnosed their condition as a mild concussion without using any diagnostic methods and the patient subsequently died as a result, that may be ruled as medical malpractice. Reasonable proof of the physician’s mistake must be established, and the patient must have suffered as a result for the claim to hold up in court.