Medical negligence is an error, oversight, or lack of attention by a healthcare professional (doctors, nurses, dentists, therapists, etc.) that can result in severe physical and emotional harm to the patient.
We specialize in cases involving victims of medical malpractice due to diagnostic errors, prescription or medication administration mistakes, surgery or treatment errors, or a lack of proper patient follow-up.
Additionally, we calculate the loss of opportunity resulting from medical errors, negligent conduct, or injuries sustained in a hospital, healthcare facility, or by healthcare personnel.
If you have experienced a deterioration in your health condition as a patient due to medical incompetence, do not hesitate to contact us at 665 49 23 96 or by sending us a contact form.
Tabla de contenido
- 1 What is a Medical Negligence?
- 2 How to Determine the Doctor’s Degree of Liability?
- 3 Do you want to file a medical negligence complaint?
- 4 Examples of Medical Negligence
- 4.1 1. Omission of Information
- 4.2 2. Delayed Diagnosis or Lack of Follow-up
- 4.3 3. Delays in Waiting Lists
- 4.4 4. Misdiagnosis
- 4.5 5. Errors in Treatment or Surgical Intervention
- 4.6 6. Errors in Prescription or Medication Administration
- 4.7 7. Lack of Specific Means for Diagnosis
- 4.8 8. Infections Acquired in Healthcare Facilities
- 5 Documents Required in a Medical Negligence Case
- 6 How to Claim Compensation for Medical Malpractice
- 7 The statute of limitations for medical malpractice
- 8 How do you calculate compensation for medical malpractice?
- 9 Most Common Medical Malpractice Errors
- 10 Medical Negligence in Public Healthcare or Social Security Healthcare Professionals
- 11 Medical Negligence in Private Healthcare Facilities or Private Medical Professionals
- 12 Law Firm Specializing in Medical Negligence
What is a Medical Negligence?
Medical error, negligence, or malpractice must be objectively and sufficiently proven to pursue civil and criminal liabilities against the healthcare center, whether a private or public institution.
If you want to establish incompetence and reckless or negligent behavior, there must be a serious endangerment of the patient’s health, resulting in severe and irreversible injury or even death.
If you want, all documentation related to the case must be analyzed before determining whether it is viable to seek compensation for medical negligence suffered.
How to Determine the Doctor’s Degree of Liability?
To determine the degree of liability of the physician, it is necessary to demonstrate that the medical or surgical procedure was performed outside the standards of medical practice (Lex Artis Ad Hoc).
Therefore, it is essential to consider the patient’s age, medical history, and the nature of the injury with the assistance of a medical expert report to quantify the damages incurred.
It’s important to note that it doesn’t matter whether the damages or injuries were caused recklessly or with limited knowledge as long as the patient’s life was put in danger.
Do you want to file a medical negligence complaint?
Get in touch with the healthcare law firm now and request a no-obligation quote.
We handle all medical malpractice claims against healthcare professionals or the institution.
We assist victims and their families in the process of claiming damages resulting from medical negligence, ensuring that the civil, criminal, administrative, or contentious process is initiated correctly:
- Identifying the existence of medical negligence.
- Determining the viability of the claim.
- A thorough review of the medical history and documents certifying the damages incurred.
- Calculation of compensation for medical negligence.
- Representation and defense of the victims’ rights before public, civil, and criminal authorities.
In these cases, it is advisable to seek legal advice from healthcare lawyers in Madrid to explore all possible courses of action before pursuing maximum compensation from hospitals or private clinics.
Examples of Medical Negligence
There are different common types of medical negligence by healthcare professionals, including:
1. Omission of Information
This medical negligence occurs when a doctor omits critical information or fails to inform the patient of the risks associated with a particular medical treatment. If you believe your rights have been affected, you can initiate the procedures with our lawyers, who specialize in how to claim medical negligence.
Doctors must inform patients about the various risks they may face. It can be done verbally and documented in the medical records.
2. Delayed Diagnosis or Lack of Follow-up
After multiple visits, the doctor makes a delayed diagnosis and takes a long time to conduct the necessary tests to determine the required treatment. It can include a lack of patient follow-up after treatment, failure to follow up on test results, and more.
As a result, there may be consequences regarding recovery, harm, or lasting effects, and you have the right to claim compensation for malpractice.
3. Delays in Waiting Lists
Delays in waiting lists can cause a patient’s condition to worsen or result in symptoms that could have been avoided. If the patient had received timely attention, the symptoms would not have worsened, or they may not have lost their life.
Diagnostic errors include missed, incorrect, or delayed diagnoses of a disease. Misdiagnosis occurs when healthcare personnel confuse the symptoms of one disease with those of another and prescribe medication incorrectly, causing harm to the patient.
5. Errors in Treatment or Surgical Intervention
These errors or recklessness during surgery, inappropriate treatment, or lack of proper patient follow-up.
It occurs when a doctor makes a mistake during surgery or becomes overly confident and fails to consider potential complications that a patient may experience.
These occur when a doctor makes a mistake during surgery or becomes overly confident and fails to consider potential complications that a patient may experience.
- Cataract surgeries.
- Cosmetic negligence.
- Breast surgeries.
- Nose surgeries.
- Dental negligence.
- Hair transplants.
- Injuries during pregnancy or childbirth, both to the mother and the newborn, including urgent cesarean sections and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
- Spinal injuries: spine surgery or lumbar arthrodesis.
- Knee and hip prosthesis surgeries.
- Heart attacks, diseases, angina, intestinal ischemia, and perineal tears.
- Delayed cancer diagnosis, including lung, breast, or colon cancer.
- Neurological conditions, such as strokes.
6. Errors in Prescription or Medication Administration
It includes prescribing the wrong medication, inappropriate dosages, or failing to consider drug interactions. For instance, prescribing enantyum instead of diazepam or misdiagnosing lung, breast, or colon cancer.
Administering medication to patients by nurses is one of the most common tasks. However, nursing negligence could be considered if a nurse fails to follow the doctor’s orders.
7. Lack of Specific Means for Diagnosis
Medical negligence can occur when no means are available to diagnose. This is because the causes of the patient’s condition cannot be determined or addressed, and appropriate treatment cannot be prescribed. Such situations can jeopardize a person’s health, potentially leading to further injury or harm.
8. Infections Acquired in Healthcare Facilities
Infections acquired in healthcare facilities or post-surgery, also known as nosocomial infections, occur when they are contracted during a patient’s stay in a healthcare center or hospital.
For various types of medical negligence, consulting with a specialist in such cases is essential to guide you through the process and help you obtain fair compensation.
Documents Required in a Medical Negligence Case
The affected individual can file a medical negligence claim directly with the hospital’s or private clinic’s administration where the procedure was performed. This can be done in writing or verbally and should include the following information:
You should gather all medical documents supporting your case to initiate a medical negligence proceeding.
Hire a medical expert witness to assess the harm caused by the practitioner who will be under investigation.
To determine the course of action when you have suffered medical negligence, it is essential to establish who made the mistake: a public or private hospital.
The patient’s location.
- Medical history.
- Diagnostic reports and exams.
- Medical recommendations.
- Hospital discharge records, among others.
In case of refusal by the healthcare facility, you can also request your medical history online and send it to email@example.com for a field study of potential damages.
How to Claim Compensation for Medical Malpractice
In these cases, the medical profession’s civil, administrative, or criminal liability can be requested for not meeting the required technical standards.
Through civil proceedings
The lawsuit will follow verbal or ordinary trial procedures, depending on the amount involved.
In this regard, the traffic accident scale should be used as a guideline to determine and quantify economic damage.
You can seek medical civil liability when the healthcare professional fails to comply with the required standards for their profession, and you can request compensation under lex artis.
In this way, civil proceedings will compensate for the damages caused by private healthcare.
Through criminal proceedings
Lastly, criminal negligence is reserved for the most severe cases involving intent in cases of injury and the most blatant violations of the duty of care and supervision.
Through administrative proceedings
In administrative proceedings, the administration’s financial responsibility for actions in public healthcare can be claimed.
If you want to file a complaint with the Ministry of Health, the administration provides template forms for submitting your complaint and requesting your medical history.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice
The deadline for bringing a civil action depends on the type of liability:
- The statute of limitations for contractual liability in private clinics is five years, meaning there must be a prior legal relationship.
- The statute of limitations for non-contractual liability in public hospitals is one year by Article 1968.2 of the Civil Code.
To initiate any claim, the countdown begins from the date of medical malpractice or the patient’s death.
If the injury worsens, the deadline starts when the injury heals or stabilizes.
In this regard, Article 1969 of the Civil Code states:
How do you calculate compensation for medical malpractice?
Technically assessable damages can be of two types:
A. Personal Damages
Personal damages or injuries must result in actual and practical harm.
Depending on how long it takes for the injuries caused by medical errors to heal or stabilize, they can be of several types:
These occur successively over time and should be expected until the outcome of the time series in which the total harmful result unfolds.
These injuries persist over time and are counted when the patient becomes aware of the damage.
These are injuries that stabilize and leave physical or psychological sequelae caused by medical malpractice and thus warrant compensation.
This consists of the distress, pain, spiritual or physical affliction, or any suffering caused to the victim by the injury.
In some cases, not only the victim of medical negligence suffers from this type of harm.
Family members are also considered victims of the negligence committed by the healthcare professional.The lawyers for medical negligence at the firm also work on a fixed fee plus a percentage, depending on the case’s specific circumstances.
B. Material Damages
Material damages can be of two types:
These are all expenses the victim had to bear due to the medical malpractice suffered, including medical expenses, rehabilitation, surgeries, transportation, medications, etc.
Loss of profit:
This occurs when the victim of the injury loses economic capacity.
Most Common Medical Malpractice Errors
Medical incompetence leads to patient injury due to the carelessness of doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgeons, pharmacists, and healthcare providers.
Such negligence can also occur due to equipment malfunctions for medical examinations or treatment administration.
The most common errors considered as medical malpractice include:
- Incorrect patient data recording leads to improper treatment administration.
- Incorrect dosing of medications.
- Monitoring patients properly.
- Poor hygiene in hospital facilities and among personnel.
- Employees need to provide the necessary or deserved care to the patient.
- Inadequate disinfection of medical instruments and equipment, hospital rooms, operating rooms, and different healthcare areas.
- Lack of appropriate care in the emergency room or intensive care unit.
- Performing the wrong surgery on a patient, an unnecessary procedure, or conducting surgery on a body part that doesn’t require it.
- Errors in anesthesia administration.
- Misdiagnosis by doctors followed by hospital discharge.
- Delay in diagnosing diseases and applying the corresponding treatment, such as cauda equina syndrome.
- Anesthetic and surgical errors.
- Errors in drug administration and prescription. In these cases, a medical prescription note must be provided.
- Medical malpractice, for example, the incorrect use of surgical or electric scalpel materials.
- When a healthcare professional provides medical care under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Medical Negligence in Public Healthcare or Social Security Healthcare Professionals
For these errors in public healthcare, a claim for financial responsibility must be initiated with the competent health administration.
This is an administrative procedure where a claim is made against the administration responsible for the medical malpractice, with a maximum deadline of one year from the incident date.
However, if the patient dies due to medical negligence or an illness, injury, or damage is caused or exacerbated due to medical negligence, the countdown begins from the date the injury heals or stabilizes.
The healing or stabilization of the injury occurs when the victim is discharged, either because they have recovered or because the injury has stabilized, in which case they may have sequelae for the rest of their life.
The administrative contentious procedure is used to file a claim for medical malpractice that occurred in a public hospital. This is a lengthy process that can take several years to resolve.
It starts with an administrative prior claim for financial responsibility within one year.
If necessary, we request an autopsy or postmortem report from the court to determine the causes of the patient’s death or vegetative state.
After the claim is filed, the administration has six months to respond or issue a resolution.
If no response is received after the deadline, the process must continue with a judicial procedure, for which a lawsuit must be filed.
The purpose of the claim is not only to seek possible criminal sanctions or the disqualification of the doctor who caused the harm but also to seek financial compensation for medical malpractice.
The law establishes that a claim for medical malpractice must first be made to the administration, and this process goes through the following phases:
Claim for Financial Responsibility Against a Public Hospital
The prior financial responsibility claim is the first step before proceeding to the administrative contentious procedure and consists of the following parts:
- The first part includes a statement of the facts.
- The second part must contain the rationale, explaining the harm suffered, medical negligence, and the causal relationship between the harm and the negligence.
The affected person must submit this statement, and it does not require the assistance of a specialized lawyer. Still, consulting with a medical malpractice specialist is advisable to ensure that the statement contains all the necessary information.
Waiting for the Decision
The waiting phase for a decision is six months, the deadline for the administration to respond to the claim. If there is no response, a request for review must be submitted.
When there is no response within this timeframe, it is assumed that the claim has been rejected due to negative administrative silence, and the claimant must file a notice of administrative contentious procedure, attaching the rejection resolution.
Following the notice, a regular procedure is usually initiated for cases exceeding 30,000 euros. The administration is given nine days to provide the entire file and appear as defendants along with the insurance company. It is given 20 days to formalize the administrative contentious procedure lawsuit.
Notice of Administrative Contentious Procedure
The notice of the contentious administrative procedure is a brief written document informing the judicial body that a financial responsibility claim was submitted, and six months have passed since its submission.
The submitted document has received no response from the hospital, so a lawsuit is being proposed.
When processing the notice of the administrative contentious procedure, the judicial body will request the administrative file from the administration. You will be given 20 days to formalize the lawsuit.
Once this period has elapsed, the victim must be summoned to undergo an evaluation by a specialized medical expert, who will record the injuries suffered.
Medical Negligence in Private Healthcare Facilities or Private Medical Professionals
These errors in private healthcare can occur in cosmetic surgery centers, private medical centers and hospitals, dentists, private doctors, and plastic surgeons, among others.
For both cases, there is the possibility of resorting to criminal jurisdiction, and we are always ready to seek the best solution to the problem presented.
The advisable course of action is to send a registered letter to the medical facility. If there is no response, the affected party’s formalization of a lawsuit or complaint for medical negligence should commence, including the corresponding expert report along with all necessary documents.
Once the case has been admitted, all investigative procedures are initiated to determine whether there has indeed been professional malpractice on the doctor’s part.
The oral trial is conducted after all evidence has been collected, including medical reports, medical prescriptions, a judicial autopsy report if applicable, reports from specialized judicial experts in damages, and any other evidence necessary for claiming compensation.
The conclusions must address whether granting or denying the claim is necessary.
Then verdict can be appealed if one is dissatisfied, and it always requires a lawyer specializing in medical negligence, a solicitor, and a medical expert specializing in the damage caused.
Law Firm Specializing in Medical Negligence
Our medical negligence lawyers are a group of healthcare professionals with extensive knowledge of medicine.
To this end, we initiate negotiations with different healthcare centers, healthcare agencies, doctors, and the Health Department.
We meticulously study all the case details and guide the victim so they understand their rights and the legal actions they can take.
To request the services of our specialists, you can do so via email, directly by phone, or by visiting our offices, where we will be delighted to assist you.
With us, you can seek justice in any medical negligence case.
Medical negligence occurs when inappropriate care is provided, which can result in serious harm to health and even the death of a patient, and this is where medical negligence lawyers like us come into play.