The COVID-19 pandemic has created a healthcare crisis around the world. As governments continue to grapple with the pandemic’s immediate impact, the medical sector’s working conditions have experienced drastic changes. Healthcare facilities are overcrowded, critical equipment is scarce, and care providers are overworked.
For that reason, emergency declarations have been issued in all 50 states in the United States. Some of these protections pertain to acts of “good faith” healthcare, which means that a healthcare provider would receive additional graces or extended liberties.
However, these measures don’t cover reckless misconduct, intentional infliction of harm, willful criminal misconduct, or gross negligence. These changes also seek to address issues of COVID-19 patients and victims of healthcare malpractice.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of medical malpractice, you can consult reputable legal professionals like this to receive the justice you deserve.
The Projected Rise of ER Patients in the Upcoming Months
As the spread of COVID-19 hits the sky, emergency rooms are getting packed. Furthermore, emergency care providers are overwhelmed with coronavirus patients and at a high risk of spreading the infection. They also potentially face the risk of legal exposure. Moreover, most emergency facilities, doctors, and nurses are overworked, making the situation even worse.
With all these inconveniences, emergency service malpractice claims remain inevitable. Experts acknowledge that the legal outcome of potential medical injustices will be one of the country’s largest disasters.
In a recent study, hospitalization rates across the country stand at a whopping 40% in the last few months, with a hospitalization increase in over 39 states. What’s more saddening, the infections are projected to increase by 40 to 60 percent in the upcoming months, making some healthcare professionals start rationing care.
Examples of Potential COVID-19 Related Malpractice
Immunity laws have been implemented to ensure healthcare providers are kept safe and healthy and protected from civil liability. Furthermore, both the state and federal governments have created legislation to protect healthcare staff and front-liners.
However, COVID-19 immunity laws have a clear intent and, in many cases, are obvious. For instance, the PREP Act allows the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide a declaration that gives immunity to covered people for any damage resulting from or arising from the administration of countermeasures to threats and diseases. Other COVID-19 related malpractices may include intentional infliction of harm, reckless misconduct, and gross negligence.
Why it’s More Difficult to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for COVID-19 Cases
In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for COVID-19, a person is required to provide solid proof of willful misconduct, bad faith, or gross negligence. Proving these malpractices and effectively recovering a viable claim for compromised medical care given at a time of the emergency isn’t easy.
Moreover, it’s more difficult to differentiate a mere mistake from medical negligence unless the care provider acts insanely unreasonable. It’s also hard to find another medical expert to testify that indeed there was negligence.
Still, if the physician was negligent but didn’t worsen the patient’s underlying situation, there may be no medical malpractice claim. However, if the care provider’s negligence made the patient’s condition worse, there could be a viable medical malpractice case.
The Process of Filing Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
If you have experienced medical malpractices, you may be entitled to recovery. However, it’s important to follow the right procedure to ensure your case is viable.
The first step in filing a medical malpractice claim is to contact the care provider to determine if the situation can be remedied. You may also need to consult the relevant medical licensing board if the care provider doesn’t offer a viable solution.
The next step is to determine how long it will take to file the claim and get a legal professional to help.
Potential Outcomes of a Filed Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
In most cases, there are three potential outcomes of a filed medical malpractice lawsuit.
First, the claim is resolved involuntarily through a verdict judgment in favor of the plaintiff or complainant. Second, the plaintiff, for some reason, may decide not to continue with the case before a verdict. The third outcome is where a consensus is made between the plaintiff and the defendant. This often involves the payment of a certain amount of money by the care provider to the plaintiff.