Abortion is never an easy choice, and when a woman suffers injuries because of the procedure, she may not know where to turn for help.
If you have been injured as the result of terminating a pregnancy, you may wonder if you can sue for abortion clinic malpractice. State laws do not treat abortion clinics differently than any other types of medical clinics, and abortion providers are subject to malpractice lawsuits.
By consulting with an experienced abortion malpractice lawyer, you take the first step in protecting your rights and receiving compensation for your injuries. Your attorney will work with you to review the facts of your case to determine if you may be eligible for compensation.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
Abortion malpractice, as with other types of medical malpractice, occurs when a medical professional harms a patient because of negligence or other failure to perform medical duties in a competent manner. Medical malpractice cases cover a broad range of situations, but most fall into several general categories.
Failing to warn patients of typical risks constitutes one type of potential medical malpractice. In abortion malpractice, a doctor might fail to warn the patient of the risk of excessive bleeding or of portions of a fetus remaining within the uterus. In addition, doctors have a duty to warn patients if they have elevated risk due to specific health conditions.
The responsibility of doctors to apprise patients of risks is referred to as the duty of informed consent. A doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if a patient was harmed and would not have gone through with an abortion had she received proper explanation of the possible risks.
In other cases that may qualify as medical malpractice, doctors fail to diagnose a condition. If a competent medical professional likely would have learned of a patient’s condition or made a different diagnosis that could have resulted in a better outcome, a doctor may have committed medical malpractice.
Inappropriate treatment also can constitute medical malpractice. If a medical professional chooses to treat a patient in a way that other competent doctors would not, a patient may have a valid claim for medical malpractice. In addition, improper administration of the correct treatment can qualify as medical malpractice.
To prove that an abortion provider committed medical malpractice, a patient must demonstrate several elements under the law.
First, the patient must show that she had a doctor-patient relationship with the medical provider. For a claim to move forward, a court will require that the medical provider agreed to serve as the patient’s doctor and that the patient did, in fact, engage the doctor for medical services. In most cases, questions about the doctor-patient relationship arise when a consulting physician assists but does not provide direct treatment to a patient.
A successful medical malpractice claim also must show that a doctor acted negligently. Not all negative medical consequences constitute malpractice; in some cases, procedures and treatments have inherent risks that doctors cannot avoid.
However, if a doctor was negligent in diagnosis or treatment, a medical malpractice claim may move forward. To succeed, the claim must show that the medical provider caused harm to the patient that would not have occurred had another, competent doctor treated the patient in the same situation.
The law requires that doctors have reasonable skill levels and use reasonable care in treating patients. If your medical malpractice case goes to trial, your attorney will ask a medical expert to appear in court to discuss the standard of care and to demonstrate how the doctor failed to meet the standard.
A patient also must show that negligence by the doctor resulted in the injury or harm to the patient. As part of determining harm to the patient, the court must rule on whether the doctor’s actions caused the patient’s injuries or whether the patient already suffered from the condition.
Finally, a patient must demonstrate that the injury — caused by the doctor’s negligence — resulted in specific damages that can be compensated financially. For example, the patient may have incurred medical bills and lost wages because of missing work. In addition, the patient may have suffered pain and emotional anguish.
Have You Suffered Harm due to Medical Negligence?
If you have suffered injuries as the result of an abortion and you believe that a medical provider acted negligently, you may have a valid claim of medical malpractice. The attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC, have experience with all types of medical malpractice cases, including abortion malpractice, and can guide you in the next steps to take. For a free consultation, please contact Kaire & Heffernan, LLC.