Medical Malpractice Challenges During COVID-19
Health care workers have to meet a standard of care when dealing with patients. While no doctor is perfect or knows all the answers, those in the medical field have a responsibility to do the best they can when treating patients. After all, one wrong move could be the difference between life and death.
As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors and nurses have concerns about being sued for medical malpractice. More than 116,000 people in the United States have died from the disease so far, so what is stopping the families of the deceased to sue a health care worker for their negligence?
Proving that a person died from medical malpractice is a challenge. Doctors win as many as 90% of the jury trials that feature weak evidence. Even when a patient or their family has strong evidence of negligence, the doctor will still prevail in 50% of these cases.
New regulations will make it harder for patients to win medical malpractice cases, especially when it comes to COVID-19. The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act was amended in March to protect health care workers who provide medical treatment for COVID-19. President Trump also signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March. This act protects volunteers in the healthcare field. According to these laws, health care professionals who are treating patients for coronavirus during the pandemic cannot be held liable for any assessment, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment that relate to an actual or suspected case of the disease.
In addition, all 50 states have Good Samaritan statutes, which means licensed physicians who deliver medical care in an emergency are immune from medical malpractice lawsuits. Furthermore, some states have enacted their own measures to protect nurses and doctors from criminal and civil liability as they treat patients during the pandemic.
Despite the many measures in place to protect them, health care workers still face struggles when it comes to proper diagnosis. Most people are avoiding the doctor’s office and hospital right now unless they are fairly certain they have COVID-19. This means the patient population is much sicker than before. In these cases, a proper diagnosis becomes more challenging. Health care providers have a more difficult time with these cases.
In addition, properly diagnosing someone with COVID-19 is no easy task as testing supplies are scarce. Also, the tests are not foolproof. Sometimes a person has to be tested more than once in order to get a true diagnosis. Despite having most of the symptoms of coronavirus, some patients test negative the first time, only to test positive in a separate test days later.
Get Legal Help for Your Florida Medical Malpractice Case
While medical malpractice happens quite often, it is hard to win such a case. These cases tend to favor physicians, so if you have been injured, seek legal help as soon as possible.
The Tampa medical malpractice lawyers at Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group can help you with your medical malpractice case. Let us evaluate your case today. To schedule a free consultation, call 813-242-4404 or fill out the online form.