Medical Liability and Medical Errors: Here’s how to behave
We hear more and more often about medical liability, but specifically, what is meant by medical liability? We talk about the responsibility of doctors, regarding that type of responsibility that is a direct consequence of damage that is caused to a patient when a doctor makes a mistake, or is guilty of omission and does not intervene to help. The error legitimizes the patient to request compensation for damage and also entails the risk of a criminal sanction for the doctor.
Medical responsibility at the heart of the Gelli reform
The Gelli reform, which came into force in 2017, has revisited the concept of medical liability by introducing specific rules that exclude the criminal liability of doctors due to inexperience, in the event that they demonstrate that they have followed very carefully the fancy guidelines from the Higher Institute of health care.
In civil matters, medical personnel, who work within a health facility, have a specific responsibility in case of fault, as established by art. 2043 of the civil code, while the structure that hosts it is liable only in consideration of contractual liability.
Medical responsibility confronts the healthcare professional with a whole series of possible damages that consider the diagnostic error, and that which is a consequence of the therapeutic error, or that which derives from the omitted vigilance and the like.
What to do in case of medical error
And it is again the Gelli reform that traces a precise path in the case of medical error, establishing how a patient can act. Mistakes are unfortunately not uncommon exceptions in the medical profession, but when the damage is the responsibility of the healthcare professional then it is right to seek compensation.
- In March 2017, with the entry into force of the Gelli law, clarity was made on medical liability thanks to the 18 articles that make up the standard and define how a patient should act in the event of a medical error.
- If the doctor has made a mistake, the patient must necessarily investigate and retrieve the relevant documents, such as the medical record, to have reliable evidence. It can be crucial to ask for help with an expert such as a lawyer, who will consult a coroner to arrange an expert opinion.
When it is clarified, and there are overwhelming shows, all that remains is to propose an agreement, usually in front of a judge. And it is at that point that two parallel paths are foreseen. The first is the road that brings rights to conciliation, finding an agreement between the parties, on the one hand the doctor and the structure and on the other the patient. Or a second possibility is to bring a lawsuit to obtain fair compensation.
If you believe you have been the victim of a medical malpractice case, you can contact us at the toll-free number 800.700.802 or fill out the form.