Woman at the ophthalmologist

What Is Ophthalmologist Malpractice?

We rely on our doctors and treating medical professionals to accurately monitor our health as well as address any health problems. Vision problems, in particular, can cause a great deal of fear and stress. After all, most of us depend on our vision as an essential tool to get through our everyday lives. Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that addresses the eye, its functions, anatomy, pathology, and, of course, its treatment. Ophthalmologists are the physicians who specialize in treating eye problems. While it can be difficult to consider, sometimes ophthalmologists fail to provide their patients with the level of care they deserve. This lapse in quality of care can, in turn, cause injury to the patient. If you have suffered due to the negligence of your ophthalmologist, you may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim seeking compensation for the harm you have suffered.

Overview of Ophthalmologist Malpractice

In order to establish malpractice against an ophthalmologist, a person needs to first establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed. In a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes a standard of care in treating the patient. More specifically, the standard of care is a reference to the level of care that a reasonably prudent doctor (an ophthalmologist, in this case) in a similar geographical area would have used under the same or comparable circumstances. To substantiate a claim that your treating ophthalmologist breached the requisite standard of care, evidence is generally presented in the form of your medical records as well as supporting opinions of expert witnesses. In addition to demonstrating that the ophthalmologist breached the standard of care, you must be prepared to prove that this breach was the direct cause of the harm you sustained. 

An ophthalmologist may have committed any number of errors that substantiate a breach in the standard of care he or she owed to a patient. Some examples of ophthalmologist error that may lead to a medical malpractice claim include:

  • Surgical errors
  • Lasik errors
  • Failure to adequately monitor a patient post-surgery
  • Errors in type or dosage of medication
  • Misdiagnosis (wrong diagnosis) of an eye condition
  • Failure to diagnose an eye condition
  • Negligent conduct causing eye infection

These types of errors committed by an ophthalmologist can have truly devastating consequences. Due to any one of these errors, a patient may suffer from:

  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Partial loss of vision
  • Total loss of vision
  • Eye infection
  • Corneal haze
  • Injury to the eye flap

Errors in properly treating a patient’s eye condition often result in the patient needing to further undergo eye treatments and procedures that would not have been necessary should he or she have received proper care in the first place.

In a successful medical malpractice claim, an injured party may be compensated for the cost of medical care incurred due to the harm sustained from the lapse in adequate medical care. Additionally, the injured party may be entitled to recover for lost wages and loss of future earning capacity. Pain and suffering damages are also recoverable in a medical malpractice claim.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you or someone you love has suffered due to an ophthalmologist providing substandard care, the dedicated medical malpractice at Cooper Schall & Levy are here to help. We will fight for you as we pursue your right to recover compensation from the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.