What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, hospital, or other health care provider fails to take proper care of a patient, either by doing something to the patient that they should not have done or by failing to do something to the patient that they should have done, resulting in the patient being injured or dying. Examples of this would be mistakes made in the patient’s treatment, diagnosis, or overall health management.
When treating patients, medical professionals and those in related fields are expected to adhere to a set of established guidelines known as standards of care. It is considered negligence and a form of medical malpractice if minimum accepted standards of care are not met.
Common Examples Of Medical Malpractice
A medical malpractice claim must include the following three elements:
Violation of the Standard of Care
The term “standard of care” refers to criteria that the medical community accepts as appropriate medical care. Any patient has the right to anticipate that the medical professionals who look after them will consistently uphold these standards of care. A breach of a standard of care could prove the healthcare provider was careless.
Negligence Caused an Injury
In order for a patient to have a valid claim for medical malpractice, the health care provider must have not only breached the appropriate standards of care but also been negligent in a way that caused the patient to sustain an injury that they otherwise would not have.
A patient must be able to demonstrate that the health care professional was negligent and that the health care professional’s negligence was the cause of the patient’s injury in order to establish medical malpractice.
The Negligence Caused Serious Damages
In order for a patient to be awarded compensation for medical malpractice, they need to demonstrate that their injury was the direct result of medical negligence and that it caused them to suffer significant damages.
A case involving minor damages is typically not viable because medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely costly. These cases frequently require many hours of deposition and the testimony of a variety of medical specialists. In other words, if the damages aren’t significant, the patient might not be able to recover enough money to cover the costs of pursuing the case.
Some examples of damages that could be considered sufficient to warrant a medical malpractice claim include the following:
- Loss of Income
- Mental Anguish
- Significant Medical Bills
- Exceptional Pain
The following are some examples of medical negligence that might be grounds for legal action:
- Ignoring or incorrectly interpreting laboratory results
- Inability to recognize symptoms or failure to order appropriate testing
- A disease or illness is either incorrectly diagnosed or not diagnosed at all
- Carrying out a surgical procedure that wasn’t necessary
- Incorrect medication or incorrect medication dosage prescribed or administered
- Surgical errors and mistakes
- Neglecting to take an appropriate patient history or choosing to ignore certain aspects of someone’s medical history
- Inadequate aftercare or monitoring
- Abuse, neglect, or negligent treatment in a nursing home
You may need the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney in order to determine whether or not you have a case for legal action. Every day, the lives and well-being of patients are in the hands of medical professionals. As a result, these professionals should be held accountable for maintaining the same level of care for each and every person that they treat.
If you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact our The Brown Firm to schedule a free consultation with one of our medical malpratice lawyers.
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