What is Medical Malpractice?

When a health care professional, doctor, or a hospital causes injury to a patient through negligent omissions or actions, it is considered medical malpractice. The negligence can be the result of health management, aftercare, treatment, or errors in diagnosis.

According to the laws, in order for you to file a medical malpractice claim, these characteristics must be present:

Your injury has to have been caused by negligence- In order for a medical malpractice claim to be justifiable, it cannot be due to someone involved with your health care having violated your standard of care. It must also be proven an injury happened because of this negligence. If the medical professional receives an unfavorable outcome from a charge of not providing 'standard of care,' it is not malpractice by itself. You would have to prove that negligence is why you've experienced an injury. If you've sustained an injury without negligence, or you can show negligence that did not cause an injury, neither scenario can be claimed as medical malpractice under the law. 

A violation of your standard of care- Under the law, there are medical standards recognized in the medical profession as being acceptable medical treatment. The medical treatment must be provided by reasonable prudent health professionals under similar or like circumstances. This type of medical treatment is known as the 'standard of care.' As a patient, you have the right to expect your health care professionals to care for you in a manner that is consistent with these standards. If it is proven you did not receive a 'standard of care,' you may be able to establish negligence in your case.

Your injury has caused significant damages- You will have to prove or show your injury or harm suffered was caused by medical negligence. The harm or injury has to have resulted in considerable damage, such as:

  • Enduring hardship
  • Considerable loss of income
  • A disability
  • Suffering
  • Constant pain


Types of Errors that Result in Malpractice Lawsuit

Some of the cases where negligence can be proven and could result in a lawsuit include:

  • An incorrect or unnecessary surgery
  • A failure by medical professionals to order the appropriate tests
  • A failure by medical professionals to act on test results
  • A prescription is given for the wrong medication or wrong dosage
  • Operating on the wrong part of a patient's body
  • Leaving medical equipment or supplies inside a patient's body after surgery
  • Misdiagnosing or a failure to diagnose
  • Allowing a patient to discharge prematurely
  • Not following up on a patient's care
  • Causing the patient persistent pain after a surgery
  • When a patient contracts a potentially fatal infection while in the hospital
  • When a patient develops bedsores or pressure ulcers

Informed Consent is Required for Medical Procedures

If you have not given informed consent to a medical procedure, your health care provider or physician can be liable if this procedure results in injury or harm. A malpractice lawsuit may be legitimate in this case even if the procedure was done perfectly.

If your surgeon does not inform you a procedure involves a thirty percent risk of losing a limb, and this happens during the surgery, your doctor will be held liable. This liability is present even if the operation was done perfectly. The reasoning behind this liability is that you might have chosen not to do the surgery with this risk possible.

Essential Elements for a Medical Malpractice Case

The plaintiff, you, have to prove there were four elements present in order to be successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit:

  • A duty was breached because the hospital or health care provider did not provide the expected standard of care
  • Considerable damage or injury resulted whether financial, emotional, or physical due to the medical care
  • A duty was owed to you by a hospital or health care provider
  • A breach resulted in your injury that was closely linked to your injury

Where to Learn More About Medical Malpractice

Batts-Daniels Law has more than forty-five combined years of experience and a proven track record for providing aggressive representation. If you have suffered injury or harm from a medical professional, call our office and learn how we can help get the compensation you deserve.

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