What You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice

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Medical malpractice is the term used for when a medical professional neglects to provide the appropriate treatment to a patient, and this results in injuries or harm to the patient, or even results in them dying. This is usually the result of the medical professional giving subpar treatment to the patient or omitting to take the appropriate action for a patient’s best interests. However, there are a variety of factors at play when it comes to malpractice and in determining whether or not a lawsuit can or should be brought. Because of that, it’s worth looking at what’s generally involved in medical malpractice and what’s typically involved in a lawsuit. As Emerson Law LLC notes, it’s always worth knowing whether or not medical malpractice has occurred before trying to launch a lawsuit.

What’s Involved In Medical Malpractice?

In the majority of legal definitions of medical malpractice, it’s defined as when a hospital, doctor or other medical professional doesn’t provide a certain standard of care. While a medical professional is normally not held liable for any harm that comes to a patient, they are liable if this harm was a direct result of a deviation in quality of care. This would be in comparison to any similar situations that these medical professionals may have dealt with. Because of that, medical professionals and institutions will be held legally responsible for these injuries. However, for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be viable, a few factors must be taken into account.

The first of these is that the medical professional didn’t provide a proper standard of care. Federal law requires that medical professionals provide a certain level of care; anything below this could result in the professional facing charges of negligence. The second of these factors is that this negligence results in injury to the patient. Furthermore, the patient must be able to prove that these injuries were as a result of the negligence suffered. Lastly, the patient must be able to show that the injuries have damaging consequences. While this is somewhat vaguely defined, many have come to view it as including the likes of:

  • Disability;
  • Enduring Hardship;
  • Considerable Loss Of Income;
  • Constant Pain; &
  • Suffering.

However, this isn’t to say that not being satisfied with the level of care you received can result in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Having said that, the majority of laws have been written in such a way as to avoid this kind of cases, and any ones that slip through usually don’t have a chance of winning.

Types Of Medical Malpractice

There are a few different types of medical malpractice, as there are a variety of ways that a medical professional can deviate from a standard level of care. These include the likes of misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, which can often result in a significant amount of suffering or even death for the patient. A failure to act appropriately on test results, or to not order the appropriate tests can also be a key factor in medical malpractice. One of the ones that people may be most familiar with would be objects being left in a patient during surgery, although it may not be as common as you think. Performing surgery on the wrong part of the body has also been shown to be grounds for malpractice; many have also shown that unnecessary or incorrect surgery can also result in malpractice.

What Does A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Involve?

A medical malpractice lawsuit is no different from any other kind of lawsuit. In this case, the plaintiff is the patient and is suing the defendant, the medical professional. A malpractice lawsuit should typically include a few essential elements to prove that medical malpractice occurred. The first of these is that the medical professional or hospital owed a duty of care to the patient. Second, they must prove that this duty was breached because the professional or hospital did not live up to an expected level of care. Thirdly, they must show that this negligence resulting in some form of injury; in the case of death, the suit would be brought by their estate, who must prove that the negligence resulted in death. In the case of injuries, they must lastly prove that the injuries had some kind of damages, such as disability or loss of income.

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