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Understanding the Basics of Medical Malpractice


Almost everyone needs to visit a doctor to get treatment for some kind of ailment and disease. Most of the time, patients receive proper care and treatment. However, sometimes the treatment worsens the condition of the patient instead of making it better. This could be due to the doctor’s negligence or substandard treatment. In such cases, where a healthcare provider neglects or makes a mistake that causes harm, injury, or death to a patient, comes in the category of medical malpractice. The law provides protection when someone gets harmed because of the fault of the healthcare professional. However, simply because a patient isn’t satisfied with the treatment outcome doesn’t mean that there’s a case of medical malpractice. So, before you seek legal remedy, it is important to ensure that you have a legitimate case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when there’s a medical error. When a doctor, nurse, therapist, or other healthcare professional neglects or omits to provide appropriate treatment and that lack of action or inappropriate treatment cause harm to a patient then it’s known as medical malpractice. The healthcare providers are not responsible for all the harms and unfavorable outcomes that a patient experiences post-treatment. However, there’s a law that holds medical professionals accountable for their negligence and mistakes. All healthcare providers, including hospitals, nurses, and doctors are expected to provide a certain standard of care. When they deviate from the quality of care or commit an error that causes harm or injury, it becomes medical malpractice.

The term medical malpractice is often used interchangeably with “medical negligence”. However, medical malpractice is a broad term and medical negligence is one essential element of a medical malpractice claim. Medical negligence alone can’t establish a strong case of medical malpractice. To file a valid claim, you need to establish that medical negligence has caused harm to the patient. So, medical malpractice involves negligence or medical error in diagnosis, medication dosage, health management, treatment, or aftercare that negatively impacts a patient’s health.

Basic Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice law gives the right to the patients to recover compensation for any injury or harm that is caused due to the omission or sub-standard treatment. However, every country and state has different standards and regulations for medical malpractice claims. Typically, to file a medical malpractice case, there should be certain factors. The injured patient needs to prove that the healthcare professional acted negligently during the treatment procedure. A valid claim typically includes some legal elements such as:

  • A Doctor-Patient Relationship
  • Negligence or Error Committed by Healthcare Provider
  • Injury Caused due to breach of duty
  • Resulting Damages

So, when a doctor, dentist, nurse, surgeon, or any other medical professional deviates from the established medical standard of care and that error causes pain and suffering then it becomes medical malpractice. In such types of cases, the victim needs to prove that the healthcare provider failed to perform the duty and the compensation is calculated considering economic loss, as well as pain and suffering. The victim can hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to file a valid medical malpractice claim. The lawyer can gather evidence to prove the doctor’s negligence. The amount of financial compensation depends on the loss of income due to pain, suffering, enduring hardship, additional medical expenses, or disability. The most common examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Prescribing the Wrong Dosage or the Wrong Medication
  • Misdiagnosis or No Diagnose
  • Unnecessary or Incorrect Surgery
  • Premature Discharge
  • No Follow Up
  • Leaving Surgical inside the Patient’s Body after Surgery
  • Fatal Infections Acquired In the Hospital
  • And More

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