What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

We all have gut feelings. Some of us have a very strong intuition and know when to follow it. Most often, though, we ignore it, especially when it comes to a recent surgery or medical treatment. Instead of brushing off what could be a big issue, give your gut some credit and dig a little deeper. In some cases, you may have a medical malpractice case on your hands.

Medical malpractice is defined as occurring when a hospital, doctor or other healthcare professional or provider, through a negligent act or omission, is the cause of an injury to a patient. Negligence can be the result of many errors such as diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management. Just as we are brought up to trust the word of our teachers growing up, it is assumed that we can trust medical professionals to execute a job correctly and honestly. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Whether it is due to a purposefully overlooked protocol or a completely accidental mishap, you are deserving of correcting the issue and compensation where it’s due. Medical negligence and malpractice can range from small to life-threatening circumstances. To file a medical malpractice lawsuit one of three standards must be met:

  • Violating standard of care
  • Injury was caused by negligence
  • Said injury resulted in significant consequences

As a medical professional, there are specific standards of care that are to be met consistently throughout their care. If you receive any treatment from a medical professional that does not or you believe does not meet these standards, you may have a case. The standards also change with different procedures and treatment. Be sure to know what the standard of care is prior to completing your medical procedure so that you know what to be wary of during and after treatment.

Standard of care is not an opinion, though. When you suffer from an injury due to negligence of standards of care, then you may have a case. It is not enough to assume or feel that standards were not met. If and only if you can prove that your injury was incurred from medical negligence, then you may file a lawsuit. Even if negligence occurred, but there was no proven or evident injury, there is no case.

Even further, an injury due to negligence must be significant enough to pursue. Since medical malpractice lawsuits are very expensive to litigate, there must be a certain amount of damages in order to follow through with the case. If the injury resulted in unusual pain, loss of income, a disability, suffering and hardship, or remarkable medical bills, then a case may be deemed viable. Medical malpractice and negligence lawsuit are so much more tedious to the court because they require speculation from numerous medical professionals, a thorough look at the procedure or treatment and countless deposition from witnesses.

While all of these requirements may seem daunting, medical malpractice or negligence is not something to be overlooked. If you believe standard of care was not met during your medical care, even if any injuries or side-effects are not immediately noticeable, it may be worth taking a look at. In the case of any long-term ailments or slow festering diseases that may occur over time, it is best to seek treatment or guidance right away. Medical malpractice and negligence should not be taken lightly. If you believe you have a case, seek an attorney immediately.

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