Sunday, February 14, 2021

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Unfortunately, not all people realize that their situation is suitable for a claim due to a lack of information. For you to file a claim due for medical malpractice, you need to understand it first.

Medical malpractice refers to when a health care provider or professional fails to provide the appropriate treatment, or gives substandard treatment and fails to take the appropriate action, causing the patient injury, harm, or even death.

Medical malpractice generally involves a medical error. Such an error could range from health management to medication dosage, treatment, and even aftercare. 

There are medical malpractice laws that enable patients who fall victim to malpractice to recover compensation. Through these laws, a claimant may get compensation for any harm resulting from substandard treatment. Here is a more in-depth explanation of the concept of medical malpractice.

Basics of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice is quite delicate; dissatisfaction with your treatment’s outcome does not mean you can file a medical malpractice claim. There are specific aspects that must be satisfied in order for your experience to count as malpractice. 

First, you need to cross-check your experience with a medical malpractice law firm for a successful claim. Consulting with a qualified lawyer saves you from either giving up on a potentially fruitful claim or following up with a frustrating and expensive lawsuit with no chance of a successful outcome.
Here are a few basics of a medical malpractice claim:

An Existing Doctor-Patient Relationship

Before you sue a doctor for medical malpractice, you are required to prove that you had a physician-patient relationship. This is mainly an issue when dealing with a consulting physician. A consulting doctor does not always treat you directly but this does not free them of responsibility. Such cases and scenarios are easily maneuvered through by a medical malpractice law firm.

Proof of Negligence by the Medical Practitioner

Negligence means that compared to what a competent practitioner in the same situation would do in the same position, the practitioner acted in a manner to degrade the profession. That said, a doctor is not required to be perfect. The expectation is that they perform their duties with reasonable skill and care.
Therefore, a qualified attorney is required to show how the doctor in question deviated from the required medical standard of care.

The Medical Practitioner’s Negligence Was the Cause of Injury

Patients are sick before they seek a doctor. So, did the doctor’s negligence cause the harm, or was it the illness? For example, if a lung cancer patient passed away, was it cancer or malpractice that caused it? You have to prove that it was “more likely than not” that malpractice was the cause in such scenarios.

Even the confusing cases are a lot easier to prove when in the hands of an attorney. They provide clarity including getting a secondary medical expert to provide insight on your case.

The Medical Malpractice Specifically Led to Damages

So, the doctor or practitioner in question failed to perform within the expected standards. Did the failure cause any harm to the patient? Damage isn’t always physical as most people assume. Here are some other types of injury that could arise from medical malpractice:

  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of work
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Additional medical bills

What’s Next After Medical Malpractice

If you feel you or your loved one has fallen victim to medical malpractice, the first step is to file a lawsuit in a court of law. It’s best to get a lawyer to do this for you. Before the commencement of the trial, you will share information with the defendant. Such information includes dispositions, interrogations, and documents.

Not all malpractice claims make it to court, you could end up settling out of court. Attorneys are often responsible for such settlements. There are high chances that your defendant will have a lawyer or even a legal team of their own. This could get very intimidating if you approach them as an individual; hire an attorney to tackle this for you.

If you decide to go to trial, you will have to prove without a doubt the defendant’s malpractice. Finally, the jury or judge will pass a verdict. If you win, the judge decides the damages given in reparation. The defendant may file an appeal to reduce their obligations. The two probable outcomes are damages for you or the defendant winning.

This is a guest blog entry.

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