Medical malpractice occurs when the negligent act of a doctor or other health care provider causes harm to a patient. The negligence can happen as a result of the following medical errors:
- diagnosis error
- unacceptable surgery error
- medication dosage error
Sometimes, these errors can lead to the death of a patient. For a bit of fairness, medical malpractice law allows patients, or whoever is representing them, to get compensated for the harms done by the hospital or the healthcare provider. In the United States, according to Medical Malpractice Center, doctors face between 15,000 and 19,000 lawsuits every year for medical malpractice.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
A lot of situations can lead to medical malpractice. Here are some you should know:
Misdiagnosis: If a doctor gives a wrong diagnosis in a situation where a reliable doctor could have given a better diagnosis, and this doctor’s mistake causes harm to a patient, then this can be considered as medical malpractice.
Substandard treatment: This refers to a treatment that is below what a healthcare provider is required to give.
Informed Consent: In this situation, the doctor did not give full disclosure to the patient about the risk of the procedure. Therefore, the patient did not consent to the method of treatment administered. If the treatment causes harm, then it is medical malpractice.
How to Know You’re Liable for Medical Malpractice Compensation
Some patients confuse negative treatment for medical malpractice. If the doctor or the hospital provided the required standard of care but the treatment wasn’t successful, then they are not responsible for any harm caused. But if they didn’t meet the required standard for the treatment, by any negligence or omission of theirs, they are legally responsible for any harm the patient sustained. Below are some requirements to prove that medical malpractice occurred, according to Regan Zambri Long:
Doctor-patient relationship was established: You have to prove that a physician-patient relationship existed between you and the doctor you plan to sue. That is, you legally hired the doctor, and the doctor agreed to treat you.
Standard of care was not met: By law, healthcare providers should meet a medical standard under certain circumstances. If they failed to meet it, then they are guilty of negligence.
The doctor’s negligence caused an injury: For you to be liable for medical malpractice compensation, there must be proof of these two things: that the doctor was negligent and that the doctor’s negligence caused an injury. If the doctor was negligent, but it caused no harm, then there is no case.
The injury caused serious damages: To chase a lawsuit, the patient has to prove that the injury sustained caused significant harm: loss of income, additional medical bill, disability, severe discomfort, etc. If the injury is insignificant, the cost of chasing the suit could greatly outweigh the compensation received. So, it’s best to avoid filing a case if the harm caused was little.
If you or your loved one can prove all of these, then personal injury lawyers are the people to seek. Their legal advice and expertise would ensure you get the compensation you deserve.