Personal Injury Lawyer
Medical malpractice is a legal issue in which a healthcare professional deviates from accepted norms of practice, either through negligence, error or maliciousness, and causes injury to a patient. Although medical malpractice is usually from a doctor’s care, it does pertain to other healthcare professionals, such as nurses and pharmacists.
Examples of Malpractice
Malpractice takes many forms in the medical arena:
- Surgical errors or surgery on the wrong site
- Incorrect medication, improper medication or wrong dosage
- Unnecessary surgery
- Failure to order testing or ignoring the results
- Failure to recognize symptoms
- Not taking patient history into consideration when treating
- Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or failing to diagnose
- Childbirth errors
- Hospital infections
Determining medical malpractice isn’t always easy. You may have to get experts to testify for you as to each aspect of the claim. When you’re dealing with multiple agencies, such as surgery in which you’d need to get information from the hospital and the doctor, you may find yourself against a maze of bureaucracy. Plus, you need to understand how the law addresses medical malpractice in your state. There may be a time limit in place, called the statute of limitations. You may only have two to three years to bring your case forward.
Four Elements of Malpractice
An error or negligence alone doesn’t make a medical malpractice case. To be successful in your case, you must show that the healthcare provider owed you a duty to provide a certain standard of care. You must have had a relationship with the healthcare provider. Then, you must demonstrate that you suffered an injury in the care of the provider. This injury must have been directly related to negligence, but it doesn’t have to be a new injury. You could have aggravated an existing injury. Finally, you need to prove that the negligence caused your injuries.
Legally, medical malpractice is a complex claim that can take many experts and evidence to show that you have a claim. Every state has different laws that govern malpractice cases, which can make the situation even more challenging. The providers involved may try to pass the blame on each other, leaving you wondering who is at fault, if anyone is.
If you believe you’ve been injured by a healthcare professional, ask for a legal consultation with a lawyer to determine if your case is worth pursuing. Make an appointment to discuss your claim with a medical malpractice attorney to assess your case and take the next best steps for your situation.