Medical Malpractice: What does it mean?

What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice lawsuits are filed when a patient has been harmed as a result of the care of a doctor or any other health care professional who has failed to competently perform their duties. It is important to note that each state has different rules regarding what is considered medical malpractice. Some states require that a patient should notify a medical professional of any such intended legal proceedings ahead of time. There are also other stipulations and principal rules that could apply in specific medical malpractice cases. A licensed medical malpractice attorney in your state will surely be able to provide you with more information regarding such litigation.

Common Medical Malpractice Lawsuits:

According to a Johns Hopkins University report, medical errors are the third leading cause of death for women and men in the United States. In the study, Johns Hopkins University has determined that over 250,000 fatalities following medical malpractice and negligence happen every year.

Several situations could lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. What is considered medical malpractice depends on many factors, and the case may fall into one of the following three categories:

Failure to Diagnose:

Diagnosing a health condition incorrectly could lead to severe consequences for the chances of recovery a patient could otherwise have. A good example is when a doctor diagnoses a patient with lung cancer with something that is not so serious, like allergies. In such situations, the patient would not receive the prompt medical attention they need. In case another medical professional who is in the same position manages to correctly diagnose the patient and administer appropriate care, the latter may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Improper Treatment:

If a doctor performs a treatment that other doctors would not reasonably provide, the patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Also, if a doctor has selected the right treatment but failed to administer it appropriately, the act qualifies as medical malpractice. A case of medical malpractice due to negligence would be present if a medical professional treats a patient’s condition inadequately at any time during medical care.

Failing to Warn of Known Risks:

A doctor or medical professional must be open to their patients regarding all the known risks for any treatment or procedure. If a medical professional administers a treatment that causes harm to the patient, who would have otherwise refused it if made aware of all the risks, they may have a basis for a medical malpractice claim.



Requirements for Medical Malpractice Claims:

All states have requirements when it comes to what is considered medical malpractice, and claims should meet specific criteria. To bring a civil action against a doctor or another medical professional, people should be ready to show evidence of their claim.

Doctor-Patient Relationship:

To file a medical malpractice claim, one should know that there are several things that they will need to prove. First, there has to be proof that shows the person has had a professional relationship with the doctor. To that end, one should be able to prove that they have had appointments with the doctor and paid for their medical care.

Patients can quickly meet this requirement by showing their medical bills and invoices as proof. They might be questioned about the relationship between them and their doctor in cases when a consulting physician did not administer their treatment.

If the outcome of a certain medical procedure is not what the patient wanted or expected, this by itself does not qualify as medical malpractice. For a valid lawsuit, the patient must prove that the doctor negligently handled either the diagnosis or treatment. It must be shown that the doctor caused harm in a manner that a professional practicing in the same field would not have chosen, given the same set of circumstances. While the law does not require perfection from doctors and other medical care professionals, they must do their work with reasonable skill and care regarding the condition of their patients. Expert testimony from medical experts can be used to provide clarity on a situation and determine if the patient was a victim of practices that deviated from the standard.

Negligence Resulting in Injury:

To prove medical malpractice, the patient has to prove evidence that the doctor acted negligently and that it was this negligence that caused them harm. In many cases when the injury was present before the treatment, it is difficult to show if the treatment provided by the medical professional had anything to do with causing unnecessary harm. A good example would be if a patient is diagnosed with lung cancer and passes away due to the illness. The complications that may arise from the illness are too complex and even if the doctor did something negligent, it would be difficult to prove their actions led to the death of the patient. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the doctor’s incompetence or negligence must be shown to have very likely contributed to unnecessary harm.



When should I seek Legal Help for Medical Malpractice?

If a doctor or medical professional fails to diagnose an illness, injury, or medical condition and you do not receive proper treatment, you should consider getting the help of a medical malpractice attorney. You can also look for legal help if a doctor misdiagnoses you, treats you for a condition you don’t have, or arrives at a correct diagnosis after an unreasonable delay.

Medical malpractice lawsuits have many complex rules and regulations, which makes obtaining the advice of an attorney a must. If you believe that a doctor or any other medical professional has mistreated you or one of your loved ones, turn to Legal Chiefs for a quick consultation!


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