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What is Medical Malpractice?

You may be wondering what medical malpractice is and whether it has happened to you. This is a legal term that refers to situations in which a medical professional strays from their professional standards through a negligent act and causes an injury or death of a patient. There are all kinds of examples that fall under the umbrella. We will answer the question of “what is medical malpractice” and if you should talk to a lawyer below:

What is Medical Malpractice?

doctor advice medical malpracticeWhen you go to the doctor or hospital, you expect a certain standard of care. Medical professionals are required to competently perform their duties, but sometimes other factors cause the professionals to not administer proper care, and an injury or death occurs. In order to prove medical malpractice happened, your claim must meet these requirements:

Violation of Standard of Care

The standard of care is the level of care that a competent medical professional would give any patient. Patients have the right to expect that their medical professionals would deliver this kind of care. However, if it is determined that this standard of care isn’t met, then negligence may be established.

Injury Caused by Negligence

two doctors just out of surgeryYou must be able to prove that the doctor’s negligence was the cause of the injury or death. A poor outcome alone is not enough to show that the medical provider violated the standard of care.

Injury Led to Specific Damages

For a case to be valid, it requires that your injury resulted in significant damages. These could include disability, extreme and lengthy pain and suffering, significant past and future medical bills, or loss of income.

Examples of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can happen in any medical setting, and there are several different situations where it can occur. Here are some examples of medical malpractice:

Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis

doctor sitting in hallwayIf your doctor evaluates you and negligently fails to diagnose you with a medical condition, and that failure resulted in significant injury or death, you could have a claim. On the other hand, if your doctor misdiagnoses you with one condition, but you actually had another and that misdiagnosis resulted in injury or death, you could have a case and should speak to a  lawyer.

Unnecessary or Incorrect Surgery

Another example of medical malpractice is surgery that isn’t medically necessary or surgery performed on the wrong body part. Surgical errors that cause harm or disability could also result in a case.

Administering the Wrong Amount or Type of Medication

doctor needle shot leading to medical malpracticeReceiving the wrong amount of medication or even the wrong medication altogether could be grounds for a case. Your doctor should know what medications you are currently taking and prescribe or administer medicines that do not interact with your current ones.

Poor Follow Up or Aftercare

Another situation that could be grounds for a medical malpractice case is poor follow-up or aftercare. If your doctor should have followed up with you after a procedure but they didn’t, it may be medical malpractice. You may not receive the kind of care you needed after a procedure, and this could also be considered medical malpractice.

Now you know the answer to the question “what is medical malpractice.” Do you believe you have a case? You need to talk to a lawyer. Contact one of our personal injury lawyers to discuss your case.

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