We have all heard the term “medical malpractice” at some point, but we never expect it to become a part of our own lives. By definition, medical malpractice simply means that a healthcare professional has acted in a way that is negligent or erroneous. In other words, they did not provide the standard level of care required of them.
In the United States, we have a culture of medicine and it is a regular part of our lives. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes are all places we go to seek cures for what ails us. From the common cold to getting an adjustment at the chiropractor, we entrust healthcare professionals with our well-being and with our lives.
Most Common Medical Malpractice Injuries
Medical malpractice can stretch across a broad range of areas, from slipping and falling at a hospital to the most severe cases of failure to diagnose or treat an illness.
While there are too many to list here, injuries that are the result of a medical professional’s negligence can be life-altering. The impact affects the victim as well as their families.
How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you have suffered a poor healthcare-related outcome, you may be wondering if your situation could be medical malpractice. It is important to know that there is a difference between negative outcomes and negligence. In other words, not every negative outcome is the result of a healthcare provider’s negligence.
That means that they did not uphold the medical standards of care.
Medical negligence is defined as a healthcare provider who provides substandard care to a patient that causes harm. Medical standards are based on what prudent and reasonable healthcare providers in similar fields and locations would do in the same or a similar circumstance.
Examples of What Is NOT Medical Negligence
There are a variety of situations that result in poor healthcare outcomes that are unrelated to medical negligence. While it is only natural that patients and their loved ones are upset about the situation, it doesn’t mean they are victims of medical negligence. Two of the best examples of poor outcomes that do NOT constitute medical negligence include:
The Patient Gets Worse
Just because a patient’s condition gets worse, it doesn’t mean that the doctor did anything wrong. Sometimes a patient gets worse because their condition progresses, they don’t respond well to treatment, or their condition is not completely curable. As long as the doctor does everything correctly in diagnosing and appropriately treating the condition, they generally cannot be held liable for the condition worsening.
The Patient is Untreatable
A doctor who correctly diagnoses a medical condition and makes sound and reasonable decisions for care, generally cannot be held liable if the patient cannot be cured. There are certainly medical conditions that are terminal or incurable. And healthcare providers should do everything possible to help the patient and support their care. An untreatable or incurable condition could only be considered medical malpractice if the doctor did not diagnose it, did not diagnose it in a timely manner, or did not provide appropriate treatment.
Are Medical Malpractice Cases Difficult?
Medical malpractice law is a very specialized area of law. There have been many changes to the laws that govern how a medical malpractice lawsuit – also called a medical malpractice claim – will be handled, resulting in a very complex and difficult area of law. Most times the burden of proof will rest on the victim or their family members.
Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes will have teams of legal professionals and insurance adjusters that focus mainly on disproving any negligence by the healthcare professionals that work for them. They are well versed in providing the victims and their families with medical explanations that may lead you to believe nothing out-of-the-ordinary took place.
Your best course of action is to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney with a proven track record winning cases like yours. Because the laws often change and are so complicated, only someone who understands the intricacies involved in this area will be able to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.
What Should I Do Now?
First and foremost, we understand that you have many questions. How could this happen? Is this my fault? Could I have done something to avoid this? We have helped people all over the country find the answers. Medical malpractice cases are complex and emotional for those involved.
We have built our practice by focusing solely on medical malpractice claims and have a proven track record winning cases like yours.
If you suspect you have a medical malpractice case, contact our office right away. We will listen and review your case with no obligation or cost to you. We will do everything in our power to ensure that those responsible are held accountable and we will fight for your rights every step of the way. You can fill out our online submission form on the right side of the screen, or call us at 877-887-4850.