You consult a doctor or visit a hospital to improve your health condition. However, sometimes the treatment makes things worse than doing any good. In that case, you might think about suing your healthcare provider. Personal injury cases that involve negligence or error committed by healthcare providers come in the category of medical malpractice. So, if you have suffered an injury or your condition got worse after seeking medical treatment from a healthcare provider, you have the right to file a lawsuit. But before you explore your legal options, it’s important to make sure that your case qualifies as medical malpractice.
Meaning of Medical Malpractice
People who get medical treatment already have some sort of illness or medical issue. It is not always possible for doctors to improve their health conditions. Poor outcomes or complication post medical treatment doesn’t always make the doctor responsible. For an injury or harm to be considered medical malpractice, there have to be certain elements. Medical malpractice or medical negligence occurs when healthcare provider makes an error or neglects their duty which results in harming the patient. In such cases, the victim is eligible to recover compensation for the medical cost, physical pain, emotional stress, and loss of income. So, medical malpractice can be defined as a tort committed when a doctor, nurse, and other healthcare professionals fail to perform their duty and provide standard medical care.
Types of Medical Malpractice
When a patient suffers harm due to the fault of a medical professional, the at-fault party bears legal responsibility known as medical liability. However, to seek financial compensation, the victim has to prove that the healthcare provider owed a duty and they breached their duty, resulting in harming the patient. A medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed against doctors, nurses, hospitals, dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, chiropractors, clinics, and private practices. To win the lawsuit, the patient and their personal injury lawyer need to prove four components:
- Duty of Care (Medical practitioner owed a duty of care).
- Deviation from Duty of Care (failure to act or medical negligence)
- The Patient Suffered Harm
- Injury is a Direct Result of Deviation from Care
Medical malpractice can take many forms. The most common types of medical negligence/malpractice cases include:
- Misdiagnosis or Wrong diagnosis (Failure to diagnose an illness)
- Surgical errors such as wrong side operation or leaving tools inside the body
- Failure to treat (early discharge, failure to follow up, ignoring past medical records, etc)
- Birth injuries (childbirth-related medical mistakes)
- Prescription errors (prescribing the wrong medication or incorrect dosage)
- Unnecessary Surgery
- Errors in Anesthesia (not reviewing the patient’s medical record, prior medications, and allergies)
- Medical product liability
- And more
In all such cases where the patient suffers injuries due to the fault of doctors, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed. It is noteworthy here that disappointment with the treatment results that don’t include error or negligence of the doctor does not form a basis for a medical malpractice claim.
Meaning & Types of Medical Malpractice Cases – Read to find out more.