What is medical malpractice

Health

In 2016, scientists at Johns Hopkins suggested that medical malpractice be termed as the third leading cause of death in the US. This goes to show how serious medical negligence is. Unfortunately, a huge number of people are still in the dark when it comes to this topic. Medical malpractice tends to be a complex domain in the legal field that is connected to the medical field. This is one of the reasons that makes it tough to litigate. 

A lot of victims who’ve suffered medical malpractice are normally unsure of how to seek their due compensation. Some of the victims are even skeptical about compensations. Nonetheless,  serves as a good example that shows how any person with a valid medical negligence claim can be compensated. Before pursuing a medical malpractice case, it’s always important to fully understand this field. Here’s an in-depth view of medical malpractice. 

Understanding Medical Malpractice

Medical negligence occurs when a physician fails to give appropriate treatment to a particular patient, thus resulting in an injury or even death. The error can occur on many levels including during treatment, when administering dosage, or in aftercare. Medical Malpractice Center states that medical negligence lawsuits in the United States range between 15,000-19,000 every year. You should also note that the laws regarding med mal usually vary depending on a particular state.

Determining the Validity of a Claim

Medical practitioners aren’t always subjected to lawsuits every time a patient gets injured. Several factors are usually scrutinized to properly evaluate medical malpractice claims. The following are the major determinants of a medical malpractice case. 

Standard of Care

In the medical field, health care providers usually have a set of guidelines that are considered to be the standard of care. This implies that other health care providers would probably offer the same healthcare services given the same scenario. When it is established that there was a breach in the standard of care, the physician who gave the services may be subject to medical malpractice. 

The Negligence Caused Significant Injuries

The next thing that has to be established is whether the negligent act caused significant damages; otherwise, the victim wouldn’t have suffered any injury. This is contrary to what most victims think, terming any harm that is caused by a physician as a medical negligence claim. 

Damages were Incurred

The victim must also show that he or she incurred significant damages as a result of medical negligence. Some of these injuries include suffering, disability, loss of income, etc. 

Common Examples of Medical Malpractice Case

Many instances could result in a medical negligence claim. Some of the examples include premature discharge, prescription of the wrong dosage, carrying out surgery in the wrong part of the body, and serious infections that are acquired in a health facility. It’s also important to note that hospitals can also be subject to medical malpractice if they fail to ensure all the safety regulations are adhered to.

Informed Consent

Several medical procedures usually carry some risks; thus, doctors and surgeons are required to give informed consent to the procedure. If an injury occurs and the medical practitioner and the physician didn’t give the informed consent, he or she may be liable. 

Important Elements in a Medical Malpractice Case

There are certain terminologies that you’ll encounter in the medical malpractice field. To help you get acquainted with this field, here are some of the terms which are often used.

The Plaintiff

The plaintiff refers to the party that raises the complaint; it can be the victim or a person who’s acting on the behalf of the patient. Plaintiffs are the ones who are suing the other party for wrongdoing. 

The Defendant

This refers to the person or entity being sued for wrongdoing; this can be a medical doctor, surgeon, therapist, or nurse. People who are also following orders can also be liable for wrongdoing.

The Prevailing Party

This is the party that emerges victorious in a case; it can either be the plaintiff or the defendant. 

Conclusion

Medical malpractice law is a field that’s very broad and difficult to litigate. A lot of things normally go into play before any party emerges victorious. Familiarizing yourself with this area is an important step to securing a win.

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