Your doctor is a trusted professional who literally holds your life and health in their hands. When patients experience medical malpractice, it can be physically and emotionally painful. When a trusted professional with a duty of care hurts you, there are legal consequences. Medical malpractice is a form of legal claim that addresses performance failures in the healthcare industry. The relationship between a patient and their doctor is personal and involves a great deal of trust.
3 Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical errors are a serious issue, and there are several situations and medical errors that rise to the level of medical malpractice. There are medical instances that would not qualify for malpractice, for example, when a patient submits to experimental care. If you think you’ve been involved in a medical error that qualifies as a malpractice case, review the following three types of malpractice to find out if your situation applies. While there are many forms of medical malpractice claims, most cases fall within three categories.
The three forms of malpractice are:
Improper or Failed Diagnosis: If a similarly trained and competent doctor would have diagnosed the patient or the diagnosis was wildly outside acceptable medical treatment and literature, the patient could have a viable malpractice claim.
Improper Treatment: If a similarly trained and competent doctor would not apply the treatment proved to have harmed a patient or the proper treatment was administered improperly, the patient could have a viable malpractice claim.
Failure to Warn: Every patient is entitled to be given informed content. They should be warned of any risks associated with a medical procedure. If an unformed patient is injured and would have refused care if informed, the doctor could be liable for malpractice.
Requirements for Medical Malpractice Claims
To bring a case against a medical professional, your case will need to prove the following:
You had a Relationship with the Doctor Being Sued: You will need to show that you and the doctor you are bringing a civil lawsuit against had a professional relationship. This can be done through appointment notes, paid medical bills, insurance documentation, or even prescriptions written by the doctor. Having a procedure not end as anticipated is not enough to warrant a malpractice case. Your claim must show how your doctor caused you harm in a way that a similarly trained and educated doctor in the same situation would not have.
Your Doctor was Negligent: Your doctor owes you a reasonably skillful and careful condition of care. For a case to be considered malpractice, your case must show that your doctor caused your harm in a way that another doctor with similar qualifications in the same situation would not have. Your attorney will provide expert testimony outlining the standard of care that was expected, and if your doctor provided care that deviated from the standard, it’s a liability to the medical professional.
The Doctor’s Negligence Led to Your Injury: Your doctor is responsible for the level of care you received, and if they provided negligent care, you must show how it led to injury or damages you suffered. In order for a case to be considered malpractice, there must be a connection between negligent care and the injury caused to the patient.
Your Injuries Led to Damages: If your doctor was negligent, but they didn’t cause you any injuries, you cannot sue for malpractice. The incompetent care provided by your doctor must have caused your injury for you to sue. Patients can sue for injuries related to physical pain, mental suffering, lost wages, limited mobility, a reduced capacity to enjoy life, and additional medical bills.