Medical malpractice mistakes are the
third leading cause of death in the United States
When a patient seeks out medical care, and a medical professional agrees to deal with a patient, a patient-provider relationship is established. At this point, doctors are ethically and legally bound to provide a standard of care commensurate with industry standards. These standards, while defined by the medical community, will vary depending on the patient, the context of the treatment provided, and the nature of the medical issues facing the patient.
Ultimately, the rubric for what constitutes instances of medical malpractice is expert opinions from other medical professionals in the same field, which would apply the standard of “what would a competent and ethical practitioner do when faced with the same patient?”
If differences exist between the reasonable standard of care and the medical care ultimately received by a patient, negligence on some level is likely to have occurred. Failure to provide an adequate standard of care results is known as medical negligence, or medical malpractice, which if resulting in damages, is the groundwork for a viable medical malpractice claim.
Common Types Of Malpractice
Medical malpractice exists in cases where a patient sustains some level of damages from a medical professional during his or her official medical duties.
Damages are a legal term, but ultimately, include a number of harms that the patient sustains as the result of medical treatment, which can include exacerbated medical issues, unnecessary medical costs, untreated but otherwise treatable conditions, as well as a whole host of other issues relating to income earning capacity, costs of medical care, as well as psychological and emotional duress.
Damages are grounds for a lawsuit in many cases, but other elements must exist in medical malpractice legal cases.
A misdiagnosis is a serious concern that will directly impact a patient. This occurs when a patient is deemed to have a particular condition even though that person does not actually suffer from it.