Medical malpractice is one of the most egregious forms of negligence. We expect for doctors and medical practitioners to use the highest level of care when treating patients. When they fail to do so, however, their already ill or injured patients run the risk of experiencing even more damage to their health.
Malpractice is defined as professional negligence exhibited by a medical practitioner or health care provider. Professional negligence differs from general negligence because doctors are expected to perform up to a certain, industry-set standard (of which they are aware). If a physician lacks the competence necessary to adequately fulfill his or her duties, of if he or she is negligent while on the job, then malpractice has been committed.
Types of Malpractice
Not all medical situations can be remedied, and patients and doctors should be aware of this. However, health care providers are still expected to do what they can to help their patients as best as possible. When they fail to take action as they should, or when they commit inexcusable errors while on the job, then they may be cited as having committed malpractice.
There are a number of negligent medical errors that are considered to be malpractice:
- Unreasonable delay in treatment
- Pharmacy error
- Lack of informed consent
- Surgery error
- Nursing home abuse
- Hospital negligence
- Improper treatment
- Birth injuries
If you have suffered further injury because your doctor committed one of the above mistakes, then you may have reasonable grounds for a successful medical malpractice claim.
The Elements of a Malpractice Case
For a malpractice case to be successful, the claimant needs to ensure that the following four elements are all present:
- Medical worker owed you a certain duty of care
- This duty was breached
- The breach in duty resulted in further injury to you
- Damages were incurred from this injury
Physicians know how costly and damaging it is to have malpractice case filed against them. Because of this, they will do everything in their power to fight or delay the case. Therefore, if you have been a victim of malpractice, then you will need a strong and talented lawyer to assert your claim.