Defining Medical Malpractice; what is it?
The term itself gives off the explanation. It is the bad practice of medicine. In other words, not meeting the level of a Standard care that is required for every patient. The doctor can make a mistake, but if the patient is not injured by it, then it is a no foul, but if they do end up harmed by the mistake, then it can be foundation for a claim.
What is Medical Standard of Care?
According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, standard care is “the caution that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would exercise in providing care to a patient.”
If the other person would not have exercised the same actions as did the person who committed the mistake, then if you were harmed by it, you have a basis for a claim. Saying you were injured by the physician’s mistake is one thing, but having to prove it is quite difficult.
How Is It Established?
For a standard of care to be established, a Medical expert, also known as an expert witness, who falls under the same field as the doctor in question needs to testify on your behalf with the following two things: (1) How was it exactly that the care of the doctor did not meet the standard care, and (2) how was it that you were exactly harmed by this.
Not all states require this step, but many do. An expert has to sign an affidavit that will be filed along with the Malpractice complaint. What needs to be inside the content of the affidavit depends a lot on the state requirements. Some states will have the expert state how was the standards of care within that specific scenario, and how it was violated. While others will only have the expert say that your case was reviewed and deserves to be heard.
One of our masterful litigators can tell you if this step is required in your case, and what it is that you exactly will need to have inside of it to maximize your odds at winning the case.
Increase of Standard of Care for Specialists
Medical professionals who hold the title of a specialist in a certain field, are held to higher standards when dealing with the standard of care. They are expected to perform the same as another competent specialist with the same area of study would have. This is a list of some specialists in the health care world:
- And more
Illustrations of Medical Malpractice Cases
There are times that you might believe that the claim is so obvious, but you must fully comprehend which scenarios can actually give rise for a claim. Below will be illustrated some typical cases that have a basis for malpractice.
- Giving too much, or too little anesthesia
- Misdiagnosing or delay in diagnosing a condition
- Errors in the medication type and medication dosage
- Leaving an instrument inside the human body after operation
- Not turning patients who cannot do so themselves resulting in bed sores
Errors can occur in many more scenarios.
What Can Be Awarded to You?
Pain and suffering (General Damage): This is subjective to the jury and judge. It involves mental and physical anguish.
Specific Damages: Medical bills, loss of wages, attorney fees, and loss of future wages due to injuries.
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