(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Many studies have revealed that medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States, falling just behind heart disease and cancer. Given the high rates at which patients die because of medical errors, it’s no wonder that medical malpractice claims remain on the rise. Let’s review important considerations related to medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is when a patient receiving medical care has been harmed by a medical professional that failed to perform their duties properly. If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you navigate through a complicated set of laws and rules that vary from one state to another.
A key aspect of medical malpractice is proving that you actually had a doctor-patient relationship. You’ll need to demonstrate that you secured the services of the doctor you’re suing to provide treatment or perform a procedure. For instance, if you received information from a doctor via a third party, and you were harmed as a result of the advice given, it probably won’t qualify as medical malpractice since you didn’t have a patient-doctor relationship. However, this can become a complex issue when the patient-doctor relationship isn’t as clear.
Filing a malpractice claim will also require you to prove that the doctor was negligent. Sometimes claims are filed because a patient is not satisfied with the outcome, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there was an error or the doctor was negligent when diagnosing or treating a condition. A legitimate malpractice lawsuit means a competent doctor would not have made the same mistake that your doctor made, which caused you harm.
From a legal perspective, an attorney would need to prove that the doctor was not “reasonably skillful and careful.” A medical expert is involved in almost all malpractice lawsuits, and their job is to provide information about medical standards as it relates to how the doctor being sued either followed or deviated from the standard.
One of the reasons why medical malpractice lawsuits are difficult is because patients often have prior medical conditions that may have played a role in the outcome. This makes it’s difficult to determine if the doctor was, in fact, negligent or caused harm to the patient. For instance, if a patient dies during an operation, but they suffered from a chronic medical condition for many years, there could be a chance that the death occurred because of the chronic medical condition.
There are instances when a doctor clearly provided treatment that was below acceptable standards but is not found guilty of medical malpractice because the patient was not harmed. Some of the more common reasons why patients file medical malpractice lawsuits include mental anguish, physical pain, medical costs and loss of wages. This might occur if a doctor failed to diagnose a patient and their illness was exacerbated over a period of time, but could have been resolved had the property diagnosis occurred.
Another issue that often leads to a medical malpractice claim is a patient receiving the wrong treatment. There have been horror stories of patients receiving treatment for cancer although they didn’t have the disease. There have also been cases where completely healthy body parts were removed when it clearly wasn’t warranted.
Given the complex laws and numerous considerations, it’s best to contact a lawyer if you have questions about medical malpractice.