You may have heard of malpractice on a popular TV show or as a buzzword in news stories, but few unaffected Americans truly understand exactly what medical malpractice means, and everything it can entail. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can happen to just about anyone and it’s always tragic. We trust our medical professionals to do their very best to keep us safe and healthy. What happens when they violate that trust?
Our lawyers have built a reputation of taking care of individuals who have been injured or harmed due to the actions or negligence of others. From car accidents to medical malpractice, we’ve built a strong portfolio of defending innocent victims so they get what they deserve. Today we’ll share everything you need to know about medical malpractice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a doctor or medical professional causes harm to you when they fail to perform their duties with competence or basic reason. This can mean many things and show up in many different ways. Basically, if your doctor made a mistake in a way that caused you harm and another doctor in the same position wouldn’t have made the same choices it is medical malpractice.
Elements of Medical Malpractice
If you think you have been a victim of medical malpractice or simply want to protect yourself from medical malpractice in the future, it’s important to know these elements in place for any medical malpractice claim.
Doctor-Patient Relationship: The first element is that you seek medical help and the doctor agreed to treat you. This can be as simple as scheduling appointments at their clinics or offices, entering a hospital, or any formal request for care. The doctor has to know they’re caring for you and have you as a formal patient.
Negligence: Negligence on the part of a physician can happen many different ways, but essentially is defined as behavior that fails to be “reasonably skillful and careful.” If your doctor does (or doesn’t do) something that a normally skilled doctor wouldn’t (or would) do then it is negligence.
Harm: When your doctor fails to perform in a “reasonably skillful and careful” manner and it causes you some type of harm, you should look into a medical malpractice claim. Harm can be physical, emotional, financial, mental, social, and situational. However, the harm must be directly related to the doctor’s negligence without confusing factors. Specific damages must be proven to be a result of the doctor’s negligence for a successful medical malpractice claim.
Medical Malpractice By State
Each state has varied requirements for medical malpractice claims. Some states have limits on how late you can file medical malpractice claims. Some states have limits on the damages that can be awarded to the victim. Some states require that the doctor being accused be notified in advance. It all depends on where you live. This is why obtaining a knowledgeable and experienced injury attorney can make all the difference in your injury or medical malpractice claim.
If you’re facing a possible medical malpractice situation, call us at Flickinger, Sutterfield and Boulton without delay.