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Medical Malpractice

Medical News Today estimates that there are 195,000 yearly hospital deaths that are to due to medical errors. In 2010, the Office of Inspector General said that "An estimated 13.5 percent of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries experienced adverse events during their hospital stays." They also said that 44% of these problems were avoidable.

The duty of a medical professional is not the duty to cure, or even to guarantee a good outcome from treatment. The duty is to provide good medical care according to accepted standards in the community or medical specialty area.

If you believe that you or a loved one were the victim of a health care provider's negligence, please contact us to discuss your situation.

  • Malpractice
  • Malpractice

Requirements For A Claim

A doctor-patient relationship existed. This means you actually hired the doctor. For example, if you ask your friend who knows a doctor to ask for medical advice, you cannot file a claim against that doctor because he/she never treated you, thus no doctor-patient relationship actually existed.

The doctor was negligent. The doctor was not reasonably skillful and careful in your diagnosis or treatment. You must be able to show the doctor caused you harm in a way a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have.

The doctor's negligence caused the injury. It must be proven it was the doctor's negligence, not a pre-existing condition, that caused you harm. The patient must show it is "more likely than not" that the doctor's incompetence directly caused the injury. This is where it helps to have a medical expert involved in your case.

Damages

Even if it is clear the doctor performed below the expected standards in his or her field, the patient can only sue for malpractice if the injury led to actual harm.

Damages that can form the basis of a claim may include:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Additional medical bill
  • Lost work and lost earning capacity

Common Types of Malpractice

There are many different situations that can lead to a medical malpractice claim. Examples include misdiagnosis, failing to notify a patient of a disorder or disease, or even leaving a surgical instrument in a patient's body.

Some common medical malpractice claims include:

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis
  • Medication Errors
  • Anesthesia Errors
  • Surgery Errors