What is Medical Malpractice?

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice cases are very common with the growing awareness among the masses about their rights and the standard of medical care that they are entitled to. The United States alone sees close to 20,000 medical negligence lawsuits against medical professionals each year. Below listed are some important factors about medical negligence that you need to know to understand the various facets of one’s rights against medical negligence.

1. Who could be held liable for medical negligence?
Any non-compliance of the generally accepted norms and standards of the medical profession by a medical professional such as a Doctor, Paramedic or nurse amounts to medical negligence. This is contrary to the common belief that only a Doctor can be sued for medical negligence.

2. When amounts to medical negligence?
The medical professionals are involved in a noble profession that deals with critical aspects and hence need to strictly adhere to a set standard, failing which causes a case of medical negligence. Also it is essential that such medical negligence and non-compliance to the set standard causes some sort of damage to the patient such as pain, loss of earning capacity or partial or complete disability.

3. Essentials of Medical Negligence
Medical Negligence comprises of three essentials which includes medical professional, omission and/or negligence by the medical professional amounting to non-compliance with the required basic standard and consequences of the omission and/or negligence on the victim such as disability, loss of earning capacity and other factors. The gravity of the matter however rests on the extent of damage caused by the medical professional and how it impacts the life of the victim.

4. What happens when you sue for medical negligence?
When the victim of a medical negligence case decides to sue, then the lawyer for the plaintiff files the lawsuit against the medical profession. Thereafter the discovery, depositions and the interrogatories take place. Many a times the parties choose to settle the matter out-of-court during this period, else a trial takes place. Depending on the facts and findings of the case, the court awards punitive or compensatory damages

5. How much would it cost to sue?
Lawsuits can cost quite a bit and are time consuming, hence it is generally suggested that one files a medical negligence lawsuit only in case of severe disability else one could end up spending more than the damages recovered. Another way to handle this is to find a contingent personal injury lawyer who would not charge a dime but take a slice of the pie once you enter into a settlement or are awarded damages.

Some of the shocking medical malpractice cases include incidents where the wrong part of the body was operated, leaving a surgical equipment inside the body and much more. The law pertaining to medical negligence helps in numerous ways including checking the medical malpractices of suggesting and performing unnecessary surgeries, misdiagnosis, no timely follow-ups of the patients and also premature discharge of a patient, all of which are recognized forms of medical negligence.

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