An Overview of Medical Malpractice

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice takes place when a patient suffers an injury due to negligence or incompetence of a medical professional such as, a doctor, nurse, or laboratory assistant. The act of negligence might result from errors in treatment, diagnosis, aftercare or even overall health management.

For a case to come under the realm of medical malpractice law, the claim must bear the following traits:

Violation of Standard of Medical Care: Medical malpractice laws recognize that there are particular medical protocols acknowledged by the profession as acceptable standards of medical treatment by reasonably qualified and judicious health care professionals under the same or similar circumstances. A patient is entitled to expect healthcare professionals to deliver acceptable standards of care. If standard of care is not provided, an act of medical negligence can be established in the court.

Injury Due to Negligence: Violation of standard medical care does not offer enough evidence to establish a medical malpractice claim. It’s the patient’s responsibility to prove that the person suffered an injury due to negligence. Not all medical treatments can guarantee a favorable outcome. Therefore, the occurrence of an unfavorable outcome is not a sufficient indicator of medical malpractice. At the same time, if an injury is nothing to do with medical negligence, it does not merit a case.

Injury Leading to Significant Damages: Medical malpractice cases are extremely complicated and expensive to sue. These require frequent testimony of several medical experts and long hours of deposition testimony. For a particular case to have merits, the claim must be backed by the evidence of significant damages that occurred due to injury resulting from medical negligence. In case of minor damages, pursuing the case might cost you more than what you will be able to recover. The patient must prove that the injury caused disability, unusual pain, loss of wages, hardship and suffering, or significant snowballing of past and future medical expenses.

Examples of Medical Malpractice

There are different types of medical malpractices. Followings are some examples of medical negligence that have merits to be a lawsuit:

  • Failure in diagnosis and misdiagnosis
  • Ignoring or misreading laboratory results
  • Surgical errors or surgery at wrong site
  • Improper dosage or medication
  • Poor aftercare or follow-up
  • Discharge before time
  • Ignoring patient history or not asking for it
  • Failure to recognize symptoms
  • Failure to suggest proper tests

Why to Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

If you or anyone in your family has suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, you should consult Virginia medical malpractice attorneys. Medical malpractice is a vast and complicated area of law. A certified attorney must meet stringent standards through his or her education, experience, excellence and ethics in professional medical malpractice law. A good medical malpractice lawyer is someone who will patiently listen to your problems and analyze your case to determine if the claim has enough merits. In a nutshell, the lawyer gives you solid guidelines as to if you should proceed with the case and if yes, represent you in the court or during out-of-court settlements.

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