What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other health care provider fails to meet accepted standards of medical care and safety, causing injury or death to a patient. Medical malpractice is generally defined as health care treatment that is substandard in nature and was performed by a doctor or other healthcare professional and directly resulted in both economic and physical damages to the individual. The terminology “substandard” in these cases refers to care which has violated normal medical practice or standards of care. The substandard care must also have resulted in injury to the individual or their death. Regulations and standards relative to medical malpractice may vary from one jurisdiction to another.
What Causes Medical Malpractice?
Certainly, some medical injuries are unpreventable, but many more are caused when medical providers fail to communicate, make rushed decisions or don’t pay attention to important warning signs.
Some of the more common instances of medical malpractice include:
- Anesthesia errors;
- Emergency room errors and delays;
- Failure to diagnose cancer;
- Failure to diagnose heart conditions;
- Failure to notice trauma during labor and delivery, leading to birth injuries;
- Medication and prescription errors;
- Surgical errors;
- Misreading of X-rays and other diagnostic tests.
Medical Malpractice and Insurance Companies
When a patient files a claim, insurance company representatives move quickly to minimize their financial loss. If you suffer injuries from medical malpractice, you may be offered an initial settlement that isn’t adequate to cover your long-term health costs – or the insurance company may try to pressure you into signing a release that prevents you from taking legal action.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Remember first and foremost that the burden of proof is on the plaintiff in cases of this nature. It’s not just a matter of proving negligence. You must also show evidence of economic damages, injury, and suffering that directly resulted from the defendant’s negligence. That’s why a malpractice attorney is invaluable in cases like this. A medical negligence lawyer will work closely with medical experts to evaluate your injuries and determine your legal options. If your injuries do merit a malpractice lawsuit, your attorney must obtain detailed evidence and testimony from qualified medical professionals about your long-term prognosis and the standard of care that contributed to your injuries.
If you have been seriously injured because of medical malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today. You have only a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so you must act quickly.