Medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional or provider neglects to provide appropriate treatment, omits to take an appropriate action, or gives substandard treatment that causes harm, injury, or death to a patient.
The malpractice or negligence normally involves a medical error. This could be in diagnosis, medication dosage, health management, treatment, or aftercare.
Medical malpractice law makes it possible for patients to recover compensation from any harms that result from sub-standard treatment.
According to the Medical Malpractice Center, in the United States, there are between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice suits against doctors every year.
The standards and regulations for medical malpractice can differ between countries and states.
A hospital, doctor, or other health care professional is expected to provide a certain standard of care.
The professional is not liable for all the harms a patient experiences.
However, they are legally responsible if the patient experiences harm or injury because the health provider deviated from the quality of care that is normally expected in similar situations.
According to malpractice lawyers in the U.S., for medical malpractice to be considered, a number of factors must be involved.
Failure to provide a proper standard of care: The law requires that health care professionals adhere to certain standards, or potentially face an accusation of negligence.
An injury results from negligence: If a patient feels the provider was negligent, but no harm or injury occurs, there can be no claim. The patient must prove that negligence caused injury or harm, and that, without the negligence, it would not have happened.
The injury must have damaging consequences: The patient must show that the injury or harm caused by the medical negligence resulted in considerable damage.
Considerable damage could be:
- enduring hardship
- constant pain
- considerable loss of income
Bal (2009) states that for a case of malpractice to be considered, the followingTrusted Source must be true:
The injured patient must show that the physician acted negligently in rendering care, and that such negligence resulted in injury. To do so, four legal elements must be proven: (1) a professional duty owed to the patient; (2) breach of such duty; (3) injury caused by the breach; and (4) resulting damages. This includes doing nothing when they should have done something. This may be considered an act of omission or a negligence.
Dissatisfaction with the outcome of treatment does not imply malpractice. It is only malpractice when there is negligence and injury and negligence causes the harm or injury.