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A Guide to Understand Elements & Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can have serious consequences for a patient and may even cause death. It occurs when a doctor or other healthcare provider fails to perform their medical duties and that causes harm to the patient. In this type of case, the victim is eligible to seek financial compensation for the losses that are a result of omission or misconduct by the medical professional. However, before you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is important to ensure that you have a legitimate case. Just because you are not satisfied with the outcome of the treatment, it doesn’t make you a victim of medical malpractice. A doctor always tries to provide the best possible treatment but sometimes they commit errors or neglect their duty that harms the patients. It is noteworthy that failing to treat life-threatening diseases like cancer doesn’t come in the category of medical malpractice. To find out whether you or your loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, let’s find out more about it!

Basic Elements of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a medical error where a health care professional neglects to provide appropriate treatment. It involves negligence or omission to take appropriate action that results in providing substandard treatment. As a result of this misconduct, the patient suffers physical harm, injury, or even death. The error could take place at any stage of treatment- diagnosis, medication dosage, health management, surgery, or aftercare. It is a broad field that includes errors and mistakes committed by doctors, nurses, hospital management, therapist, and other healthcare-related professionals. Any harm caused due to sub-standard treatment comes in the category of medical malpractice. To find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit, you need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer specializing in medical malpractice. The basic elements of a medical malpractice or negligence claim include:

  • Duty
  • Breach
  • Causation
  • Damages

To file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need to establish these four main elements. It means that first, you need to prove that the patient-doctor relationship existed and the healthcare provider owed you a duty to deliver medical care and treatment. For this, you can use medical records as proof. The next element is a breach of duty which means failure to provide standard treatment. Another element is causation which means that medical error or negligence committed by the professional resulted in injury or physical harm. The last element is ‘damage’ which is a monetary loss that is a result of an injury such as medical bills and loss of income.

Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice can take many forms and may have life-changing consequences. Whether a healthcare professional miss to diagnose or fail to provide needed treatment, the victim has the right to sue the healthcare professional. The common types of medical malpractice claims include:

•        Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis

•        Not disclosing known risks of the treatment

•        Misreading or ignoring laboratory results

•        Improper consent or non-consent

•        Unnecessary surgery

•        Surgical errors

•        Improper medication or dosage

•        No follow-up or poor aftercare

•        Premature discharge

•        Ignoring patient history

•        Failure to recognize symptoms

•        And more!

Sometimes doctors neglect their duty and fail to diagnose the disease. It is also possible that a doctor doesn’t warn about the possible complications that could be a result of the treatment. Healthcare professionals are obliged to discuss the treatment risks and provide the highest possible standard of care. Failure to meet their duties could have serious consequences for the patients such as:

  • Constant pain
  • Suffering
  • Enduring hardship
  • Inability to work & loss of income
  • Disability

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