What Is Medical Malpractice?
What is medical malpractice? You might think it’s any mistake a medical professional makes, but there are actually four legal elements that are applied and have to be shown in court that negligence was done when rendering care.
According to the American Bar Association, medical malpractice is:
“negligence committed by a professional health care provider—a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital or hospital worker—whose performance of duties departs from a standard of practice of those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient or patients.”
In other words, a health care professional who has had highly specialized education and training like her peers, has to perform medical work that isn’t an established practice standard.
What Are the Four Medical Malpractice Legal Elements?
There are four legal elements that have to be proven in a court when a patient sues for medical malpractice.
- A professional duty owed to the patient – a doctor-patient relationship must be in place and the physician should treat the patient with the same knowledge, skills and abilities that other reasonably competent doctors would possess
- Breach of such duty – this is a failure to do what the doctor is legally responsible for
- Injury caused by the breach – there has to be proof that the patient was hurt or injured because the medical professional failed to do her job as outlined above
- Resulting damages – if the elements above are proven, the injured patient can be reimbursed for the medical bills that charge the patient for the medical procedures, prescriptions, surgeries, etc., that caused the medical malpractice.
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What Are Some Examples Of Medical Malpractice?
According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA), these are some medical malpractice types that can be litigated:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
- Unnecessary surgery
- Surgical errors or wrong site surgery
- Improper medication or dosage
- Poor follow-up or aftercare
- Premature discharge
- Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient history
- Failure to order proper testing
- Failure to recognize symptoms
Did You Know?
In South Carolina, mediation must be done before a medical malpractice suit goes to trial. The Anastopoulo Law Firm will represent you during the mediation process and the trial itself.
Call the Anastopoulo Law Firm today at (800) 777-7777 if you or a loved one is suffering from a botched medical procedure, misdiagnosis, incorrect laboratory test results or unnecessary surgery.
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