What Is Medical Malpractice, and Do You Have a Case?

Trusting medical professionals with your health is something you might be forced to do at some point in your life if an extreme situation, such as the need for surgery, occurs. While individuals who practice in the medical industry are required by law to pass certain educational and training requirements to provide their patients with an excellent standard of care, sometimes an accident or negligence happens.

If you are injured because of something your doctor, nurse, or surgeon has done that seems to be outside the standard of care that other practitioners would have provided, you might have a medical malpractice case on your hands. Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider causes damage to your health, but there are a few other criteria that must be met as well before you start considering a lawsuit:

You can prove negligence caused your injury

Being injured or experiencing poor results after treatment or a surgical procedure does not give grounds for a malpractice claim. You have to be able to prove that your injury was caused by your doctor’s negligence and would not have occurred if the doctor — or another doctor — had been doing their job to the best of their ability.

Your losses due to the injury are extreme

Medical malpractice cases are often very costly, so to claim compensation for your losses instead of going further into debt, your compensation needs should be much higher than what the court fees might add up to. You will want to prove your losses have resulted in major financial and emotional hardships such as:

  • Permanent or temporary disability
  • Income loss
  • Pain and suffering, especially if your daily life is greatly impacted
  • Significant past and future medical bills

Basic standard of care was violated

The law explains certain standards that are considered as acceptable treatment and that should be met by medical professionals. If your case is brought to trial, your lawyer might bring in another medical professional who can testify and state whether they would have done something differently in your case, compared to what your doctor did that resulted in your injury. If it can be proven that most doctors would have acted in a different way, your chances of winning your case are much higher.

If you are unsure whether your injuries warrant a medical malpractice case, consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, like a medical malpractice attorney , to determine what your options are. Some common malpractice cases include surgical errors, being given the wrong medication or the wrong dose, misreading lab results, misdiagnosing, discharging you from the hospital too soon, or providing a lack of follow-up after a serious operation.