Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury litigation that occurs when a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or nurse, fails to provide appropriate care, and as a result, the patient is harmed. This can include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, birth injuries, and prescription errors. To prove medical malpractice, the following elements must be present:
- A duty of care owed by the healthcare provider to the patient.
- A breach of that duty of care by the healthcare provider.
- The breach must have caused an injury to the patient.
- The injury must have resulted in specific damages, such as physical pain, lost wages, or medical expenses.
If the patient believes they have suffered harm due to medical malpractice, they may file a lawsuit and seek compensation for their injuries. This can involve a lengthy and complex process, including gathering medical records and expert testimony, as well as negotiating a settlement or going to trial.
The most common type of medical malpractice claim is a failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis. This occurs when a healthcare provider fails to accurately diagnose a medical condition, either by missing the diagnosis entirely or by providing a wrong diagnosis. This can result in delayed treatment, inappropriate treatment, or a worsening of the patient’s condition.
Other common types of medical malpractice claims include:
- Surgical errors
- Birth injuries
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
- Emergency room errors
- Wrongful death
- Misinterpretation of test results
It is important to note that medical malpractice cases can be difficult to win and require a high burden of proof. An experienced personal injury attorney can help to determine if a case has the necessary elements to pursue a medical malpractice claim.