An Overview of Medical Malpractice


Medical malpractice happens when negligence or incompetence of a medical professional (a doctor, nurse or any other medical staff) harms a patient. Medical malpractice rules vary from one state to another. However, some general principles and rules apply to nearly all medical malpractice cases. The article sheds light on some of these specific rules.

What Makes Your Case Qualify for a Medical Malpractice Claim?

You need to establish all of the following points in order to prove occurrence of medical malpractice.

Doctor-Patient Relationship: This is the most fundamental point of any medical malpractice claim. You must prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed in order to sue the doctor. It means the doctor was in charge of your treatment. You cannot allege a doctor of medical malpractice if you overhead the professional giving advice at a party.

If you hire a doctor and the professional agrees to treat your problems, it automatically establishes a physician-patient relationship. Whether or not such a relationship existed is a typical question in cases where a consulting doctor did not offer any direct treatment.

Physician’s Negligence: It may so happen that the treatment fails to produce results that you expected or you are not happy with the course of treatment. But it does not make a suitable ground for medical malpractice. To show that medical malpractice happened, you need to prove that the physician harmed you in a way that a qualified doctor would not have done under the same circumstances.

It is never to suggest that the doctor’s care was best but anything less than ‘standard care and treatment’ would be considered as a case of medical malpractice. Whether or not a doctor was reasonably careful or skillful is often the crux of any medical malpractice claim.

In all states, it is a basic requirement for the plaintiff to present a medical professional who can discuss the appropriate standard of care and show if and how the defendant failed to meet the standard.

Injury Resulting from Doctor’s Negligence: If the patient was already injured or sick, the inevitable question will be whether the doctor was responsible for the harm. For example, if a patient died of COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), it will be difficult to prove whether the patient succumbed to his/he illness or the doctor’s negligence actually caused the death.

In such cases, it is the claimant’s responsibility to prove that the doctor’s incompetence or failure to provide the ‘standard treatment and care’ led to the patient’s death. Usually, the plaintiff must present a medical expert to establish the link between the doctor’s negligence and the patients’ injury, illness or death.

Damages from Injury: Even if it becomes evident that the doctor failed to meet the established standard in his/her area of specialization, the patient is not entitled to bring a lawsuit against the professional if the patient suffered no harm. Followings are a few examples of typical harms that make a good ground for a medical malpractice claim:

  • Physical Pain
  • Mental Agony
  • Lost Earning and Earning Capacity
  • Additional Medical Bills

Medical malpractice cases are extremely complicated. It is not easy to prove that medical malpractice actually took place. Rely on knowledge, experience and a good track record of a Miami medical malpractice lawyer for your medical malpractice claim.

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