When a person goes to a medical facility for care, the last thing he or she expects is for their healthcare provider to make a mistake. However, errors happen and they may rise to the level of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice does not apply merely if a patient is dissatisfied with the outcome of the treatment or procedure. It occurs when a healthcare professional does not provide appropriate treatment, fails to take an appropriate action or gives substandard treatment that results in the patient suffering harm, injury or death. When this happens, the patient may want to pursue compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim.
To successfully bring a medical malpractice claim, the patient must demonstrate that the provider acted negligently and that the negligence resulted in the harm to the patient. The patient must prove that the provider owed a professional duty to him or her, the provider breached that duty, the patient suffered an injury caused by the breach and he or she suffered damages.
There are several examples of medical malpractice. These include operations on the wrong part of the body, prescribing incorrect medication, prematurely discharging a patient, failing to order appropriate tests and failure to diagnose a condition.
Medical malpractice may also occur if a patient does not give informed consent for a medical procedure. Informed consent means that the risks were presented to the patient and he or she agreed to go ahead with the procedure.
The patient may be eligible to receive compensatory damages for economic harm like loss of earning capacity and punitive damages if the provider acted with malicious or willful misconduct.
If a patient has been harmed by a healthcare provider, an experienced attorney can help.