What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?

What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?

August 2, 2019

If a doctor, nurse or other type of healthcare provider causes injury to a patient due to their own negligence, this is considered to be medical malpractice. There are various forms of negligence—it could be an improper diagnosis, an error in treatment or aftercare or an error in the management of the patient’s condition. A medical malpractice lawyer in Portsmouth, VA can help you if you are interested in pursuing legal action against a healthcare provider.

However, due to the complex nature of medical work, for something to be considered medical malpractice, it must meet some stringent guidelines. A negative care result is not enough for something to be considered malpractice. Instead, the claim must meet the following standards:

  • The care provider failed to offer a sufficient standard of care: Doctors are required by law to provide a certain standard of medical care to their patients. That standard is measured by what a reasonably skilled or prudent healthcare professional would provide to a patient in similar circumstances. Patients should be able to trust that their healthcare providers are giving them a high quality of care, and if they do not meet that standard of care, they may be able to prove that the healthcare provider was negligent in their treatment.
  • An injury resulted from the care provider’s negligence: The existence of negligence alone is not enough to prove medical malpractice. There must be an established connection between the care provider’s negligence and the injury the patient sustained. The patient, therefore, must be able to prove his or her injury would not have occurred had they been treated competently. Here again, it’s important to note that unfavorable outcomes are not enough to indicate malpractice. Sometimes, doctors are simply unable to help their patients—it is an unfortunate reality of the world of healthcare. However, mistakes by the doctor or other negligent acts by a healthcare provider can result in the injury. This is the most difficult element of a medical malpractice case to prove, but also the most important.
  • The injury caused significant damages: Medical malpractice cases can quickly become extremely expensive to process, because there are a lot of legal processes associated with those cases, and there will likely be a need for testimony from many medical experts and hours of depositions. Therefore, if the case is going to be worthwhile, the patient will need to be able to demonstrate that the damages were significant. Small damages might make the cost of pursuing the case larger than what the patient could actually recover. The value of the case increases quickly if the patient is able to demonstrate a loss of income and earning capacity, disability, pain and suffering and significant past and future medical bills.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can proceed with a medical malpractice case against a negligent care provider or whether or not your case actually qualifies for medical malpractice, we encourage you to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Portsmouth, VA. Reach out to Auto Accident Specialists, Inc. today—we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

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