Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, hospital, or other health care provider fails to take proper care of a patient—either by doing something they should have not have done or failing to do something they should have done—resulting in injury or death. Examples could be errors in treatment, diagnosis, or health management of the patient.
When caring for patients, doctors and other health care providers are required to follow certain standards of care. Failing to meet minimum generally accepted standards of care is considered negligence and a form of medical malpractice.
What Are Examples of Medical Malpractice?
A medical malpractice claim must have the following three characteristics:
1. Standard of care violation.
Standard of care refers to standards that the medical profession recognizes as acceptable medical treatment. Any patient has the right to expect health care professionals who care for them will uphold these standards of care consistently. If a standard of care is not met, it may establish the health care provider was being negligent.
2. The negligence caused an injury.
Along with the health care provider violating standards of care, for a medical malpractice claim to be valid, the provider’s negligence must also have led to an injury the patient wouldn’t have sustained otherwise. Simply being injured or experiencing an unfavorable outcome is also not enough on its own. To demonstrate medical malpractice, the patient must be able to prove the health care professional was negligent and that the negligence caused the patient’s injury.
3. The negligence caused significant damages.
For a medical malpractice case to move forward, the patient must demonstrate their injury caused by medical negligence also resulted in a large degree of damages. Since medical malpractice lawsuits are very expensive, often requiring many hours of deposition and various medical experts’ testimony, a case involving small damages is usually not viable. In other words, the costs of pursuing the case could be more than what the patient will be able to recover if the damages aren’t significant.
Examples of damages that are large enough to make a medical malpractice claim sufficient could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Unusual pain
- Loss of income
- Significant medical bills (past and future)
Examples of medical negligence that could lead to a valid lawsuit include:
- Ignoring or misreading laboratory results
- Failing to recognize symptoms or order proper testing
- Misdiagnosis of, or failing to diagnose, a disease or illness
- Performing surgery that was unnecessary
- Prescription of improper medications or dosage
- Errors in surgery
- Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient histories
- Improper aftercare or follow-up
- Nursing home negligence, abuse, or neglect
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine if your situation has grounds for a lawsuit. Medical professionals have the lives and well-being of patients in their hands every day, and they should be held responsible for upholding the same standard of care for each person they treat.
Talk to a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney today who can help you determine if you have a case and how to get started right away. At John Foy & Associates, we can help. For a FREE consultation to find out your options and what we can do for you, call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to your right today.