10 Things You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a very serious issue that can result in serious injury to the patient. It is very important for people to understand what malpractice is, who can commit malpractice, and what should be done if malpractice occurs.

  • Medical malpractice only occurs when there is an obvious deviation from the normal standard of care for an illness or injury.

There must be a deviation from the accepted standard of care for malpractice to have been committed. The medical professional must be negligent in their actions, such as prescribing the wrong medication or leaving a sponge in a patient during a surgical procedure, for malpractice to occur.

  • Any medial professional or medical entity can be held accountable for malpractice.

Doctors are not the only medical professionals that can be held accountable for negligent actions. Any medical professional that caused harm by acting in a negligent manner can be held responsible for the malpractice. Hospitals and other medical facilities can also be held liable if the malpractice is a direct result of one of their business practices.

  • Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

According to a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012 indicates that deaths caused by medical malpractice are the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.

  • Poor end results does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice occurred.

Patients must realize that an undesired result from a medical procedure does not necessarily mean that malpractice occurred. Every medical procedure has risks associated with their use. A deviation from the standard of care for that procedure must have occurred for malpractice to be a consideration.

  • Who to call if you are the victim of medical malpractice.

If you believe that you are a victim of malpractice and your health is at risk you should seek immediate medical care. Once your health is stabilized, you need to contact a medical malpractice attorney about your case. Your attorney will protect your rights as a victim and help you through the compensation process.

  • The insurance company is not on your side.

If you are a victim of malpractice, you must understand that the insurance provider for the negligent party is not on your side. They want to end the case quickly so that they can “cut their losses.” This is why it is very important to work with an attorney so that you are treated fairly by the insurance company.

  • What are the most common procedures that lead to malpractice?

Malpractice is not specific to any specific type of medical provider or any specific type of procedure. Malpractice can occur in any treatment plan if the doctor or medical care provider acts in a negligent manner.

  • Are there limits on compensation for malpractice events?

Some states have placed caps on the amount of money that is recoverable for damages in a medical malpractice suit. Your attorney can discuss the laws of your state with you during your initial consultation.

  • Should you report the negligent practitioner to the authorities?

Many states have laws in pace that require an attorney or representative of the injured party to report the malpractice event to the state health department or similar agency. This varies by state and is generally handled by your attorney.

  • Protecting yourself from potential malpractice.

To try to avoid medical malpractice from happening to you, you should always take an active part in your health care. Ask questions and seek second or third opinions if you do not feel comfortable with the proposed treatment plan.