Do you feel that you or any of your loved ones are victims of medical malpractice? Then pause to read this article. It may very well be the case that your situation does not fall under the category of this misdemeanor. The best way to get the proper advice is by hiring an attorney specializing in such cases in your geographical location.
For instance, if you are in New York, then it will be sensible to search for medical malpractice attorneys in NYC. The primary reason for such an approach is that the laws in this matter can vary from one state to another. Let’s now take a detailed look at the topic to understand what constitutes the offense of healthcare-related negligence.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Any instance where a hospital, doctor or any other similar professional through negligence or omission causes harm to a patient can be termed as a case of medical malpractice. The act of carelessness can be caused due to mistakes committed during diagnosis, treatment, post-treatment procedures, and health management.
As mentioned earlier, the laws governing this misconduct depend upon the state where they have occurred. However, the general principles and rules for identifying and categorizing such cases remain consistent across all locations. Read on to know what can be termed as an offense under the law.
What Can Be Called As A Misconduct?
Whenever a medical professional or organization does not provide a treatment which meets the specified standards, it can be categorized under medical misconduct. However, this broad definition can cause difficulty in applying it to situations. Take a look at some common types to understand the topic better.
1. Incorrect Treatment
In case a person is administered treatment in a manner which no competent and qualified professional would have used, then it can be a ground for filing a case. Even if the method of treatment was correct but the manner in which it was applied was wrong, the patient can sue the professional for misconduct.
2. Failing To Diagnose
Another instance where patients can take legal action against the healthcare professional is when it can be established that a competent professional would have made a completely different diagnosis which would have produced a better result.
3. Failing To Alert A Patient
Doctors are legally bound to inform their patients about all the known risks involved in a medical process or procedure. In case, an injury occurs which could have been avoided if the person aware of the hazard would have chosen not to undergo the treatment, it can be categorized as a case of medical malpractice.
What Are The Necessary Requirements For Filing A Claim?
You would have, by now, got a fair idea of what can be termed as a case of healthcare-related wrongdoing. We will now discuss what a complainant needs to establish in such cases.
1. Existence Of Doctor-Patient Relationship
The person has to establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed between him/ her and the professional he/ she is accusing of the misconduct.
2. Negligence Of The Professional
It is necessary to show that negligence was committed by the professional. It can be done by establishing that the approach adopted by another competent doctor would have generated a different outcome.
3. The Injury Was Caused By The Act Of Negligence
Courts also want the complainants to prove that the injury caused to them was because of the negligent act committed by the healthcare professional. In most cases, medical experts are required to testify that the harm was caused by the carelessness of the doctor in question.
4. The Injury Caused Specific Harm
Patients cannot take legal action if they do not suffer any injury even if the doctor was careless. People can file a claim if they have suffered physical injuries, mental stress or if the injury rendered them unable to earn a living.
What Cannot Be Termed As A Malpractice?
It is wrong to hold a professional responsible for a correctly diagnosed and administered treatment which was not successful. The medical treatment does not come with any guarantee. Even medicines or a course of action with a successful track record can fail. Unforeseen complications can arise out of routine procedures for which you cannot blame the healthcare expert. Remember that an unfavorable result of a properly applied treatment cannot be a ground for filing a case.
The broad nature of the definition of such negligence can make it hard to understand for most people. The best way is to share the details of a supposed misdemeanor with a trained legal professional in that specific geographical location. For instance, if the event took place in New Jersey, consult a medical malpractice lawyer in New Jersey to know whether it is fit for filing a claim or not.