Medical negligence, also called medical malpractice, is the medical treatment that falls below the standard medical care required by law. This happens when a medical professional, such as a doctor or a nurse, does not competently perform their required medical duties.
What Are Some Common Types of Medical Negligence?
Some common types of medical negligence are:
- Leaving a wound untreated
- Performing the wrong procedure on a patient
- Not removing bandages or equipment from an incision
- Proving a patient with inadequate or wrong medical advice
How Is Medical Negligence Proven?
Proving a medical professional’s treatment was medical negligent, involves showing that specific elements occurred:
- The medical professional owed a duty to the plaintiff. This means that the nurse, doctor, or surgeon accused of negligence was hired to provide or provided care to the patient.
- The medical professional breached their duty to the plaintiff. In other words, the doctor, nurse, or surgeon failed to provide standard medical care. This is usually proven using expert medical testimony.
- The medical professional’s negligence was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. It may be the case that the doctor, nurse, or surgeon may have breached their duty to provide standard medical care, but the breach did not cause any injuries. This is why the plaintiff must show that the negligence actually caused an injury to them that can be resolved by actual, measurable damages such as reimbursement for medical bills.
Are There Any Defenses to Medical Negligence?
Defenses to medical negligence include:
- No breach of duty: The medical professional did not violate the duty they owed to the plaintiff to provide standard medical care.
- Patient negligence: The patient’s actions caused their own injury.
- Wrong party sued: Another medical professional or hospital should be sued instead.
- Uncertain or no damages: The injury did not result in any actual damages or the damages are too speculative to be reasonably calculated.
Should I Contact a Lawyer about Medical Negligence?
Yes, a personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a case for medical negligence. In addition, a lawyer may be able to represent you in your medical malpractice case.