When you put your trust in a medical professional and they let you down, it can have a significant impact on your life. The expression medical malpractice is used to describe a situation where a someone in that particular field has caused harm, by failing to perform his or her duties as they should have.
Basic Requirements for a Claim
Medical malpractice claims can be complicated and each case will be reviewed on its own specific circumstances to determine if a claim is possible and how much compensation you may eventually obtain.
It is standard to start by first ascertaining some basic facts:
- Proof of an official patient-doctor relationship.
- Whether there was negligence – distinguishable from a patient simply being unhappy with their care. The crux of most cases will lie in the argument that another doctor, under similar circumstances, would have met a different standard of care and process than the one given to you on this occasion.
- Whether an injury occurred due to negligence – It can be difficult to separate the underlying conditions which were being treated from any further harm a negligent doctor may have caused.
Examples of Harm That May Be Caused By Negligence
•Mental or emotional illness;
•Resulting loss of job or earning capabilities;
Three Common Types of Malpractice
- Failure to correctly diagnose. In the event of a missed or wrong diagnosis, where it is deemed that a correct and more timely diagnosis could have affected the outcome favourably, there may be a malpractice claim;
- Improper or incorrect treatment. If the treatment prescribed does not meet expected standards, or matches that which another doctor would have prescribed, there may be a claim;
- Failings in the communication of risks to the patient. If a patient agreed to a treatment plan based on incorrect or incomplete risk information, and an injury is sustained that wasn’t mentioned, there may be also a cause for claim.