In the United States, medical malpractice suits are very common against doctors and other medical professionals for misdiagnosis, mistreatment and negligence.
This said, not all errors in medical diagnosis and treatment can be judged as medical malpractice. This is because there are certain risks and margins of error that are inherent part of practicing medicine.
Grounds for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits:
However, there are certain incidents that occur in a hospital or with a medical professional that can form a firm basis for medical malpractice lawsuits. If the following happen, you can easily file a lawsuit in the court:
- A duty was owed but not fulfilled. In the US, like in any other country, hospitals and healthcare providers have a legal duty to a patient when they undertake the patient’s care or treatment. If they do not fulfill that duty, it is considered as medical malpractice.
- A duty was breached. If the hospital or healthcare provider does not conform to a certain prescribed standard of care and treatment, it is considered as medical malpractice. The standard of care or treatment is proved by expert testimony or by obvious errors that are made.
- If the breach of duty causes the patient injury, it will be considered as medical malpractice. However, it has to be proven by expert witnesses that the breach was the inherent cause of the injury.
- If you suffer a pecuniary or emotional damage, you can sue a doctor for medical malpractice regardless of whether the doctor or healthcare provider was negligent. Remember, without damages, there is no basis for a claim.
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