Do I Have a Case for Medical Malpractice?

by | Jan 22, 2024

Do I Have a Case for Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a term that strikes fear into the hearts of patients and healthcare professionals alike. When seeking medical care, patients expect to – are legally entitled to, receive a certain standard of care from healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, there are times when healthcare providers fail to meet these standards, resulting in serious harm, injury, or even death. 

The definition of medical malpractice

A patient can allege medical malpractice against a clinician in the United States. Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare professional neglects to provide appropriate treatment, takes appropriate action, or gives substandard treatment that causes harm, injury, or death.  Malpractice can be a single event or a series of occurrences.  

Malpractice or negligence often involves a medical error, such as a diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management. The purpose of medical malpractice law is so that patients who have suffered due to insufficient medical care can recover compensation for any harm they have received.  In the United States, according to the Medical Malpractice Center, there are 15,000 to 19,000 medical malpractice suits against doctors alone each year. 

The importance of understanding medical malpractice

Healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, and health facilities, such as hospitals and clinics, are expected to provide a certain standard of care. While medical professionals are not liable for all harm a patient may experience, they are legally responsible if the patient experiences harm or injury due to a lower quality of care than expected. 

Steps to determine if you have a case

Four factors need to be considered in the United States for medical malpractice. In order to be considered medical malpractice under American law, the claim needs to have the following characteristics

A violation of standard care

The law recognizes certain medical standards that are considered acceptable by healthcare professionals under similar circumstances. This is called the “standard of care”. Patients can expect to receive care that meets these standards, and if it is found that these standards were not met, it may be considered negligence.

The negligence caused an injury

To prove medical malpractice, the patient must show that a healthcare professional’s negligence caused an injury that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Just having an unfavorable outcome is not enough. If an injury without negligence or negligence didn’t cause an injury, there is no case.

The injury resulted in significant damages

Medical malpractice lawsuits are costly and time-intensive, requiring testimony from medical experts and many hours of deposition. To pursue a case, the patient must show significant damages, such as disability, loss of income, severe pain, suffering, and hardship, or significant medical bills.

Examples of medical malpractice:

Medical malpractice can take many forms. Here are just a few examples of medical negligence that may lead to a lawsuit:

  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
  • Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Surgical errors or wrong-site surgery
  • Improper medication or dosage
  • Poor follow-up or aftercare
  • Premature discharge
  • Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient history
  • Failure to order proper testing
  • Failure to recognize symptoms

How Gill Law can help

If you or a loved one has suffered harm from medical malpractice, it is important that you find an experienced attorney. At Gill Law, our talented team has a proven success record in the field of medical malpractice and has a history of handling and winning medical malpractice suits. 

Get a no-obligation case review

Contact us for a free preliminary case review to find out if we are the right fit for you and your case. If you decide to proceed, you will only have to pay attorney fees once we obtain a successful result.