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What is the Definition of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured or harmed by a physician due to negligence or deviation from the "standard of care" practiced in the medical community.

The Four Components of Medical Malpractice

You may be unsure of whether or not your experience with your physician qualifies as malpractice. The "4 D's" listed below are considered to be the elements needed to prove the presence of physician wrongdoing.

  1. Duty of Care: This refers to the physician's responsibility to provide their patient with medical care.
  2. Dereliction: Also known as deviation, this is when the physician fails to provide the patient with the necessary amount of care.
  3. Damages: To prove damages, there must be evidence that the physician's lack of proper care had a significant negative impact on the patient’s quality of life. This harm can be physical, monetary, or emotional.
  4. Direct Cause: This means that the physician's medical choices and actions caused harm to the patient.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice

Most instances of medical malpractice are:

  • Birth injuries: These occur either during or shortly after birth and result in serious injury to the child, such as paralysis.
  • Medication errors: When a physician prescribes the wrong type or dosage of medication, it can have significant health consequences for the patient. Additionally, medication errors can happen at the pharmacy, which is also considered medical malpractice.
  • Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis is the most common type of medical malpractice. Failing to diagnose or giving the wrong diagnosis can lead to the absence of necessary treatment or utilizing treatment that causes further harm to the patient.
  • Surgical errors: These occur when negligent mistakes are made in surgery by the surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other medical staff.

How do you fight back against medical malpractice?

If you have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, you can hold the physician responsible for their actions. Legal counsel can assist you in building a medical malpractice lawsuit. Personal injury lawyers are experts at defending people who have suffered physical or mental harm due to another individual or individuals' actions, which includes harm by physicians.

What happens during a medical malpractice lawsuit?

If you seek legal help, an attorney will work with you to prove your physician was negligent. Explained below are some of the common stages of a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is important to note that each case is handled differently, and yours may involve different steps.

The initial phase of a medical malpractice lawsuit is research and investigation. This will involve looking into medical records and hospital notes, as well as anything else that helps to prove malpractice. Your attorney may consult other qualified medical professionals to review the case research and reinforce that the physician in question was not meeting the standard of care.

Following the research phase is pretrial discovery. Pretrial discovery is when both the physician and the patient will sit with their legal teams to answer questions regarding the malpractice claims. Each side will also share the evidence that they will present during the potential trial, so the opposing side is aware and can prepare a response ahead of time. This is also the phase where both parties can request useful documents or materials from each other.

The next phase of a medical malpractice lawsuit can either be a settlement or going to trial.

Medical malpractice cases are very complex and involved. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you retain experienced legal help to fight your case.

Unsure if you have a case?

Contact Rogan Law to set up a free consultation today. We can establish whether or not you have a valid claim, how much your claim may be worth, as well as your next legal steps to take. Our skilled personal injury attorneys are determined to help you.