Medical malpractice is a term that often is not fully understood when it comes to the general public. Most individuals think that if you are injured while under the care of doctor or other medical professional that you have a medical malpractice suit, that is not always the case. There are many factors that play into whether or not you have the right to pursue a medical malpractice case and they aren’t always clear.
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A medical malpractice claim requires two qualifiers in order for it to be considered:
The first has to do with negligence and whether or not the medical provider was acting with the best medical practice in mind; this is called the “standard of care”. The standard of care essentially is the best medical practice for a specific injury, medical situation or treatment procedure for that particular demographic that the patient falls into. For example, a doctor treating 70 year old man in California for pneumonia may have a completely different standard of care than a medical professional treating a 20 year old female for the same condition in Florida. Medical professionals have extensive training and education to ensure that they are up to date on the standard of care required for treatment, so what it really comes down to is whether or not the medical professional was negligent in performing their services.
Secondly, there must be undeniable proof that their mistake caused further injury or harm to you. This may be the most difficult portion to prove simply because not all negative effects of medical procedures are directly related to the treatment that the medical professional performed. For example, the same 70 year old man goes into the hospital for pneumonia related issues and ends up on a breathing tube and in an induced coma fighting for his life after a round of medical treatment. Assuming the medical professionals treated the man according to the standard of care required, there would be no medical malpractice lawsuit even though his medical condition deteriorated.