When a patient is injured by a medical professional, they may be able to seek compensation from the provider for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional provides substandard or negligent medical care that results in harm to the patient.
Patients can suffer from a wide range of injuries caused by medical malpractice. A misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis can cause an illness to progress, medication errors can cause the patient to have an adverse drug reaction, and surgical errors can cause unnecessary pain.
If a patient does not give informed consent for a procedure, which includes the risks, benefits and alternatives of the treatment, they can be harmed. Patients can also experience infections from lack of sanitation, hospital acquired illnesses, and harm from lab errors.
These are only some examples of how a patient can be harmed by medical malpractice.
Elements of a claim
To prove medical malpractice, the patient must demonstrate several elements. First, the medical provider must have owed a duty of care to the patient, meaning they had a responsibility to provide a standard of care to the patient. Then, the patient must show that the medical provider breached this duty when they deviated from the standard of care.
The patient must show that the breach of duty caused the harm or injury to the patient and that the patient suffered damages because of the malpractice. Damages may include medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages.
Medical malpractice cases are complex. It’s a good idea for the injured and their families to speak with experienced professionals to learn more about their legal options.