Medical malpractice is a wrong committed by a doctor or other medical professional resulting in serious bodily harm. Serious negligence often leads to long term disability, permanent injury, or in extreme cases, death. While not every negative medical outcome is a result of doctor or hospital negligence, a lack of adherence to the generally expected standard of care does occur in some cases. When such behavior leads to serious patient injury, a medical malpractice suit may be brought. According to Johns Hopkins University, surgical errors known as “never events” occur over 4000 times a year. These never events are considered “events that should never ever happen in surgery”. For instance, an object like a sponge, towel or surgical tool gets left inside a patients body nearly 39 times per week. Surgeons also operate on the wrong body part or preform the wrong procedure 20 times per week respectively.
Like many other people who have experienced a medical catastrophe, you may think you automatically have a medical malpractice lawsuit just because your doctor may have made some error in judgment while treating you. This may or not be the case, however. There is much more that goes into the decision of whether to pursue a medical malpractice case than a patient having a negative treatment outcome. The key factors will involve demonstrating whether:
In some cases, for example, a physician or hospital may fail to administer the appropriate treatment required to help the patient. In other cases, the patient was simply but wrongfully neglected, resulting in inadequate or inappropriate care that led to the patient’s injury or death. In fact, death is the cited injury in 31 percent of medical malpractice cases.
The key is whether the generally accepted standard of care conditions were met and followed by your treating physician or other medical professional. These are the standards that are to be adhered to by all medical professionals in the medical field to treat or care for similar patients under similar circumstances, and are the very standards by which such professionals judge one another. If you can show that the doctor treating you or your loved one did not reasonably follow these standards of care, you may indeed have a solid medical malpractice claim.