What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, a hospital, or a health care specialist hurt or cause an injury to a patient through negligence, or omission actions. Negligence might occur due to errors in aftercare, treatment, and diagnosis.
Medical malpractice is a major cause of most death around the world, followed by heart disease as well as cancer. In addition to this, there are tons of cash spent on paying out medical malpractice compensations.
In hospitals, there are several chances of medical errors. They can be both minor and major errors. It doesn’t matter the nature of these medical errors, these they can lead to either medical negligence or malpractice claims.
Differences between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence
Most people are confused about the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence. The simple clarification for this is that medical negligence is a subcategory of medical malpractice. However, these two terms have some differences that you need to understand.
Knowing the difference between the two will help you to be in a position to make a claim if you feel that you a victim of injury or harm by a doctor or a medical practitioner. You will be able to pursue the necessary legal path.
The huge difference between the two is mostly seen in the intent of medical professionals.
This occurs when a medical professional hurts the patient unknowingly. This can be a result of a simple failure to take any action or simple ignorance. The main medical area where medical negligence occurs is in medication where a doctor can prescribe inappropriate drugs that can cause harm to the patient.
In addition to this, medical negligence can occur in the form of serious medical cases such as puncturing of a body organ in surgery or inadequate aftercare.
In medical negligence cases, a doctor does not have any bad intentions towards the patient.
Medical Malpractice –
This occurs in the same way as medical negligence but the main difference is that the doctor or medical professional is completely aware of their mistake and the repercussions of their actions.
Most cases of medical malpractice occur mainly in surgery. A good example is when a surgical team conducts the surgery in a hurry and fail to take care of important details such as sterilizing the equipment.
Cutting corners can cause dire consequences for the patient. Overprescribing of medication is also another form of medical malpractice. Patients should also understand that not all cases can qualify for claims for medical malpractice.
In medical malpractice, the patient might develop serious health problems or complications that might lead to additional medical bills, loss of a job, or even death.
Proving a Medical Malpractice
In case you take a path to file claims for medical malpractice, you need to know that there are few requirements that you should fulfil in order for your claim to be considered as convincing. In order for you to win for compensation for any harm or injury caused due to medical malpractice, you will need to prove the following.
1. Doctor-Patient Relationship
To establish negligence that caused harm to a patient, there must be proof of the doctor-patient relationship. The simplest way to prove the doctor-patient relationship is the provision of medical records. These records will bear details of a medical professional and the medical facility they are tied to.
2. Proof of Medical Negligence
Proof of negligence allows you to have a successful claim of medical negligence. To determine whether a doctor was negligent, his or her action must be proved through the standard of care. An intensive analysis of the medical procedure is done in order to determine the doctor’s negligence.
If there was a better way to carry out a certain procedure but the doctor chooses not to take that path, this can be considered to be malpractice. Generally, if the findings fall below the standard of care it will be proof of medical negligence.
3. Prove That the Medical Negligence Lead To Injury or Death
It is important also to prove that the negligence caused an injury, illness, or death. It must be proved that the illness or consequences that a patient gets were as a result of negligence by the doctor or caregiver. This is the hardest thing to prove because it requires witnesses and testimony.
4. The Malpractice Lead To Damages and Cost
If the injury resulting from negligence or malpractice caused damages & losses, it must be proved. Example damages cases include;
- Additional medical bill
- Suffering and physical pain
- Loss of income
- Disability or permanent injury
- Emotional distress and anguish
When a medical negligence cause death, the family members and friends of the deceased patient can claim for
- Medical bills
- Burial expenses
- Future income
- Loss of retirement, healthcare or other future-benefits
When all the above claims are proved, it will become easier for a patient to get compensation.
Medical Malpractice Resolution
There have been several ways to resolve medical malpractice cases. The main method is the Early Discussion and Resolutions also known as the EDR program. This program offers specific and interesting advantages.
One key element that makes it hard to resolve medical malpractice is the balance between discouraging facetious claims and allowing reasonable claims.
The EDR program involves conservation between both parties and if they agree to converse they will come to a resolution. The main advantage of the EDR program is to reduce cost, improve the safety of a patient, and increase compensation. This method makes a happy medium for providers and patients as they look for viable resolution options together.
Though the medical malpractice claims can be settled before trials begin, the case might take the legal proceedings. It is important to realize that the legal proceeding to medical malpractice can be a costly endeavour. If there are less costly ways to resolve the claims, we recommend you follow those paths.
In order to decide the resolution methods, we recommend consulting a medical malpractice attorney. Their experience will help them to analyze your individual case and help you come up with the appropriate approach to medical negligence and malpractice claims.