Medical Malpractice

Definition - What does Medical Malpractice mean?

Medical malpractice refers to a cause of action that a patient brings against a physician or any other medical treatment provider when that physician or medical treatment provider is the cause of harm to a patient because of negligent medical services. Each state’s jurisdiction has rules and procedures as to how to correctly handle these specialized personal injury cases. Generally, a physician or medical treatment provider will be liable if his or her conduct fails to meet the standard of care provided by other doctors under the same or similar circumstances.

Justipedia explains Medical Malpractice

There are a number of circumstances that would lead to a medical malpractice claim. These circumstances range from a physician leaving a sponge in a person’s stomach after an operation to a physician failing to explain to a patient that a medication has the potential to cause heart failure. With this being the case, most medical malpractice claims fall into three classifications.

  1. Failure to Diagnose
    If a knowledgeable physician would have ordinarily learned of a person’s ailment, or if a knowledgeable physician would have made a different diagnosis, which in turn would have created a superior outcome than the one actually reached, then that person likely has a medical malpractice claim against the physician.
  2. Improper Treatment
    If a physician treats a person in a fashion that no other knowledgeable physician would, then that person may have a medical malpractice claim. Similarly, a person may have a medical malpractice claim if a physician chooses the appropriate treatment routine but happens to administer the method ineptly.
  3. Failure to Warn a Patient of Known Risks
    Physicians have an obligation to caution their patients of the acknowledged dangers of a procedure or method of treatment. This duty owed by the physician is generally known as the duty of informed consent. If a person, after having been properly informed of all possible risks, would have chosen not to implement a treatment plan or procedure, the physician will likely be liable for medical malpractice if that person is harmed by the treatment plan or procedure.
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