How Medical Malpractice Cases Differ from Standard Personal Injury
- Posted on: Jun 30 2019
If a medical professional has committed medical negligence or malpractice and has caused you harm, you likely want to pursue a medical malpractice case against the professional. This type of lawsuit is a special type of personal injury claim, but it’s not the same as a slip and fall or other personal injuries. These cases do differ, and it’s important that you and your attorney understand these differences and how they will affect your case.
Medical Malpractice Defined
Medical malpractice occurs when something goes wrong during a medical procedure that is the direct result of the doctor or facility breaching their duty of care towards their patients. Unlike negligence, medical malpractice typically has “intent.” That means the doctor or the hospital staff knew that their patient required a type of treatment or other action, but the doctor for whatever reason did not take that action or prescribe that treatment. The health care provider may not have intentionally meant to harm the patient, but at the same time, they did know that by not taking action, they were putting the patient at risk.
Medical malpractice can take many different forms. A doctor who fails to order a medical test because it’s expensive can be performing medical malpractice if that test could have shown that the patient was ill. Failing to offer a patient treatment options could also be medical malpractice.
Malpractice Verses Negligence
What many people believe counts as medical malpractice is often actually medical negligence. For example, any type of mistake or error a medical professional makes generally falls under negligence. They weren’t trying to mislead or harm the patient in any way. They had no intent nor any knowledge that what they were doing would cause their patient to be injured or otherwise harmed. They were negligent and can certainly be sued for personal injury, but their actions don’t fall under malpractice.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Because intent or knowledge has to be shown, proving medical malpractice is often difficult. You have to make it clear that your physician, surgeon, or other healthcare provider understood that their actions (or inactions) could cause you harm. Clearly proving this requires experienced legal assistance. Held & Hines, Attorneys at Law, can assist you with your medical malpractice case and other personal injury cases. Contact us today to discuss your needs.