The medical profession is a critical occupation. Doctors are responsible for not just the well-being of people but their lives. Kids, adults, elders, they can be held responsible for the good health, as well as the adversities, of anyone they treat.
However much one tries, mistakes are bound to happen one time or another. The only difference is that some mistakes are irreparable and can cost people not only their livelihood but their lives.
In the United States alone, approximately 225,000 people die every year because of some form of medical malpractice or negligence. Being let down by the people we put out faith in can be extremely disheartening and it is important to consider a lawsuit to compensate for the loss.
However, there is a difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence and the legal procedure for both can be different.
Here’s everything you need to know about both to be aware.
Whenever a medical professional intentionally fails to comply with the necessary standard of any medical procedure due to while the patient may suffer any degree of injury or death is categorized as medical malpractice. The key word here is “intent”.
According to Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., a ferocious lawyer and doctor, negligence occurs when medical care professional or medical treatment fails to deliver the expected result that any other similar provider could have successfully achieved under similar circumstances.
Difference between Medical malpractice and negligence
Predominantly, the key difference between the two is the “intent”. While in the case of malpractice, it is essentially the outcome of intentional misconduct, in case of negligence, intent may or may not be there.
Knowing the difference between the two is also important because in some states the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act governs only the cases related to medical malpractice and not negligence.
Common types of medical malpractices
There are many different kinds of illnesses and injuries and just as many different treatment plans. Anything from a doctor leaving scissors in a patient’s abdomen during surgery to failing to mention the side-effects of a prescribed drug can be categorized as malpractice and can be claimed under the same.
According to most medical malpractice lawyers, most of the claims fall under any of the following groups:
- Diagnostic failure: If a certified doctor or medical professional would have diagnosed a patient’s illness in a different way and it would have shown better results, then this classifies as malpractice and the patient may have a likely claim for medical malpractice.
- Failure to disclose the associated risk of a treatment: While administering a drug or prescribing a treatment, a doctor/medical professional is morally and professionally liable to warn the patient about all the risks and side effects that might be attached to the treatment. This practice is essential for the patient to make a fully informed decision, that is, whether to start the treatment or decline it. If a doctor fails to do so and the treatment causes an additional condition or injury to the patient, then the patient has a viable claim.
- Failure in providing proper treatment: If a medical professional treats a patient in an unconventional or wrong way (that no other competent doctor would have chosen), then the patient has a strong claim. Similarly, in cases when the chosen treatment is correct but its execution is not according to acceptable medical standards, it gives the patient a claim for medical malpractice.
If the condition that you might be experiencing falls under any of the above categories, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer for making a claim.