What Does ‘Pain and Suffering’ Mean in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Around 1% of hospital patients become victim to medical malpractice. But oftentimes, people aren’t even aware that they’ve been victimized and therefore, don’t take action.
That’s why it’s important to have a clear understanding of what medical malpractice is, and more specifically, what the claim of ‘pain and suffering’ means.
Keep reading to learn more so you can protect yourself and take action against any negligent harm that’s been done to you by healthcare professionals.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare professional causes an injury to a patient through neglect or omission.
In order for a claim to qualify as medical malpractice, it must have the following characteristics.
Violation of Standard Care
The ‘standard of care’ refers to the specific medical standards that are recognized and followed by all healthcare professionals. This means that a healthcare professional is expected to act and perform their duties in a way that the majority of others in the field would accept and agree with.
If a healthcare professional violates the standard of care, they may be acting negligently and be liable for medical malpractice.
There Was a Negligent Act
Mistakes and unavoidable occurrences can happen while under the care of a healthcare professional, and that can lead to injury. But in order for it to be considered medical malpractice, there needs to be negligence involved.
A negligent act means that a healthcare professional made decisions that went against the standard of care.
This is where things can start to get a bit cloudy, which is why you should hire a lawyer like Hach & Rose, LLP if you believe you’re a victim of medical malpractice.
The Negligence Resulted in Significant Injury or Damages
Negligence isn’t enough to qualify a claim as medical malpractice. But if the negligent act led to significant injury or damages, then it would be considered medical malpractice.
This means if you get a minor cut from negligence, you can’t go making a malpractice claim unless you can show that it will have a lasting physical or psychological effect on you.
Significant injury and damages takes us to our main point, which is the idea of ‘pain and suffering’.
What Does ‘Pain and Suffering’ Mean?
When filing for medical malpractice, one can put a claim in for ‘pain and suffering’ damages. This type of damage is then assessed and considers a number of factors.
Some examples that can lead to a ‘pain and suffering’ claim include:
- Permanent loss of function
- Physical impairment
- Lower quality of life
- Mental anguish (trauma, anxiety, etc.)
If the victim claims ‘pain and suffering’ damages, the court will consider the above examples plus others to determine how much will be paid out.
It’s Time to Take Action
If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, it’s time to take action and get compensation for your pain and suffering. Hire a medical malpractice lawyer to help you get what you deserve.
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