Medical malpractice is term that is thrown around loosely on television and in movies, but what does it really mean? And have you or a loved one experienced true medical malpractice?
In this short guide, we will explore what medical malpractice is, and how to select the right lawyer in Florida to represent you.
What Constitutes a Case of Medical Malpractice?
A common misconception is that a doctor that makes a mistake has committed medical malpractice – and this is simply not true.
The issue of malpractice is a little more complex.
For starters, there are two characteristics present in a case of medical malpractice:
- The doctor made a mistake while treating you.
- You were harmed by that mistake.
That harm may be debilitating, or even worse, it could result in death.
Cases of malpractice tend to be long and detailed legal matters since it can be very difficult to prove both of those things.
- If the doctor made a mistake, but it did not harm you, no malpractice occurred.
- If the doctor did not make a mistake, but by some statistical anomaly you were harmed by his or her treatment, no malpractice occurred.
Proving that both factors occurred after the incident can be very difficult.
It is also worth noting that the mistake made by the doctor may refer to something he or she did incorrectly or erroneously failed to do altogether – in other words, he or she was negligent.
What Constitutes Negligence?
When a doctor makes a mistake while providing care, he or she may be considered negligent.
Examples include if he or she misdiagnoses your medical condition, or if he or she prescribes the wrong medication to treat you.
In either of these scenarios, that mistake could be considered negligence.
To offer further clarification, medical negligence also occurs when a doctor breaches the standard of care that is typical based on your age, condition, and location.
For instance, let’s assume you are a 47-year-old accountant living in Florida, and you have been diagnosed with colon cancer.
Your doctor must provide you with the same standard of care as other doctors in Florida typically would to treat a 47-year-old accountant diagnosed with colon cancer.
It is worth noting that this standard of care would vary if you were a 20-year-old personal trainer living in New Jersey, or a 75-year-old retiree living in Oregon.
The key is establishing what would be considered a fair standard of care based on your specific case, and other nearby similar cases. Failure to provide that standard of care could be considered negligence.
Being able to prove that a mistake was negligently made is crucial to proving that you were the victim of medical malpractice
What Constitutes Harm?
The second factor in proving medical malpractice is establishing that the negligence caused you harm or further damage. Some examples would include:
- Amputating the wrong leg
- Brain damage after surgery
- Worsening of a condition after treatment
Unless you can prove that you have been harmed, and it was the direct result of negligence, you do not have a case for medical malpractice.
The process of proving that the harm done to you was the direct result of negligence is referred to as causation. Most often, establishing causation is the most expensive and time-consuming part of any medical malpractice case.
In many cases, an expert witness is needed in court to establish causation.
This expert witness will generally be a doctor or some other type of medical professional. He or she may also be needed to help establish the standard of care that you should have received, and how your physician failed to provide that care.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Based on the brief details provided here, do you believe you may have a legitimate medical malpractice case against a doctor?
Your local “Attorney Big Al” has years of experience dealing with medical malpractice. The phone call is free, and your local “Attorney Big Al” can help you determine if you have a case to pursue.
Best of all, you will not pay any “Attorney Big Al” until money is recovered. You have everything to gain by calling, and nothing to lose.