Understanding medical malpractice is nuanced and victims need guidance as to its definition, when a valid claim exists, and how an attorney will go about winning a case. Simply put, medical malpractice is negligence committed by a medical professional during the course of treating a patient. Therefore, any medical professional can be held liable for medical malpractice. This includes general practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, technicians, pharmacists, and even pharmacies and hospitals.
All of these medical professionals owe their patients a duty of proper care. Treatment must be in accordance with accepted medical standards within the community in which they practice medicine. Preventable and foreseeable harm must not be caused. And if another medical professional faced with the same situation would not have done what the negligent doctor did, the patient may have a valid medical malpractice claim.
With that said, if a deviation from accepted medical practice directly caused the patient’s injury, and those injuries caused the victim to suffer damages, a jury can compensate the victim.
The above should help you begin to understand medical malpractice. But the experienced medical malpractice attorney will have to know more in order to successfully litigate your claim.
First and foremost, the attorney will have to understand your injury. Successful medical malpractice attorneys also know how to review medical records to pinpoint the exact moment of the doctor’s negligence. Moreover, the attorney will know what experts are needed in order to prove your claim.
The fact that expert testimony is needed may be daunting to some, but attorneys are used to such. Medical malpractice attorneys are most keenly aware of expert testimony because such testimony is required in medical malpractice litigation.
Expert testimony is required in medical malpractice cases because medical standards are beyond the ken of ordinary jurors. The science of medicine takes years to perfect, and experts will help jurors understand the duty owed to the patient, the proper course of treatment, the victim’s illness and injuries, and the like.
Experts will also help the jury understand the value of pain and suffering. Lost wages, earning potential, past, present and future medical expenses, and diminished capacity will all be quantified by expert analysis and relayed to the jury. In addition to receiving compensatory damages for the losses named above, in certain rare instances victims can receive punitive damages if the medical professional was especially wanton, reckless, and or intentional in his or her actions.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.