Medical malpractice is a serious problem in the United States. Every year, many suffer injury or death due to preventable errors and negligence on the part of medical professionals. While most healthcare providers strive to provide quality care, mistakes can and do happen. In some cases, these mistakes can have devastating consequences.
Medical malpractice is often referred to as "doctor's negligence." The adverse event occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to provide adequate medical care, resulting in injury or death to the patient. Doctors, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare professionals must adhere to a strict standard of care when treating patients. This duty of care includes maintaining a safe environment, using approved methods and treatments, and keeping accurate records.
Some circumstances exist when medical professionals do not owe a duty of care to their patients. For example, suppose a doctor provides emergency treatment to an unconscious patient. The physician is not required to obtain the patient's informed consent before proceeding with treatment. Additionally, a patient may refuse treatment or fail to follow a medical professional's instructions. The medical professional is likely not liable if the patient's condition worsens. In these cases, patients must assume responsibility for their health and well-being.
To win a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached the standard of care owed to the plaintiff and that this breach resulted in actual harm. The high-priced legal teams that medical facilities employ to defend their members mean victims have little chance of fair compensation without the assistance of an injury lawyer to represent their interests.
Patients receiving healthcare treatments benefit themselves by selecting their professional medical teams carefully. Reviews and testimonials can highlight well-staffed and conscientious facilities. Consumers can also single out medical care groups that may be lacking. Good communication between a care team, the patient, and family members can prevent unnecessary mistakes from happening and bring the truth to light in an instance of medical malpractice.