What is Medical Malpractice? 

 September 21, 2013

By  LMW Attorneys

Most people have heard the phrase medical malpractice. Either in conversation with friends or on television, this term is used any time a doctor is being sued by a patient. In the legal profession a medical malpractice lawsuit can be brought against any healthcare provider. The person does not need to be a medical doctor.

The staff that works for a doctor can be sued, as well as an entire hospital. The suit can be for something that was done to a person or for something that should have been done but was not. In essence, it is negligence by a healthcare worker. Naturally, any action, or inaction, was something that led to the harm of a patient.

There are different areas of malpractice that doctors and healthcare providers are sued over. After undergoing tests and examinations, patients are given a diagnosis. This is a common area where doctors are sued. They will be accused of negligence in their diagnosis of a patient’s medical problem.

There are also lawsuits over a doctor prescribing the wrong medication or giving the wrong dosage. Hospitals are often sued for poor quality care while the patient is staying in the hospital. It has been estimated that almost 200,000 deaths each year can be attributed to hospital negligence.

Although the studies on misconduct, misdiagnosis and hospital care point to a bigger problem, the number of medical malpractice suits is somewhat small. There are between 15,000 and 20,000 malpractice lawsuits each year in the United States.

There are four factors that must be present before an attorney will proceed with this type of legal action. A relationship between the patient and the physician must be present, which is easily documented. The second factor is proof that the healthcare provider or hospital was negligent. In addition, this negligence must have caused harm to a patient.

This can be difficult to prove because patients are usually sick when they are in the hospital or visiting a doctor. The last step is for an attorney to be able to monetize the damages. This means a lawyer must demonstrate that a specific amount of compensation is due to the patient.

Residents of New Port Richey, Florida can contact a local attorney, such as LMW Attorneys, if they feel there is an issue of medical malpractice. Because of the complexities in this type of case, an attorney will be able to evaluate your claims and give you the best chance of getting compensation for your condition.