Medical Malpractice: What is Negligence?
Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in America. What is medical malpractice? Simply stated, it is an occurrence where a medical professional or facility does not adhere to the accepted “standard of care” when attending to a patient, and the patient gets hurt as a result. Like most legal topics, what sounds fairly easy and straightforward often is neither.
In order to successfully bring forth a medical malpractice lawsuit, the following is required:
– There must be a past or current doctor-patient relationship.
– The existence of a connection between the adverse effect on the patient and negligence on the medical care provider’s part.
– The provision of medical assistance, or the failure to provide such assistance, to the patient that was below the recognized standard of care.
– Damages sustained by the patient as a result of the medical treatment. Such harms would include unnecessary medical costs, exaggerated medical problems, and/or emotional and psychological pressure.
What exactly constitutes the “standard of care” is one of the most debated topics in medical law. A simple explanation of the “standard of care” is the same care a similarly trained health professional in the same field as the defendant would have provided to you under the same circumstances. In court, the “standard of care” is often determined through fellow doctors’ expert opinions. It is important for potential clients to understand that a bad outcome of treatment does not always rise to the level of medical negligence. Medical negligence is a very complicated issue that depends on a myriad of factors such as the condition itself, the complexity and success rate of the procedure conducted, and whether the damage incurred was a risk of which you were informed.
If you believe you have a medical malpractice case, the first step should be to search for a respected and experienced Tampa medical malpractice attorney. The lawyer will conduct a review of all details associated with your case, and he or she will determine if your case can be taken to court. Like most personal-injury attorneys, Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore charges a “contingency fee” – which means that you pay attorneys’ fees only if you receive a recovery from the defendant..