There are many nuances involved in a successful medical malpractice case. One of the first things that must be determined is whether or not a doctor, nurse, or other medical provider made a mistake that rises to the level of negligence. In order to decide this, it is necessary to evaluate whether the care that was provided deviated from the customary care of an average physician under the same or similar circumstances. Once negligence has been established, it then is necessary to demonstrate that there was harm that resulted from the act or failure to act. This is the distinction between negligence and malpractice, as proving negligence is only one component of a successful malpractice case.
Negligence is a legal term that imparts liability on someone who acted or failed to act in a manner consistent with the applicable standard, whether the reasonable person standard of most personal injury cases or the customary care standard of the majority of medical malpractice cases. In evaluating medical negligence, it is necessary to analyze whether the action or failure to act was in accordance with the customary care that a physician or other medical provider with the same skill and background would have provided under similar circumstances – this is called the medical standard of care. The basis of a negligence claim is that a doctor, nurse, or other medical provider had a duty to provide the requisite level of care to a patient and breached that duty. In order to succeed in a medical malpractice case, it is necessary to demonstrate that the medical negligence led to quantifiable harm. Every day, doctors and other medical providers make serious mistakes, but get lucky and there is no resulting harm.
Negligence Rising to the Level of Actionable Malpractice
When a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist of medical facility has acted in such a way as to cause harm to a patient and those actions, or failures to act, were demonstrably negligent, there is a basis for a legal malpractice action. The harm that was caused must be the direct and proximate result of the negligent actions. For example, a patient who was misdiagnosed when her doctor failed to run a diagnostic test for toxoplasmosis after being informed that the woman had a cat may not maintain a legal action against the doctor when she miscarries after being involved in a serious car crash once it was established that the miscarriage happened as a result of the trauma from the accident. However, a woman who has a baby who is born with vision loss because of toxoplasmosis that was not treated when a doctor failed to diagnose the infection may succeed in a medical malpractice case brought on behalf of her child.
It is not necessary for the medical provider to be the sole cause of the harm in order for a person to maintain a medical malpractice case against the provider. If a person is injured in a car accident and brought to a hospital for emergency surgery because of damage to internal organs, it may be possible to maintain a personal injury case against the negligent driver who caused the accident, as well as the doctor who nicked a blood vessel and caused excessive bleeding and further organ damage because of negligence. The medical malpractice case would be based on the additional harm that is directly attributable to the actions of the doctor.
A skilled medical malpractice attorney will analyze whether there is evidence that the doctor acted or failed to act in a manner that directly led to harm to the patient and that the injury resulted in quantifiable damages before recommending that a medical malpractice action is the right decision.
Stern Law, PLLC Advocates Passionately to Obtain Justice for Its Clients
Medical malpractice can lead to serious injury, but the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals often are practiced in avoiding negative consequences for their wrongful acts. It is crucial to retain an attorney who knows how to build a successful case. At Stern Law, PLLC, we understand how to find the evidence necessary to hold medical professionals accountable when they cause harm because of their negligence. For more than 30 years, we have fought to get our clients the compensation that they need to pay bills, replace lost wages, and recognize their pain and suffering. In addition to fighting for the rights and interests of our clients, we also act as a resource for those who have been impacted by medical malpractice. We have people available to answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone who has a question or concern, regardless of whether or not you are our client. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.