When you seek medical treatment for an injury or illness, you expect, at a minimum, that your condition will not worsen because of the care you receive. When a medical professional acts carelessly or negligently, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice claims are almost universally based on claims of negligence. To prove negligence, you must first show that the doctor, physician, or medical professional did not meet the expected standard of care. You must also show that their carelessness caused you harm.
Because of their specialized training and the complex nature of the services they provide, medical professionals are held to a different standard than ordinary citizens in other personal injury cases. Known as the “medical standard of care,” it is generally considered to be that type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled practitioner, with similar background, and in the same medical community, would have provided under the same circumstances. For example, if the medical care is given in the form of knee surgery, the standard of care would be that which a reasonably skilled and competent knee surgeon would have provided, given the type of injury and the surgery required. You would also have to consider what type of care a knee surgeon with the same background and experience would have done in the same medical community.
Because the standard of care in medical malpractice claims differs from that of other personal injury claims, it is often a critical issue in medical malpractice litigation, with experts providing testimony on both sides of a case.
The common medical malpractice claims include:
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