Medical errors occur much more frequently than you probably imagine. There are many ways that it can happen, and you might not even be aware that you have been a victim. It is a reality that sometimes negative medical outcomes just happen, and no one is to blame. However, there are also many instances when patients suffer negative consequences due to medical mistakes that could have been prevented. How do you know which has happened to you or your loved one? First, you need to know exactly what medical malpractice is.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
When a doctor or other medical professional acts (or fails to act) in a way that violates the accepted “standard of care” in a medical situation, it may be considered medical malpractice. “Standard of care” refers to the accepted course of action that another similarly educated and experienced medical professional would have taken in a similar situation. When a doctor, nurse, EMT, pharmacist, or other medical professional deviates from that standard and a patient suffers injuries, they can be held liable.
There are two main points that have to be present in order for injuries to be considered medical malpractice:
- A doctor or other medical professional made a mistake when he or she acted in a way that violated the accepted “standard of care.”
- The mistake resulted in injury to the patient.
If both of those things happened, then there may be a reasonable basis to claim medical malpractice and to file a lawsuit.
How Do I Know If I Have Been a Victim of Malpractice?
Determining whether you have been a victim of malpractice or if you have suffered a negative outcome of medical treatment can be challenging. Usually, the process begins with you or a member of your family having a feeling that something about the treatment just wasn’t right. Doctors and other medical staff are not going to admit outright that they made a mistake, so it is often up to the loved ones of a patient to seek outside advice when they feel that something out of the ordinary has happened.
It’s important to remember that negative medical outcomes happen frequently, and they are not always attributable to a mistake made by a medical professional. There are always complications and side effects that can occur even when the very best medical care is provided. That is why it is important to understand the possible outcomes of medical procedures or treatment and to ask questions if anything isn’t clear.
Because determining medical malpractice isn’t always obvious, the help of a medical malpractice lawyer is often necessary to ascertain whether there was negligence. A medical malpractice attorney will employ the experience of a medical expert to review your medical records and establish whether you are a victim of malpractice or a complication or side effect of your treatment.
Getting Help for Your Medical Malpractice Case
If you or your loved one has suffered negative consequences after a medical procedure or treatment, and you suspect that it may have been caused by a medical mistake, contact Boca Raton medical malpractice lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 296-2600 or complete the online contact form to get the help you need for your case. It may be that your injury was caused by a medical mistake and you could be entitled to compensation.