What is medical malpractice? Very simply, "medical malpractice" is a fancy term to describe medical negligence. Medical malpractice occurs when a person is injured as a result of negligent medical treatment that is provided by a doctor, nurse, hospital or other medical provider.
Negligence is a legal principle that deals with the standard of care that is expected of each of us in the way we conduct ourselves in our daily lives. Negligence is the concept of doing something, or failing to do something, that society expects us to do or not do.
For example, if I run a red stop light while driving, I have been negligent because society expects me to stop at red lights.
In a medical case, the issue of medical negligence revolves around the standard of care that is expected of a medical provider when providing medical care.
How then is the appropriate standard of care in a medical case determined?
In an auto accident case, such as the red light example above, you and I have have the ability to provide a reasoned opinion regarding the negligence of the drivers involved. This is based on our education, training and experience as drivers. We know the rules of the road and can form a reasoned opinion on the basis of our prior experiences.
Unfortunately, we generally don't have the appropriate education, training or experience regarding medical matters and, therefore, we are unable to provide such a reasoned opinion regarding the appropriateness of medical care that has been provided.
Although a bad result or bad outcome may certainly be the result of negligence, it may also be something that can occur in spite of the best of care. It is for this reason that we must rely on medical experts to assist us in medical cases to help us determine the appropriate standard of care and to determine whether it was met.
In addition to the fact that a bad outcome is not in and of itself evidence of negligence, it is also important to know that the medical care provided need not be the "best" care. Instead, the care provided need only meet the minimum standard of care. While you might receive "state of the art" care at a teaching hospital or regional treatment center, such "state of the art" care is not required for example at a local community hospital.
What then do you have to prove to win A Medical Malpractice Case?
First, you have to prove that a medical provider was negligent. As discussed a moment ago, expert testimony is required to show that the treatment of the medical provider fell below the accepted standard of care. Sometimes this is extremely hard to come by, even in cases in which the negligence is obvious.
In addition to negligence, you must be able to show that you were injured from the malpractice and last, that you have suffered damages.
Do You Think You May Have A Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.You can also download our FREE book on medical malpractice.