A personal injury lawyer states that when you are ill or injured, you should be able to trust that the medical professionals caring for you will work to improve your health. Unfortunately, these professionals sometimes make negligent mistakes, which can have negative consequences. Doctors that do not hold to the high standards of medical care can worsen conditions and cause lasting damage to a patient.

Medical professionals, from doctors and surgeons to nurses and pharmaceutical technicians, as explained by the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, carry a tremendous level of responsibility for the health and safety of their patients. As a result, individuals and organizations in this field are held to a remarkably high professional standard in order to protect patient well-being. Medical malpractice laws therefore play an important role in helping to hold doctors and other medical practitioners accountable for the consequences of unprofessional or dangerous behavior.

Medical malpractice can have devastating consequences for victims, ranging from serious injuries to wrongful death, and pursuing a medical malpractice claim may be essential to helping victims receive justice in the wake of a medical mistake.

Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of ways. Grievous mistakes such as being prescribed the wrong medication or receiving treatment that was meant for another patient occur with surprising frequency. Other examples of medical malpractice that are committed with greater frequency than others include:

  • Improper or delayed treatment
  • Emergency room errors
  • Hospital negligence
  • Wrongful death
  • Wrong diagnosis
  • Lack of informed consent
  • Surgical errors
  • Pharmaceutical errors

The US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health defines medical malpractice as any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient. Medical malpractice is a specific subset of tort law that deals with professional negligence.

A medical malpractice lawsuit in the U.S., besides needing to be filed in timely manner, that is within the “statute of limitation” period, requires four legal elements:

  1. the existence of a legal duty on the part of the doctor to provide care or treatment to the patient;
  2. A breach of this duty by a failure of the treating doctor to adhere to the standards of the profession;
  3. A causal relationship between such breach of duty and injury to the patient; and,
  4. The existence of damages that flow from the injury such that the legal system can provide redress.
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