Doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals spend as many as 10-15 years in school preparing for their careers in medicine. Consequently, we expect medical professionals to provide competent, accurate medical care. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s failure to provide reasonably skilled care causes someone to suffer avoidable health problems. A victim of medical malpractice may be able to recover financial compensation for additional medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you received substandard care from a medical professional, you may wonder if you have a valid medical malpractice claim.
Elements of Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice can stem from a medical provider’s actions or his or her failure to act. In some cases, the hospital or other medical facility at which the incident occurred is ultimately liable for a medical mistake. Some common examples of medical errors that can lead to medical malpractice claims include:
Failure to diagnose a condition or misdiagnosing the condition
Missed medication, incorrect medication, dosage errors, or other medication mistakes
Surgical errors including performing surgery on the wrong area or leaving surgical equipment in the patient’s body
Misinterpreting test results
Premature patient discharge
Failure to refer the patient to a specialist for further care
There are four main elements of a medical malpractice claim:
Duty of care – The medical professional and patient had established a doctor-patient relationship.
Violation of duty of care – The medical professional failed to meet the standard of care expected of him or her.
Causation – The breach of duty caused the patient harm.
Damages – The patient suffered damages because of the harm such as additional medical expenses.
Understanding the Medical Standard of Care
The standard used to determine whether a doctor’s actions were negligent is the “medical standard of care.” This is most often described as the type of care that a reasonably skilled medical professional of the same training and education would have provided in the same situation. Medical experts may testify during a medical malpractice case as to whether the doctor met this expectation.
Contact a Peoria Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered injury or worsened health because of substandard medical care, contact a Decatur medical malpractice lawyer at Kanoski Bresney to discuss your legal options. We can investigate the circumstances of the medical mistakes and determine whether you may have been the victim of malpractice. If you have suffered an avoidable medical condition because of negligent medical care, we will work to hold the at-fault party responsible and recover compensation for your damages. Call 888-826-8682 for a free, no-obligation consultation to get started.