Medical Malpractice FAQs

1. What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider causes injury or death to a patient by failing to act within the applicable standard of care. In other words, a physician or other health care provider commits medical malpractice and is negligent when he or she fails to act reasonably under the circumstances and the unreasonable conduct causes harm.

2. What kind of mistakes can result in medical malpractice?

  • They did not diagnosis you properly.
  • They did not perform an operation properly or timely.
  • They did not anticipate a problem which they should have.
  • They did not get clear permission before operating on you.
  • They did not properly treat a medical condition.

3. How is it determined if medical malpractice occurred?

In determining whether a medical practitioner made a mistake, the court will consider what reasonable, prudent medical practitioners would have done in the same situation. If the medical practitioners do not meet that standard, they could be found negligent.

4. What is the definition of a medication error?

A medication error is defined as any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication, while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems including: prescribing; order communication; product labeling, packaging and nomenclature; compounding; dispensing; distribution; administration; education; monitoring; and use.

5. How does a jury determine if a doctor’s actions were within the standards of good medical practice?

A jury will consider testimony by experts–usually other doctors, who will testify whether they believe your physician’s actions followed standard medical practice or fell below the accepted standard of care. In deciding whether your heart surgeon was negligent, for example, a jury will rely on expert testimony to determine what a competent heart surgeon would have done under the same or similar circumstances.

6. I signed a consent form before my doctor performed surgery. What did it mean?

It is common practice in hospitals for patients to sign a form giving the doctor their consent, or approval, to perform surgery. In the form, the patient usually consents to the specific surgery as well as to any other procedures that might become necessary. Before you sign it, your doctor should give you a full description of the surgery and the risks involved, and the ramifications of not getting such treatment. If you can prove that your physician misrepresented the facts or failed to adequately inform you of the risks and benefits before surgery, your consent may be invalid.

7. What do I do if I think I have a medical malpractice claim?

Contact¬†Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney. Tell us exactly what happened to you, from the first time you visited your doctor through your last contact. What were the circumstances surrounding your illness or injury? How did your doctor treat it? What did your doctor tell you about your treatment? Did you follow your doctor’s instructions? What happened to you? Answers to these and other relevant questions become important if you think your doctor or hospital may have committed malpractice.

8. What if I’m just not satisfied with the results of my surgery? Do I have a malpractice case?

In general, there are no guarantees of medical results. You would have to show an injury or damages that resulted from the doctor’s deviation from the appropriate standard of care for your condition.

9. What is the medical malpractice standard of care?

This is the degree of care and skill that the average qualified doctor would provide to a patient who sought medical care for similar symptoms and circumstances.

10. My doctor made a mistake and admitted it. Do I have a malpractice case?

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you to determine if your case has merit. Many mistakes are simply that, but if your doctor’s mistake was the result of negligence or failure to meet the expected standard of care, then the answer may be yes. Damages may be recoverable for you under medical malpractice laws.

11. What if I have other questions?

Contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney today. We will answer your questions and discuss your case.

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