When you see a doctor or go into a hospital or other medical facility in New York, you expect everything to go smoothly. Sadly, however, medical mistakes happen and leave patients injured. At the same time, while medical mistakes may happen, not all are considered malpractice.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional does not provide adequate care to a patient and that patient ends up suffering injuries. In the worst-case scenario, it can result in a patient’s death. It’s a problem that happens as a result of negligence. There are various ways that a doctor or other healthcare professional can be negligent with medical care, treatment, diagnosis, and medication. When it’s possible to prove that the standard of care was below what any other reasonable doctor or medical professional would provide, there are grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What are the four elements of medical malpractice?
Not all medical mistakes are considered medical malpractice. It’s important to understand that in order to have a medical malpractice case, certain elements must be in place. They include the following:
• A relationship exists: In this case, the relationship is between the patient and the doctor or other medical professional. Individuals in the medical field owe a duty to provide reasonable care to patients.
• Breach of duty: When the medical care the patient receives is below the expected standard, it constitutes a breach of duty.
• Negligence that led to harm: If the doctor or other healthcare professional acted negligently and caused harm, it can be devastating for the patient.
• Harm resulted in damages: When a patient is harmed due to medical malpractice, they suffer damages. Those damages may be physical, emotional, the inability to continue working, chronic pain, hefty medical bills, or even death.
If all of those four elements are in place, you have a valid claim for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.