What is Medical Malpractice?

Did you have a friend or family member die or be injured and you think you have a case for medical malpractice? But you’re not sure? Medical malpractice can be a little confusing. We’ll help you break it down. There are a few different parts to a medical malpractice claim. Each claim must have these components:

There must be a violation of the standard of care. What does that mean? What is standard of care? There are certain standards that the law determines of what is practical and acceptable in certain situations or circumstances. That’s standard of care. For example, a standard of care for someone with a broken leg may include x-rays, setting the bone, etc. If a provider did not do something that is considered “standard” then they may be found negligent. In our example, if they set a leg without x-rays they may be considered negligent as that is the “standard” thing a doctor would do in a normal circumstance.

Second, the injury to the victim must be caused by negligence. So not only does a provider or doctor have to be in violation of the standard of care, but they must also have experienced an injury that would not have happened if the standard of care had not been violated. Using our broken leg example, the victim would have to experience an additional injury that resulted from the negligence. For example, because the leg was not x-rayed there were bone fragments which were not removed, resulting in a permanent limp. These would be a direct result of the negligence. If the x-ray had been performed, then the injury would have been avoided.

Third, the damage to the victim must result in significant damages. Typically the victim or patient must show that the injury was the result of standard of care and negligence as well as causing a disability, hardship, or extended medical costs or conditions. Because some cases can be extremely difficult and time consuming to go to trial, many providers will want to settle to avoid a large legal bill. Your malpractice attorney will help you understand your options so make the best decisions for you and for your family.

Some examples of medical malpractice could include:

  • Surgery that is deemed unnecessary
  • Failure to diagnose symptoms
  • Failure to conduct standard and proper testing
  • Poor care or follow-up care
  • Premature hospital discharge
  • Misreading test or lab results
  • Misdiagnosis

The medical malpractice lawyer of Waitz & Downer can help you determine if you have a medical malpractice case against your doctor if you have suffered a serious injury as a result of a medication error. Please schedule a free case evaluation with Waitz and Downer in Houma, LA, today by calling (985) 876-0870 and allow us the opportunity to fight for your rights as a victim of medical negligence.