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Medical Malpractice: How is Fault Determined?

Doctors and specialists undergo years of training to become licensed physicians. So, when we visit the doctor, or agree to undergo a certain procedure, we should be able to trust that we will receive the highest quality care. Unfortunately, medical malpractice statistics show that things don't always go as planned.

Doctors, nurses, and hospitals do make their fair share of mistakes, these are called "medical errors." Other times, healthcare professionals simply make bad decisions, and in such cases the patient can be subjected to irreparable harm.

Medical liability occurs in a variety of situations. It can happen because of a misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, improper surgical technique, or wrong-site surgery. The wrong patient can be operated on or a patient can undergo surgery without giving their "informed consent."

Other times doctors accidentally cut a nearby organ, or they make an anesthesia or medication error that kills the patient. In any case when a doctor's medical treatment falls below the standard of care, the injured patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Finding Fault in a Medical Malpractice Case

Liability in a medical malpractice case is not limited to just doctors. The responsible party may be a doctor, a nurse, physician's assistantor even the hospital or a pharmaceutical manufacturer. In order to prove fault, you must be able to prove:

  • A duty was owed because of a doctor-patient relationship existed
  • The negligent party deviated from the applicable standard of care
  • The deviation "substandard care" caused the patient's injuries
  • The patient sustained injuries as a result of the substandard care

In order to prove that you have a valid medical malpractice claim, you must be able to show that your doctor's conduct fell below the accepted standard of medical care. To establish this, it will be necessary to obtain testimony from a medical expert, who is qualified in the same field of medicine as the negligent doctor. It will also be necessary to show that the defendant failed to meet this standard.

To find out if you have a medical malpractice claim, contact The Moore Law Firm to arrange a free case evaluation.