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What Is Medical Malpractice and How Do I Know If I Have a Case?

What is Medical Malpractice?

When doctors and other medical professionals enter into practice, they take on the responsibility to exercise a reasonable degree of care and skill in that practice. Malpractice is defined as, “a tort committed when a professional fails to properly execute their duty to a client.” Physicians and medical professionals have a duty to act within a standard of care. Defining that standard of care can be difficult.

A medical malpractice case can be based upon a claim of professional negligence in the form of an act, lack of action, or omission by a healthcare provider or medical facility that results in injury or death (damages) to the patient. However, whether or not the case or claim is viable is based on whether or not the healthcare professional failed to provide treatment that meets the applicable standard of care under the circumstances.

The definition of standard of care is vague and means the degree of care and skill taken by the average healthcare provider who practices in the provider’s specialty, taking into account the medical knowledge available in the field. Therefore, the standard of care is typically discussed and argued in terms of hypotheticals which is why it is critical to get an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side immediately.

How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

As with any tort claim, the plaintiff must prove four things: duty, breach, causation and damages. What this translates to in a medical malpractice case is that the plaintiff’s medical professional breached their duty to treat the patient within the standard of care. That breach directly caused injury (i.e. damages) to the patient. In most cases, the malpractice consists of either a negligent act or a failure to act; this can happen at any stage of the treatment process and can involve any type of medical professional.

However, medical malpractice claims are some of the most complex legal claims in existence. The criteria for malpractice is vast and the likelihood of successfully pursuing a medical malpractice claim hinges on medical facts and excellent legal representation.

Get Your Free Malpractice Consultation Today

If you feel that you or a loved one have been harmed by the negligence of a medical professional, reach out to Keller & Keller right away for a free consultation. We are here to evaluate your case. With over 80 years of experience, we can confidently guide you through the legal process.

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