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What Is Medical Malpractice?
If you’ve recently suffered physical harm as a result of substandard medical care, you may be wondering whether you have grounds upon which to file legal action. You have likely heard the term “medical malpractice” before but may be unsure of exactly what it means or whether it applies to your situation. This is an exceedingly common situation that patients all over America find themselves in every day. You are certainly not alone.
In 2016, researchers at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine determined that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Medical errors are a form of medical malpractice. But making a mistake is not the only behavior that healthcare providers – both individual practitioners and facilities – may be held legally and financially accountable for.
Grounds to Sue
As an experienced Toms River, NJ personal injury lawyer such as one at DeNoia, Tambasco & Germann Attorneys at Law can explain in greater detail, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider engages in substandard medical care and someone suffers harm as a result of that conduct. Essentially, if a reasonably competent and similarly situated provider would have treated a patient differently if faced with the same circumstances and an affected patient is harmed as a result of that substandard care, the patient likely has strong grounds upon which to file a medical malpractice claim.
This is a very technical area of law. It is often impossible to prove that medical malpractice has occurred unless an expert witness within the medical field testifies to the substandard nature of the care that a patient has received. With that said, if you are the victim of medical malpractice, working with an experienced personal attorney who handles medical malpractice cases will place you in the strongest possible position to prove your case efficiently and effectively.
Spotting Medical Malpractice
One of the reasons why so many patients have a tough time – for many reasons – in the wake of suffering injury due to medical malpractice is that “spotting” instances of medical malpractice is a tricky business. Unless you’re employed in the medical field, chances are that you probably don’t have an in-depth knowledge of exactly what standards of behavior are considered to be professionally adequate and which aren’t. As a result, it often takes the skilled investigatory efforts of an attorney to uncover whether medical malpractice has occurred or not.
Additionally, you may be questioning whether you have a case because your care team has assured you that your harm wasn’t preventable or was simply a manifestation of the risk you assumed when you consented to care. Rarely do healthcare providers willingly admit when they’ve made a mistake or an error in judgment. As a result, it is important to speak with an attorney even if your care team insists that your harm couldn’t have been prevented. If you suspect that some element of your care contributed to the harm that you’re now navigating, contact a good personal injury attorney as soon as possible.