Medical malpractice cases are common. In some instances though, not all cases meet the requirements of medical malpractice laws and are dismissed by the courts. If you are considering a claim against a medical care provider, it is important to know the difference between what is and is not malpractice.
Is It Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical care provider fails to provide a reasonable level of care expected to treat a patient in a particular situation. For instance, if a reasonable treatment for diabetes is insulin, but your doctor treated you by prescribing a statin medication instead, this could be considered malpractice.
In order to establish malpractice you have to show that the course of treatment that would normally be followed by a provider was not followed in your case. In this instance, an expert could testify that statins are typically used to treat heart disease and not diabetes.
Another form of malpractice occurs when your medical care provider's action are particularly reckless. For instance, a provider who operated on you while under the influence of drugs would be considered reckless.
All malpractice claims have to result in some form of injury. It is not enough to prove that your doctor treated you with the wrong medication, but you also have to show that it caused you to have a side effect that was harmful. For instance, if the statin led to liver damage, you could blame your provider.
When Is It Not Medical Malpractice?
Not every claim of medical malpractice fits the criteria. For instance, if your condition worsened, it is not necessarily malpractice. If the doctor provided you with the expected care for your condition and your health declined, it is not considered malpractice. He or she did what was expected and unfortunately, it was not enough to improve the condition.
A medical care provider also cannot be held responsible when a condition is untreatable. As long as the doctor provided you with the correct diagnosis and recommended the expected course of treatment for your condition, he or she is not liable. Medical malpractice laws protect providers from being sued when they properly follow the procedures for treating patients.
Medical malpractice laws are complicated and each case should be examined independently. If you believe that you have a medical malpractice case, consult with an experienced attorney. He or she can determine if negligence or reckless occurred and help build your case and learn more about this topic, if necessary.