A doctor handles a lot of pressure to make sure their patients take the right step to become healthy or stay healthy. There are many occasions when the doctor may give the wrong diagnosis to a patient of theirs, and the results can sometimes be life threatening. In this type of example, is this an example of a medical malpractice? There are some factors that someone must consider before shooting out the gates, screaming for a medical malpractice case.
One of the first factors is that there really needs to be an existence of a doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Joe Smith who you saw in passing, who suggested you may only have a cold, when in turn you had pneumonia, is not at risk to face a medical malpractice case. There needs to be a - patient in the doctor’s office type of relationship - for this to proceed. Next, the treatment can not fall below the accepted medical standard of care. This is one of the most important aspects of a medical malpractice case. It is simply based on the practices of an average physician. If the doctor’s treatment/diagnosis/failure to treat is a typical practice, than the victim would not have a valid case.
This also goes along the line of the next factor in a medical malpractice case, medical negligence. There must be a connection between the care provider's medical negligence and the patient's harm. Basically, the doctors or medical provider’s decision must have resulted in the patient’s harm. What is medical negligence? It is a failure to act by a medical professional that deviates from the accepted medical standard of care. So for example, if a car does not stop at a stop sign, and causes an accident, the driver would be negligent in the eyes of the law. So in the case of a doctor, if he performs an act that would worsen the treatment given to an individual, they would be performing medical negligence. However, there are errors that occur in procedures, especially in complex, long procedures, errors are a common practice - so under the medical standard of care, an error may be common practice.
Lastly, there needs to be quantifiable harm done to the patient to proceed in a medical malpractice case. There have to be “damages” that the patient received from his medical provider that resulted in his harm.
If you believe you are a victim of a medical malpractice case, don’t hesitate to call the Law Offices of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo.