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What Does and Doesn’t Constitute as Medical Malpractice?

Published on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:05 am in Medical Malpractice.

Stethoscope and pen on a form

When you’re ill or injured and go to the hospital or get seen by a doctor, you expect what’s ailing you to get better. If your health declines and you think that your doctor or another medical professional was the one who caused it to worsen, then you might have a medical malpractice claim on your hands. However, you might be unsure if it constitutes as med mal.

So that you can determine whether or not your experience with a health care professional could be considered medical malpractice, you should know what does and doesn’t constitute as med mal for your claim.

What Does Constitute as Medical Malpractice

The most important element in a situation where medical malpractice occurred is whether or not the medical professional was negligent and broke their duty of care. Here are the elements of proving negligence that will need to be present so you can start to determine if what happened to you constitutes as malpractice:

  • There was a doctor-patient relationship that existed.
  • The doctor was negligent and breached their duty of care, which is decided by referencing what another medical professional would have done in a similar situation.
  • The breach in the duty of care directly resulted in the patient’s injuries.
  • The patient’s injuries directly resulted in damages that temporarily or permanently impact their life.

Once it’s proven that negligence led to your injuries and damages, you can start looking into exactly what happened that constitutes as med mal. There are many different forms of medical negligence that can cause a patient more harm than when they arrived, and those are what leads to them suffering from malpractice.

Some of the most common forms of med mal are when a doctor misdiagnoses a patient, fails to diagnose a patient, prescribes the wrong meds, makes a surgical error, delays in treatment, neglects to inform the patient of all possible risks, and releasing a patient prematurely. There are many other scenarios where a healthcare worker is negligent or reckless that can be considered medical malpractice, which is why you could use the help of a lawyer.

What Doesn’t Constitute as Med Mal

While you’re trying to figure out if you experienced medical malpractice, you should also know what kind of treatment or situations at the hospital or healthcare facility aren’t considered med mal. It’s important to note that being unsatisfied with the care you received is not enough of a reason to claim you have experienced malpractice. If there wasn’t negligence or recklessness involved, then you likely don’t have a claim.

When you go to the doctor to be treated for an illness or injury, and your doctor does everything they can but your condition still hasn’t improved, or it has gotten worse, that might not constitute as med mal. If your doctor did everything they could and didn’t make any medical errors, then that’s not their fault that your condition hasn’t improved.

Similarly, if they accurately diagnose you with an illness or disease that is untreatable, then you can’t claim malpractice for them not being able to treat you. While you might be upset with your diagnosis and want to hold someone accountable for your misfortune, since it was accurate and not caused by a doctor’s negligence, it’s not considered medical malpractice.

While many times healthcare professionals make mistakes that lead to your decline or bad diagnosis, that’s not always the case. So, if nobody’s negligence led to what you’re suffering from, then you likely haven’t experienced med mal, and won’t be able to file a legal claim to recover damages.

DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC Can Help You

If you’re still unsure whether or not what you experienced constitutes as med mal, then you could use the help of an attorney from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC in West Virginia. Our experienced lawyers can answer all of your questions and guide you through the process if you were harmed by a negligent doctor.

Our Charleston medical malpractice lawyer is here to help you determine if what you went through infringed on your rights, and if it did, they will prove your doctor was negligent and calculate how much you’re owed in damages. Reach out to our office today so that we can discuss your legal options right away.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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