Medical negligence claims occur when and omission or an act occurs by a medical professional where the treatment or care is below the standards that are generally accepted for that treatment and the patient is harmed, injured or dies as a result of error in the medical procure and care.
When we put ourselves in the care of a medical professional, it is expected that we will be treated in accordance with generally accepted standards, which means that normal procedures will be conducted that meets the standards that have been set in place so that any such mistakes are avoided.
After all, the patient is 100 percent vulnerable during a surgical procedure and totally helpless against any mistakes or harmful negligence. It is expected that the medical professional will act in accordance with the training that has been received and the patient will be in safe hands.
Each year there are between 15 and 19 thousand malpractice suits that are filed against doctors. These figures most likely do not reveal all of the actual treatment failures that take place, because there are many incidents that are documented as something else as opposed to being documented as a failed treatment. There is wide acceptance that many of the treatment failures are not documented accurately and falsified knowingly.
From a legal standpoint, there is a duty that is owed to any patient that places him or herself under the care of any medical professional. If the provider, which would be a doctor, nursing professional, or a hospital, fails to provide care that meets the prevailing standard of care for that condition, there is a breach of that duty that occurs.
Another form of medical negligence claims stems from a deviation from the accepted medical standard. In this instance, it must be shown that the medical professional was performing in a manner that was different or contrary from the generally accepted standards of his or her profession.
Then finally, there must have been damage, or some kind of loss that occurred. The loss can be an emotional loss or a pecuniary loss, otherwise there is no real basis for a claim to have occurred. If there is no damage, then it doesn’t really matter whether the medical professional was negligent or not.
The burden of proof that an incident actually occurred is on the plaintiff of the case, and in a court situation there must be a preponderance of proof in order for the plaintiff to prevail.
Many such trials will feature expert witness who will be brought into the trial by both sides to testify as to what the accepted procedure from a medical standpoint should be, and whether or not that procedure was followed by the medical professional. Expert witnesses must be qualified by the court and must have sufficient knowledge and experience to be able to speak on the subject.
Even though there are thousands of incidents that are buried in the files of a hospital or doctor’s office, the possibility of medical liability certainly keeps everyone on their toes as far as an incentive to avoid any possibility of such an incident occurring.