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Medical Malpractice

We go to doctors and medical professionals for accurate diagnoses and quality care. When we are sick, we hope that doctors will help us feel better. However, it doesn't always work out that way.

In some cases, those professionals -- physicians, nurses, assistants, and orderlies -- can cause further injury. Fortunately for patients, the legal system has developed procedures and rules to help determine who should be liable for injuries sustained while receiving medical care. This area of law is known as "medical malpractice."

Medical malpractice liability can occur due to a flawed diagnosis, improper treatment, or even treating a patient without proper permission. FindLaw's section on Medical Malpractice provides articles and resources on many medical malpractice issues, from first steps to breaking down the legal elements of a claim. Those resources are linked below.

With these resources, you can learn about the standard of care that doctors owe patients. You can also learn about patients' rights to recover damages for medical malpractice. You'll also find an explanation of common types of medical malpractice, including bad diagnosis, sub-standard care, and lack of "informed consent." This section also contains information about breach of doctor-patient confidentiality. Knowing the doctor's duties and your rights can help you make better decisions when deciding whether to pursue a medical claim.

Click on the links below for in-depth information on medical malpractice and the legal rights of patients who have suffered harm.

Finding Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases

There are two main components to most medical malpractice cases: figuring out who was at fault, and then proving that fault legally. Medical malpractice liability is not limited to just doctors. It can also apply to nurses and others who provide health care services. Even hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can be found liable for malpractice.

The other main thrust of a medical malpractice suit is proving fault. Most medical malpractice cases contend that a medical professional was negligent in treating a patient. To establish medical negligence, an injured patient must prove:

  • The health care professional owed a duty to the patient, as part of the doctor/patient relationship,
  • The health care professional deviated from the applicable standard of care, which is a breach of the duty owed to the patient,
  • The health care professional's deviation from the standard of care caused the patient's injury, and
  • An injury to the patient.

What to Do in Case of Medical Malpractice

There are some important steps to take if you think a medical professional has provided inadequate or improper care. First, you should contact the medical professional in charge of your care. It's possible that your issue could be remedied with the proper correction or solution. If your original healthcare provider is unable to remedy your situation, seek medical help immediately. Your priority should be to take care of your own health and medical needs. However, you should also be aware of the legal time limits regarding your case. Medical malpractice claims are subject to a statute of limitations, meaning you may have a limited window to file a legal action. Finally, know which medical records will be relevant to your claim and where to obtain them.

Legal Help for a Medical Malpractice Claim

The law regarding medical malpractice can be complicated. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can ascertain the merits of your claim, and help walk you through the necessary stages of filing, a possible trial, and any appeals that may result.

Click on any of the links below to learn more about medical malpractice.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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