How Do I Know If My Injury Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical professionals are not expected to be infallible and there may be poor results from treatment that do not amount to malpractice. Medical professionals are expected to exercise the basic knowledge, skills, and care ordinarily possessed and exercised by other members of the profession acting under similar conditions and circumstances. This basic knowledge and skill is called a standard of practice, or standard of care. When a medical professional treats a patient and fails to use this basic knowledge, skill, and care whether the failure consists of doing something incorrectly, or failing to do something that should be done, that failure is a deviation from the standard of practice or care.

To prove that a physician or other health care provider has been negligent, the patient must introduce evidence showing the patient`s condition which prompted the need for medical care; the defendant`s conduct and why it was negligent; the appropriate care which the patient should have received; and the injury caused to the patient by the negligent medical care. Expert testimony is generally required to establish a breach of the standard of care, unless negligence can be inferred by the facts. An expert must be licensed in the state and familiar with the applicable standard of care as it relates to the subject of the claim.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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