What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical errors are more common than you might think. Medical Malpractice Lawyer St. Louis

Medical malpractice is negligence on the part of a medical or health care provider, which results in harm to the patient. The resultant harm can be caused by negligence or an act of omission, where no treatment is provided. This can include misdiagnosis, errors in treatment, health management, or medication errors.

Malpractice Statistics

  • There are around 15,000 – 19,000 malpractice lawsuits filed each year in the United States.
  • 195,000 patients die annually due to hospital medical errors that are preventable.
  • During the 2000 – 2002 period there were 1.4 million patient safety incidents out of 37 million Medicare hospitalizations.
  • Most American doctors will face a medical malpractice lawsuit during their medical careers.
  • One in three patients encounter hospital errors during their hospitalization.

Common hospital errors include:

  • Prescribing patients the wrong medication or the wrong dosage
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Staph infections
  • Operating on the wrong part of the body
  • Leaving instruments or objects inside the patient after surgery
  • Bedsores
  • Operating on the wrong side of the body

When Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

An injury resulted from medical negligence – There must be an injury or harm caused by the actions of the physician. And the patient must prove that the injury was the direct result of the negligence and that the injury would not have occurred had it not been for the actions of the doctor.

A doctor failed to meet the standard of care – The law and the medical profession both recognize that there are standards of care that must be adhered to by doctors. Violating these standards of care can constitute medical malpractice or negligence.

The patient did not give informed consent – The doctor or surgeon must inform the patient of the risks involved with the possible treatment plan or procedure. The patient must be aware of all of the risks regardless of how well the procedure is performed. Informed consent must be given before moving forward because the patient may elect to not undergo the procedure or treatment had they been informed of the possible risk.

There must be considerable suffering or damage to the patient – In order for a malpractice lawsuit to be successful, you must show that the negligent actions of the doctor or other medical professional resulted in significant damages. Disabling injury, loss of income, suffering, constant and increased pain, and hardship, are examples of considerable damage. Because building a lawsuit is a considerable cost in and of itself, it may not be financially wise to pursue a case of medical negligence where the possible reward is not significant.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Physicians are required to meet a high standard of care and people put a significant amount of trust in their doctor/medical provider’s ability to manage their health care. Medical malpractice regulations and laws depend on the state you live in, and there are statutes of limitation for medical malpractice cases, so if you think that you have experienced medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case and move forward as soon as possible.

Contact the medical malpractice attorneys at the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm today by calling (314) 522-7200.


photo credit: phalinn

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zevan Davidson Roman today.

Schedule your free consultation