Legal News

Medical Malpractice Law

What Are The Intricacies Of Medical Malpractice Law?

This legal area involves some mishaps in the field of medical treatment. Medical malpractice takes place when any health care provider or professional does not give the right treatment, leaves out the right action, or gives the treatment that is substandard in quality and causes death, injury, or harm to a patient. This negligence or malpractice usually involves a medical error. This could be related to aftercare, treatment, health management, medication dose, and diagnosis. Medical malpractice law makes it possible for individuals to get compensation for any harm that happened to them because of such sub-standard treatment. According to the Medical Malpractice Center, there are nearly 20,000 medical malpractice suits against healthcare professionals annually in the United States. The regulations and standards for such medical malpractice can differ between states and nations.


1. What is Medical Malpractice Law Related to?


Every health care professional, doctor, and medical institute is expected to give a certain quality of health care to the patients admitted under their care. The professional is not considered liable for every type of harm experienced by a patient. But they are legally responsible if the patient gets injured or harmed because the health provider differs from the quality of care usually expected in such situations. According to the medical malpractice lawyers practicing in the United States, there are several factors that are involved for medical malpractice to be considered. These are a failure to give the right standard of care. Medical malpractice law requires that healthcare professionals stick to some standards or face an accusation of negligence. Another issue is an injury that happens because of such negligence. Suppose any patient feels that the health care provider was negligent during the treatment, but no injury or harm happened. In that case, there can be no claim in that situation.

The patient must show that the action caused harm or injury. They must also prove that such an occurrence would not have happened without such conduct. The aggrieved party will have to prove various elements to win the case. They must show that the health care provider has a professional duty towards the patient. Another factor they must show is that there was a breach of the said duty, and an injury happened because of that breach. They must also show that there was damage because of that. This includes doing nothing in a situation where they should have taken some action. This can be seen as an act of negligence or omission. It is not considered medical malpractice when there is dissatisfaction with the overall outcome of medical treatment. It is only seen to be malpractice when there is injury and negligence which causes injury or harm.


2. Informed Consent Related to Medical Malpractice Law


Suppose the patient does not give his informed consent to any procedure that is to be performed medically. In that case, the health care provider may be liable if that procedure causes injury or harm. This is true even if the surgery was carried out in a flawless manner. Suppose the surgeon does not inform the patient that the surgery has some risk of losing a limb. In that case, the healthcare provider will be liable if a limb is lost. This is also valid even if the surgery was done perfectly. This is because the patient may have decided to opt out of the surgery if they had known about the risks involved.


3. What Does A Case Under Medical Malpractice Law Involve?


There are several parties that are involved when a case is filed in this area. The first is the plaintiff. This is the party that complains about any malpractice. This can be the patient itself or a person legally designated to act on the patient's behalf. Suppose the patient has died during the process. In that case, the administrator or executor of the estate of the patient may become the party. When seen through the legal lens, the plaintiff is the individual who brings a case against another party in a court of law. So, it is the individual who has started the legal suit. The defendant is the party who has to defend themselves from being prosecuted in the case. According to our medical malpractice law, this party is the health care provider. This party could also be any medical provider, therapist, nurse, or doctor. Even the people who are just following orders may become liable for any negligent acts. The prevailing party is the one that gets the victory in the legal case. This can be either the defendant or the plaintiff.

If the defendant gets the victory in the case, the plaintiff has lost out and will get no compensation from the other party. The losing party is the one that loses out on the case. The fact-finder of the case is the jury or the judge involved.


4. The Process Under Medical Malpractice Law


In the beginning, the plaintiff or their chosen legal representatives must file a lawsuit in any court of law. Before the start of the trial, the defendant and the plaintiff have to share data through discovery. This may include various requests for interrogatories, depositions, and documents. The parties can also try to settle the case out of court if they can come to an agreement. In this scenario, the case will not go to trial. If the parties do not agree to this, the case will go to trial. The plaintiff must show convincingly that the defendant was negligent in their actions during the treatment. In most trials, the plaintiff and the defendant will present experts who will try to explain the standard of care needed in the case. The fact-finder must examine all the evidence that is present before it and find out which parties have more credibility. Then, the fact-finder will deliver a verdict for the party that has won. It can also be said that the judge will decide the case's final outcome.

The judge will decide on the damages that have to be awarded if the plaintiff has won the case. The party that has lost the case may request for a new trial to be conducted. In several courts, if the plaintiff asks for a larger settlement, they may make another move. They may ask for an assessment of the damages and request a larger amount. If the defendant is not happy with a large payout, they may also make a move. This means they can request the court to decrease the amount of damages that must be paid. Either party may make an appeal on the judgment that has been delivered.


5. What Kind Of Damages Can The Plaintiff Get According To Medical Malpractice Law?


If the plaintiff wins the case, they may be awarded punitive and compensatory damages. The latter might include economic damages. This includes medical expenses, life care expenses, and lost earning capacity. In these cases, future and past issues are also assessed. These damages may also include non-economic damages. These examine the injury, emotional distress, extreme pain, losing one's legs or vision, or physical and psychological harm. The punitive damages are only given if the defendant is found guilty of wilful or malicious misconduct. Punitive damage is a type of punishment. It is the compensation that is given in addition to the actual damages that are awarded. Any lawsuit can be stressful, time-consuming, and pricey. Any person wanting to start a lawsuit should look at all the benefits and disadvantages before considering any action.

If the injury is not major, the patient may spend more on the lawsuit than the eventual award they will get. Also, remember that medical malpractice laws differ from state to state. Each state has unique laws in this regard. This also includes the caps on damages and the statutes of limitations. The patients who want to think about filing suit against healthcare providers should ensure that they consult a medical malpractice lawyer. You can find several such lawyers near you.




The laws related to this legal area are quite complex, and the lawsuits can take a lot of time before the plaintiff can get some damages. It is vital to have some person on our side who knows the complicated process and can work alongside you to ensure that you are compensated and taken care of. You should contact a medical malpractice lawyer near you for further assistance.

Subscribe Your Email for Newsletter