A visit to a healthcare facility should leave you feeling better, but it’s sometimes not the case. Your condition and overall health may deteriorate due to mistakes made in treatment. If so, you may be a victim of medical malpractice. Any act or omission by a healthcare practitioner that does not conform to the accepted norms of practice in the field of medicine may amount to malpractice.
Malpractice can take the form of diagnostic errors, surgery errors, prescription errors or failure to treat. To prove it, you need to understand the elements of medical malpractice as detailed below.
1. Duty of care
You must have been in a patient-doctor relationship with the physician. It means that you must have been under treatment by the said healthcare practitioner or sought their services at the time of the malpractice. Doctors are legally obliged to provide reasonable and competent care.
2. Deviation of duty
You need to show that the doctor did not discharge their duties as per the profession’s standards. If other doctors in the same field would have acted differently under similar circumstances, then there may be a breach of the duty of care owed to you.
A mistake by a doctor is not enough to prove negligence. The doctor’s error must have harmed you, either by making your condition worse or bringing up new health issues that were not in existence. Damages are not only physical; they can also be financial or emotional. For instance, if the doctor’s errors caused you pain and suffering, that is a form of damage.
4. Direct cause
You also need to show a relationship between the malpractice and the harm you suffered. The doctor’s error must have directly caused the damages for it to be malpractice.
Are you a victim of medical malpractice?
Proving malpractice is not as easy as it seems. If you think you have suffered due to medical malpractice, it is essential to find out more about the requirements you must meet.