What medical malpractice is and what to do if you suspect it.
Healthcare providers are human. All humans make mistakes. Unfortunately when a medical professional makes a mistake, the consequences can be tragic. Thankfully our legal system provides a way for those injured by negligent healthcare providers to seek compensation for their injuries: a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What is Medical Malpractice?
When most people use the term “medical malpractice” or “medical negligence,” what they mean is “the doctor messed up.” The legal definition for medical malpractice, however, is much more technical. Although the precise legal claim of malpractice varies from state to state, medical malpractice is generally defined as the failure of a medical professional to act as a reasonably prudent medical professional in the same or similar field would have in the same or similar situation, causing damages. This legal definition can be hard to understand, but an easy way to think of it is: “What would a reasonable physician (or other healthcare provider) do?” If a physician did not do what a reasonable physician would have, and the patient was injured as a result, then the physician could be liable for malpractice. For example:
A young man fell and broke his right leg. He saw an orthopedist, who placed a cast on the broken leg. Months later, after the cast was removed and he underwent physical therapy, the young man was still experiencing pain in his right leg and it looked deformed. He then went to another orthopedist, who told him that the bone had healed incorrectly and that he would have to have surgery to try to correct it. Further, the orthopedist said, “With this type of break, you should have had surgery to fix it in the first place—it never could have healed properly with a cast.”
If the second orthopedist in the above example is correct, and a reasonable orthopedist would have performed surgery to fix the break initially, then the first orthopedist may very well be liable for malpractice.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
If you were injured while receiving treatment from a medical professional, or if the treatment did not go as well as you anticipated, you may be wondering whether you have a potential medical negligence case. First, you should know that when something bad happens while receiving medical care, it does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice occurred. Sometimes bad outcomes occur even when the best of care is used. Indeed, every condition, procedure, and medication has risks associated with it that can occur in the absence of malpractice. For example, a person with diabetes is at an increased risk of delayed healing and infection following a surgery. Therefore, even with the very best of care, a diabetic person may experience a post-operative infection. That being said, if you suspect malpractice, it is always best to ask an experienced medical malpractice attorney to review your claim.
If you suspect medical malpractice, the compassionate medical malpractice attorneys at Burg Simpson’s Cincinnati, Ohio will gladly review your claim. Our dynamic team of medical negligence lawyers have helped those injured in Ohio, Kentucky, and across the nation. We look forward to the opportunity of helping you, too. Call the attorneys in Burg Simpson’s Cincinnati, Ohio office at 513-852-5600 or fill out our free case evaluation form now to discuss your case with us.