When does a bad medical outcome constitute medical malpractice?
Major medical crises can be stressful, and when something goes wrong or the outcome isn't as expected, a stressful situation may become more than just a poor result, it may be grounds for a lawsuit. Determining whether an unexpected outcome constitutes "medical malpractice" can be challenging.
Medical negligence occurs where "the physician's (or the hospital, nurse or other medical staff's) care of a patient fails to meet the accepted standards or care and a patient suffers harms as the result of the inadequate care. " Medical malpractice and preventable medical errors continue to plague our country, with the renowned 1999 National Institute of Health study stating that 98,000 people die a year in hospitals due to medical mistakes.
Often, these cases arise out of surgical errors. Proving medical malpractice – negligent medical care – exists – harmed you typically involves the expert testimony by another physician who has reviewed the case, and will testify about deviations from care.
Where a patient is able to show harm occurred as the result of medical negligence, he or she may be able to recover damages for medical expenses (past and future), lost wages (past and future) and in some cases, emotional damages such as pain and suffering.
For more information, or if you believe that you have been harmed as the result of medical malpractice, please contact the experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.