Medical Malpractice: A complex concept with multiple elements

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014

  • 09
  • October

Many of us have heard the term "medical malpractice" and most of us understand that it covers situations where doctors make mistakes. Although these basic assumptions are correct, medical malpractice in the United States encompasses so much more.

When an individual brings forward a medical malpractice claim in the state of Georgia they must demonstrate that there was a violation of a standard of care, their injury was the result of negligence and their injury has left them with significant damages. When a healthcare provider violates a standard of care, it is contrasted with what a similar health care provider would have done - or not done - under the same circumstances. An example of this would be a doctor suggesting a surgery that is considered unnecessary by other doctors in the same field.

Negligence results when this standard of care is violated and the healthcare provider should have known otherwise. A claim is not complete, however, unless damages from a doctor error or other professional's mistake can be proven. These damages can be monetary, such as missed wages at work or medical bills and expenses, or they can be difficult to quantify, like pain and suffering and a decreased enjoyment of life.

Healthcare providers can be held responsible for medical malpractice injuries in a number of circumstances. Some situations can include failing to diagnose, misreading lab results, failure to properly test or even improperly administering medication. In addition, a pharmaceutical company that gives a patient a defective drug can also be held accountable. No matter the circumstances, no individual harmed because of a medical malpractice situation has to suffer silently. Injured individuals can discuss their situation with experienced legal professionals in the state of Georgia who can help them understand their legal options and protect their rights.

Source: American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, "What is medical malpractice?" accessed Oct. 6, 2014

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