Medical malpractice is a specialized area of personal injury law requiring that a case meets certain standards in order to show liability on the part of the doctor or other medical provider. If a medical professional fails to provide a patient with the minimum standard of acceptable care and it results in an injury, that provider has committed medical malpractice. If a patient suffers harm and experiences real economic and non-economic damages due to malpractice, they deserve to recover compensation for those damages as a form of justice as well as to recoup the financial losses they experience when they require treatment to repair the harm.
Just because a patient might not be satisfied with their care does not mean the provider is automatically guilty of malpractice. Instead, to prove medical malpractice, a case must specific standards.
What Are the Key Elements of Medical Malpractice?
In order to meet the definition of medical malpractice, a case has to meet the elements of liability. This includes the following:
- That a professional doctor/patient relationship existed between the malpractice victim and the provider
- That the provider owed a duty of care to treat the patient within the accepted medical standards
- That the provider breached that duty of care through an act of negligence
- That the negligence caused a real injury to the patient
- That the injury caused economic and non-economic damages to the patient
Medical malpractice cases are complex and often require a specialized area of knowledge combining law and medicine. A seasoned medical malpractice lawyer can investigate the case to prove medical malpractice and identify the liable party, whether it’s the doctor, a medical staff member, or the facility itself, such as a hospital or clinic.
Types of Medical Malpractice In Massachusetts
When we need medical care, we expect to feel safe in the hands of those medical professionals who treat us. When a doctor abuses that trust, it can be devastating, with ill effects ranging from a medical scare to a catastrophic medical event, or even a wrongful death. The most common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Medication errors
- Failing to properly diagnose an illness
- Failure to order the correct labs or imaging tests
- Birth injuries
- Failing to obtain an informed consent or failing to properly inform a patient of the risks
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to properly monitor a patient during surgery
- Wrong-patient/wrong-side/wrong-site surgery
- Foreign object left in a body cavity during surgery
What to Do If You’ve Experienced Medical Malpractice
If you suspect you’re a victim of medical malpractice you can help prove your own case by taking the following actions to protect your medical and financial health:
- Obtain all of your medical records from the facility where the event occurred
- Seek a thorough evaluation with a trusted doctor and bring your medical records
- Tell the trusted doctor about every symptom you’ve experienced
- Follow all of your doctor’s instructions and attend every appointment
- Ask for a detailed medical report
- Save all medical bills
- Seek an experienced Boston medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate your case
- Direct all communication with the insurance company to your attorney
By taking proactive steps immediately after a malpractice incident or as soon as you realize you’ve been harmed by malpractice, you’ll have more evidence to prove your claim. While compensation for your economic damages and pain and suffering won’t undo the harm, it can relieve financial worries so you can better focus on your recovery.