What is medical malpractice and how can I file a claim?

Person on hospital bed

Medical malpractice is otherwise known as professional negligence.  It occurs when a medical professional acts in a manner below the standard of care for the community and harms a patient.  In a recent study by Johns Hopkins, more than 250,000 people in the United States die every year because of medical mistakes, which makes it the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

What is medical malpractice?

Doctors can make mistakes and cause people harm without liability, except when they act below the standard of care.  The standard of care can vary from location to location.  A doctor in Los Angeles may be held to a different standard of care than a doctor in Logan, Utah. 

There are hundreds of ways a medical provider can breach the duty of care.  Patients have a right to expect consistent care and treatment from medical professionals in their area.  When a medical professional treats people below the standard of care, there is liability for the resultant harm.

Here are several examples of medical malpractice to give you a better idea of what a medical malpractice case can look like:

As you can see, a lot of people are affected by medical malpractice, and some suffer great harm.  No medical malpractice claim is exactly the same. Each is unique to the person harmed, and can be complex and difficult to pursue. 

Many jurisdictions have capped the pain and suffering damages that can be obtained in these claims.  This is an affront to the jury system guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.  The only benefit from capping damages is to the insurance companies who sell policies to doctors.  But, it can seriously limit the rights of claimants to compensation for their injuries.

How can I file a claim?

If you suspect you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important that you take action and file a claim. There are strict time limits on claims.  You should consult an attorney who focuses on and has experience with medical malpractice claims to determine whether you have a claim worth pursuing.  

It can feel intimidating as you’re trying to find the right attorney who can serve as your guide and advocate.  We suggest you seek someone who can make sense of your claim and give you the individual attention these cases require. 

Some lawyers handle hundreds of claims at a time, which means you may not get much or any of their time and effort on your claim.  We suggest you get a good, experienced attorney who handles a limited number of serious injury claims to handle your medical malpractice claim.

When you find the best medical malpractice attorney for your needs, you can move forward with confidence since you’ll have someone who will fight for you.