Medical malpractice isn't just having a bad time at the doctor's office or getting a bad diagnosis when you hoped for an all-clear. Instead, medical malpractice occurs only when a medical professional (like a doctor, nurse, or another specialist) deliberately or through negligence applies incorrect medical care and causes negative side effects or illnesses as a result.
All doctors and other medical personnel have responsibilities to provide “acceptable standards of care” whenever they are caring for a patient. In the event that they don't fulfill these responsibilities, you may be able to sue them for medical malpractice. Speak with one of our Charleston medical malpractice lawyers, consultations are always free.
The standard of care is a generally understood set of practices or procedures that are used by other medical professionals in the same area/culture. For instance, washing one's hands and properly sanitizing before undergoing an operation is an example of an accepted standard of care. Doctors that fail to do so are opening their patients to the possibility of infection and future discomfort, pain, and medical costs.
How Do Medical Malpractice Cases Occur?
In most cases, medical malpractice incidents occur because of negligence.
In a legal context, negligence is defined as inattention to responsible duties or lack of expertise such that it affects a patient. For instance, a doctor not paying attention to a patient's symptoms and incorrectly diagnosing them with the wrong condition or issuing the wrong type of medication would be an example of negligence.
In other cases, doctors may deliberately perform medical malpractice, either out of spite, dislike for a patient, or disagreement with the morality of a medical procedure. As an example, a doctor that deliberately performs a sterilization technique improperly out of vindictiveness to their patient would be performing medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice examples further include:
- retained foreign instruments within a patient's body
- using the wrong tools or medication during a procedure or surgery
- writing incorrect instructions to nurses
- not receiving the required training to perform a medical procedure
What Compensation Can You Receive for a Medical Malpractice Case?
If you or a loved one have been affected by medical malpractice, you may be able to pursue compensation with skilled legal advisors. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be one and may result in a monetary award that can compensate you for your pain and suffering and other factors. The potential aspects covered by your damages can include:
- the cost of past and future medical bills
- coverage for the loss of wages as a result of sustained injuries directly related to the medical malpractice
- pain and suffering damages to compensate you for mental and physical turmoil you endured
Ultimately, you'll need skilled legal expertise on your side in order to stand the best chance of winning a medical malpractice case. At Hopkins Law Firm, we have decades of experience beneath our collective belts, even though we opened in 2013 to better serve the Charleston, SC area. Give us a call and we'd be happy to offer you a free consultation and explain what we can do to help in your medical malpractice case.