Medical Malpractice facts

Hospital Malpractice Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT

A medical malpractice claim is the result of a health professional who acts in a negligent manner and the consequence of his or her negligence is injury to the patient. Medical malpractice can occur in the diagnostic stages all the way down to post-treatment care and follow-up. These cases are to be taken very seriously as there are really three possible outcomes when a person is not well and seeks treatment: the person will get better, stay the same or get worse. Unfortunately, there are many cases that have no merit. For example, a patient who is unhappy with the diagnosis or the outcome of a procedure or a doctor who makes an error but no injury occurs. It can only be considered medical malpractice when the health professional is negligent, and does not perform in a skillful and safe fashion causing patient injury.

Due to the many variables surrounding medical treatments and procedures, there are four pillars upon which any medical malpractice case must stand and they are as follows:  

  1. There must be a professional relationship between the patient and the person the claim is against. This does not include a personal relationship between two people where one is a medical professional and casually advises the other person. The patient must have been under the person’s direct care whether in consultation, treatment or after care.
  2. A violation to the standard of care. A standard of care must be explained, usually by a medical expert in the same or similar medical field. He or she will also describe how the health professional’s negligence violated the standard.
  3. An injury must have occurred. If there is no injury, there is no medical malpractice to speak of. A doctor’s error is not considered malpractice unless it leads to injury.
  4. It should be shown that the injury was a direct result of the health professional’s negligence.

In the event that those four points apply to the situation, there is a possible medical malpractice case. The patient should contact a medical malpractice attorney and determine the next step in the process to seeking compensatory damages.

What are compensatory damages?

In any case where an individual suffers as a result of another person’s negligent act, that individual may be entitled to financial compensation. The following explores specific examples of compensatory damages.

  1. Medical bills related to the injury and any future medical expenses. This includes additional hospital stay and any necessary procedures that address the injury. If the injury requires ongoing therapies or future procedures, that should all be considered when calculating the damages related to medical cost.
  2. Lost wages refers to any missed work as a result of the injury and treatment of the injury.
  3. Lost earning potential applies to the more severe cases where the patient can no longer work at the same level as he or she did prior to the injury.
  4. Pain and suffering refers to the mental stress caused by the injury and the whole experience in general. This is a more subjective damage to calculate as it will be different for each case. Some states have a formula to calculate such damages.

If you are pursuing a medical malpractice claim, you should consult with a hospital malpractice lawyer Salt Lake City, UT offers at Rasmussen & Miner who is familiar in the medical field. These cases can be very complicated and time-consuming. You deserve the best representation.