What is medical malpractice?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

When a person visits a doctor in North Carolina, they expect the medical profession to take all appropriate action and provide treatment that meets the standard expected in their field. When healthcare professionals fail to do so, resulting in a patient’s injury, harm or death, this may be considered medical malpractice.

Examples of medical malpractice

Doctors face between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice lawsuits yearly in the United States, typically involving negligence resulting in medical errors. Medical malpractice can encompass various actions such as misdiagnosis, inadequate health management, prescribing incorrect medication, delivering substandard treatment or failing to provide sufficient aftercare.

Defining medical malpractice

Doctors and healthcare professionals have a responsibility to uphold a certain standard of care. While they are not automatically liable for any harm experienced by a patient, medical malpractice can occur if the patient’s injury or harm is a direct result of the healthcare provider deviating from the expected standard of care in similar situations.

For instance, if a medical professional fails to adhere to established medical standards, they may be accused of negligence for not providing the appropriate standard of care. It’s important to note that if a patient feels a healthcare provider was negligent but did not suffer any injury or harm, a medical malpractice claim does not apply. The patient must demonstrate that the negligence directly caused an injury.

While most interactions between patients and doctors are positive, medical malpractice cases can arise when negligence leads to harm. Actions taken by medical professionals that should not have been taken and instances where medical professionals fail to act when they should have can give rise to these consequences.