Unfortunately, doctors in the state of North Carolina don’t always uphold their oath to never do harm to a patient. Even in cases of knee surgery, these medical professionals can fall well below the standards of others in their field and provide poor or even bad care. In these situations, it is indeed possible to prove medical malpractice in a court of law.
The components of medical malpractice
Not every medical treatment or surgery that goes bad is medical malpractice. You should understand that every medical intervention into the human body has some level of inherent risk. Instead, medical malpractice occurs when:
- A professional duty between the healthcare giver and patient
- A breach of that professional duty
- Injury resulted from that breach
- Injury resulted in damages for the patient
All four of these elements must be present for malpractice to have occurred. For example, just because a medical treatment failed, does not mean a breach of professional duty occurred. Instead, the care provided must be shown to have been substandard and not in line with the standards upheld by that doctor or nurse’s peers.
When knee replacements are medical malpractice
With all this in mind, you may wonder if your own case qualifies as medical malpractice. If you have had a knee surgery that you feel was botched, this may be the case. The most common form of knee surgery is knee replacement. Signs of a failed knee replacement can include:
- Bone fractures
- Implant instability
- Implant failure
- Lack of joint function
- Joint stiffness
Medical malpractice would have occurred if the surgeon improperly installed the implant. Alternatively, the implant itself may be defective. Keep in mind that such implants are sometimes recalled. If that is the case, you may have a case to make in court.