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What Does Not Qualify as a Medical Malpractice Case?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can occur for a myriad of reasons. However, a worsening condition or a procedure gone wrong does not always equate to a legitimate medical malpractice claim. Here, the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys with Peter Angelos Law further explain what does– and doesn’t– constitute as a medical malpractice claim.

What Does Qualify as Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes harm or injury to a patient through a negligent act or omission. This can be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management. To be considered a medical malpractice case, the claim must have the following characteristics:

  • A doctor-patient relationship:

    The doctor that the patient is bringing the claim against was the one giving the treatment in question. This is often proved through medical records. This relationship establishes a “standard of care”, which is the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional with a similar background and in the same medical community would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice.

  • Breach of standard duty of care:

    In order for a claim to be classified as medical malpractice, the doctor must have acted negligently, therefore breaching the standard duty of care. Proving this often requires a medical expert to discuss the appropriate medical standard of care for the procedure or illness in question.

  • Injury or harm as a result of the breach:

    In addition to proving that the doctor failed to uphold their standard duty of care, it also must be proven that the injuries or harm sustained resulted directly from this negligence.

  • Resulting damages:

    A victim must prove that they suffered as a result from the injury or harm. Examples of damages can include physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, and lost work or earning capacity.

If any of those elements do not exist, there may not be a medical malpractice claim at hand.

Scenarios That Don’t Constitute as Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is a very nuanced pillar of negligence claim. Here are examples of several scenarios that don’t always amount to a medical malpractice claim:

A patient’s condition worsens

A patient’s condition becoming more severe does not always mean a doctor has committed medical malpractice. Some illnesses are incurable or do not have successful treatment options. Even when a condition is treatable, there is no guarantee that every patient will respond to treatment in every situation. As long as the medical professional acts with reasonable skill in choosing and carrying out the treatment, typically no medical malpractice can be said to have occurred– even when a patient’s condition worsens, sometimes unexpectedly.

A patient’s condition is untreatable

Because not all illnesses and conditions are treatable, medical malpractice does not always extend to terminal illness. As long as the doctor made an accurate diagnosis and sound decisions regarding treatment, a medical malpractice claim cannot be made simply because a patient has an untreatable or terminal illness.

A patient doesn’t like the outcome of elective surgery

Unfavorable outcomes of elective surgeries, such as cosmetic surgeries, don’t always constitute medical malpractice. Proving medical malpractice in regards to cosmetic procedures can be complicated, but a patient not being satisfied with the end result does not mean that a doctor acted negligently.

Consult with an Experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice is a very intricate entity. It is important to seek legal counsel if you think you may have a medical malpractice case. An experienced attorney can offer guidance on what is– or isn’t– medical malpractice case and help you get the compensation you deserve. To speak with our team of medical malpractice attorneys, fill out the form below.