What Is the Definition of Medical Malpractice? 7 Things to Know

When you’ve experienced a negative outcome to your medical treatment, you might face both financial and health-related consequences. Depending on the situation and what caused the issue, you could hire medical malpractice lawyers in Baltimore and claim compensation. However, you must prove that you had a doctor-patient relationship, that the professional violated their duty of care, and that you are now facing the consequences of the issue.

Malpractice cases are varied, and they include a failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, subpar treatment or surgery results, and being given the wrong medication. However, you might not be able to claim compensation if your condition got worse and it is not the doctor’s fault or if your disease is untreatable. Let’s have a closer look at the types of situations that might warrant a malpractice lawsuit.

What Is the Definition of Medical Malpractice in Baltimore? 7 Things to Know

1. Your Medical Malpractice Lawyers Must Prove Negligence 

To successfully fight for your rights, you will have to prove several things. The first one is that you had a doctor-patient relationship and that the medical professional in question had a duty of care. If you were treated at a hospital, underwent surgery, or had multiple consultations with the same physician, this is usually straightforward. Any records of discussions or appointments can help you prove that you were being treated by the doctor.

Next, you will need to provide evidence that the duty of care was not upheld to the highest standard. Together with experts in the medical field, your lawyer will argue that another doctor with a similar level of training would be expected to achieve a much better outcome. They might also claim that your physician wasn’t focusing properly during your sessions or that they weren’t able to do a good job due to personal issues.

2. Your Attorneys Must Find Evidence of Negative Consequences 

Simply showing that your doctor didn’t treat you well doesn’t constitute a lawsuit because you also have to demonstrate the consequences of their actions. If you weren’t seriously injured and are not currently suffering, financially or physically, as a result of the incident, you won’t be able to make a claim. For this reason, you should keep any medical bills and similar evidence of follow-up treatment.

Most likely, your lawyer will use expert witnesses to help prove that your injuries are a result of the malpractice you experienced. They can testify on your behalf and let the judge know that the negligent actions of the doctor who treated you caused your current problems.

3. Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis Is Considered Malpractice 

Malpractice can take on many forms, and one of them is wrongful diagnosis. Medical professionals are expected to be capable of diagnosing common conditions quickly, so you can get the treatment you need. If they fail to do so, this could seriously harm you and slow down healing. Depending on the condition, it could lead to further deterioration, side effects of being given the wrong medication, and even premature death.

Misdiagnosis is just as bad because it means that you are treated for the wrong condition. For example, your doctor might tell you that you have cancer when this isn’t true. As a result, you will have chemotherapy or even radiation therapy, which can damage your tissues for the rest of your life. A physician who made such a mistake must be held accountable since they should have recognized your true condition from the start.

4. Subpar Results Are Not Allowable

Making mistakes during treatment is another common type of medical malpractice. When you trust your doctor to take care of you, whether it’s for a medical or cosmetic reason, you expect them to do so competently. If they fail, you can receive compensation for your losses. This often happens during surgery, which can occasionally go wrong if the surgeon is distracted or otherwise unable to do their job competently.

After you recover, you may find that your injury hasn’t healed or has even gotten worse. If you had a cosmetic treatment, you might experience scarring or disfigurement that significantly affects the way you look. Getting these issues fixed can be costly and time-consuming, and some can never be reversed completely. Thus, you need to be compensated for the emotional and physical pain caused.

5. Wrong Medication Can Constitute a Malpractice Case

Modern medicine has made an enormous difference to our life expectancy, and it can increase your quality of life significantly. However, it can also be damaging if you are given the wrong drugs. Sometimes, this is the doctor’s fault because they prescribed you medication that wasn’t right for you, but at other times, the pharmacy issuing the prescription made the mistake. 

Your medical malpractice lawyers in Baltimore will help you figure out why you were given the wrong drugs and who should be held responsible. They will also help you prove that you were harmed significantly by the issue and that you are now facing consequences. For instance, you might have to take a higher dose of the correct medication and get additional treatment to make up for the damage done.

6. Lack of Consent Is Illegal

In the past, doctors had all the power and could administer any treatment they thought appropriate. But things have changed, and your physician must get your consent before giving you medication or operating on you. They have to provide you with all the relevant information, including the risk factors of the proposed treatment, so you can give informed consent. 
What’s more, you have to be in a condition to understand and respond to what is being told to you. If this wasn’t the case, you should speak to a lawyer and see whether you have grounds for a lawsuit. They will check that you would have declined the treatment had you been given all the information and that you have been harmed as a result of the bad outcome. 

7. When Is It Not Malpractice? 

As you can see, a variety of cases could constitute malpractice, but it isn’t as straightforward to prove as you might think. The physician you are holding responsible could argue that your condition is untreatable or that it would have worsened even without interference. If this is true, you are unlikely to have a valid case, and you won’t receive any compensation. 

Even if you got worse during a course of treatment, you still have to prove that it was the medication or operation that caused the problem and that you wouldn’t have chosen it had you known the risks. Unfortunate outcomes are not always preventable, and you can only claim damages if your doctor didn’t uphold their duty of care and put your wellbeing at risk unnecessarily.

Learn More

Being hurt or injured by a medical professional is a traumatic experience, especially because it is preventable. You might have grounds for a lawsuit if your doctor failed to diagnose you, misdiagnosed your condition, provided subpar results during treatment or surgery, or administered the wrong medication. You can also claim compensation if you were treated without consenting first. 
Great medical malpractice lawyers in Baltimore will help you figure out whether your situation qualifies as malpractice and how much the case might be worth. Once you’ve attended an initial consultation, you can then decide if you’d like to hire the attorney and work with them to gain maximum compensation. Contact us now at Peter Angelos Law to book your meeting with one of our top malpractice specialists.