Medical malpractice liability refers to determining which person or parties should be held legally responsible for a patient’s injuries. Medical malpractice can occur when a medical professional fails to diagnose a patient correctly, improperly treats a patient, or treats a patient without the patient’s permission. As a broad general rule, medical professionals may be held liable when they do not show a fair, reasonable, and competent degree of skill when providing medical care to a patient. If a practitioner holds himself out as a specialist, like a surgeon or a urologist, a higher degree of skill is required.
If you or a loved one are injured due to the reckless actions of a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional, you may be eligible for compensation.
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Trying to determine liability in a medical malpractice case can be a difficult task. In many instances, it is not exactly clear who is liable for a patient’s injuries. That’s because medical malpractice liability can often involve more than just one party. In some cases, liability can be split between both a doctor and a nurse whose negligence caused the injury. If one medical professional fails to correct the other, both parties could potentially be held liable. In addition, a hospital or medical facility can sometimes be held liable for malpractice, especially in cases where the overall policy or quality of care is substandard.
A medical malpractice case can move forward even without a mistake from the doctor based upon the legal principle of informed consent. The concept is based on the principle that a physician has a duty to disclose information to a patient so the patient can make a reasonable decision regarding treatment. Informed consent generally requires a patient or responsible party to sign a statement confirming they understand the risks and benefits of the procedure or treatment. When a patient is not informed of a treatment’s potential risks, they could unknowingly undergo a treatment that could leave them in a worse position than before the treatment.
Whether a patient provides their informed consent to a treatment is crucial in determining medical malpractice. If a doctor does not get a patient’s informed consent, and the patient would not have opted for the treatment if they knew about the risks, the patient may be able to sue the doctor for medical malpractice.
You need to be aware that there are some exceptions to informed consent. In a medical emergency, there may not be time for a medical professional to go over all of the risks involved, and the physician must act quickly to save the patient’s life. In those cases, a patient cannot sue for lack of informed consent, even if they would not have opted for the treatment. Additionally, if a doctor knows the patient is so distressed they may refuse necessary treatment, the doctor may not be required to get the patient’s informed consent.
A large number of medical malpractice lawsuits result from the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition, illness, or injury. When a doctor’s wrong diagnosis leads to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, a patient’s condition can be made much worse.
However, a mistake in diagnosis does not necessarily mean medical malpractice occurred. A patient must prove a doctor-patient relationship existed, the doctor was negligent, and the doctor’s negligence caused an injury to the patient. If a misdiagnosis is made, but the patient does not suffer any injuries as a result of the mistake, then it does not rise to the level of medical malpractice.
Not all procedural or surgical errors constitute medical malpractice. For a physician’s error to be considered malpractice, the doctor must fail to follow the appropriate standard of care, and the failure must be the actual and proximate cause of the harm. If the patient is not harmed, the doctor or if the physician maintained the appropriate standard of care even if the patient was injured, they will not be able to recover for medical malpractice. Determining liability in Lexington medical malpractice cases can be difficult without the help of a diligent attorney.
If you believe you or a loved one were harmed due to a negligent health care professional, reach out to a skilled attorney to see if you have a claim. A skilled medical malpractice attorney in your community will investigate the incident and help you hold the physician accountable for your injuries. Let us help prove your case. Call today to learn more about how an attorney can help you move forward with your potential claim.
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