When you go and see your doctor or other healthcare provider you have trust in them and do not want to think about medical malpractice. But what is medical malpractice and what can you do as a patient to protect yourself from it?
Medical malpractice is when a doctor or other healthcare provider does not provide the care or complete care that they are charged to do. If the lack of care that the doctor provides results in an injury to the patient then they are liable for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Most doctors have insurance that will protect them from these types of lawsuits but they are still damaging to their reputation and their license to practice medicine.
When a patient has suffered from medical malpractice they should see an attorney. In order for the patient to be able to successfully bring a case against the doctor the following four criteria must be met:
The doctor had an obligation to care or provide care to the patient.
The obligation that the doctor provided did not follow the standard of care he must provide.
By not providing the standard of care that is required the doctor caused an injury to the patient.
The patient must claim damages against the doctor – this will be dependant on the injury sustained. A lawyer will assist in determining the damages that should be claimed.
The best way to prevent medical malpractice is to remember that you are in charge of your own health. If you do not trust your doctor or believe that the treatment you are receiving is the best it can be – find another healthcare provider. Trust your instincts. If you are having difficulty finding a quality doctor who is accepting new patients ask your friends or family to get you in with a referral to their doctor.
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