What is Medical Malpractice?

Portner & Shure Law Firm Serving Maryland, Virginia & Washington D.C.

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Medical Malpractice Is:

  • When a medical professional, for example a doctor, a nurse, dentist, technician, hospital, or other health care provider, causes harm or death to a patient by FAILING to provide SUITABLE care.
  • Generally, the medical “standard of care” is the type and amount of skill and attention that a similarly-trained health care professional, in the same community as the defendant, would have provided the patient
  • Examples include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, nursing home abuse, birth injuries, and prescription errors. Additionally, sub-standard care and failure to perform a necessary function in order to prevent harm to a patient are also examples of medical malpractice.
  • A consent form does NOT release a physician from liability who was NEGLIGENT in performing a medical procedure.

If your doctor deviated from the applicable standard of care in performing a procedure and you were injured as a result, signing a consent does not waive your right to bring a medical malpractice claim..
It is critical to note that an error MAY occur and medical Malpractice is not simply “an error in judgement.”
For example, the procedure may be complex from a medical standpoint, and can come with known risks, and the “error” was simply an offshoot of these risks.
Complications are often not considered as medical malpractice and most of these are contained on the consent form the patient signed before the procedure.
If there were no tangible “damages” from this negligence, there is no ability to file a medical malpractice claim. A quantifiable harm to the patient is required.

There must be a CAUSAL link between the mistake and the MEASURABLE harm inflicted to the patient. This means that if not for the error, the patient would not have experienced a worsening of his or her health.