A medical malpractice suit is a legal claim filed against a doctor or other medical professional who causes injury to a patient in any of several ways, including:
- Failing to diagnose or treat a condition properly
- By not following standard procedures and practices
- Using defective drugs or equipment
- Administering or prescribe the wrong medication
- Causing an injury during a birth
- Making a surgical error
- Willful and malicious abuse, as in a nursing home
To recover compensation in a medical malpractice suit, it is necessary to prove:
- The physician or medical professional actually had a duty to provide care to the injured person
- The physician failed to provide the care according to accepted standards
- The improper care directly caused the injury to the patient
- The extent and nature of the injury
If the medical professional is found liable, they will have to compensate the victim for the losses. These losses can be economic such as lost wages, or the costs of additional care or treatment or non-economic, such as for pain and suffering. If the injury was caused because the physician injured the patient intentionally, and maliciously, the compensation can also include punitive damages.
Nine out of ten malpractice suits are settled with the doctor’s malpractice insurance company before the case ever goes to court. Each lawsuit, whether it goes to court or is settled, is reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank, which can help uncover repeat offenders.
Related New Jersey Personal Injury Services
Medical Malpractice Cases
Bringing a medical malpractice case is more complex than commonly believed, and is governed by a number of restrictions and guidelines.
A hospital malpractice case may or may not be more difficult to prove than medical malpractice, and it may be a lengthy process.