What is Medical Malpractice or Medical Negligence?

by Jeremy A. Gogel

Medical malpractice (also known as medical negligence) occurs when a hospital, doctor, nurse, or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission (failure to act), causes injuries and damage to a patient. The malpractice could be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.  The following information is provided by The Gogel Law Firm, who has a Medical Malpractice Attorney in St. Louis practicing throughout Missouri and Illinois.

While all medical malpractice cases are different, all successful medical malpractice claims share the following characteristics:

  • A violation of the standard of care – It is acknowledged under the law that certain medical standards are acceptable forms of medical treatment under similar circumstances. In other words, if a patient comes to a medical professional with a certain disorder, a certain course of treatment will be followed by all medical professionals.  This is known as the standard of care. A patient has the right to expect that health care professionals will deliver care that is consistent with these standards. If it is determined that the standard of care has not been met, then negligence may be established.  If you believe the standard of care was not followed, consult a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Attorney as soon as possible.
  • An injury was caused by the negligence – In order for a medical malpractice claim to succeed, it is not sufficient that a health care professional simply violate the standard of care. The patient must also prove he or she sustained damage that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not malpractice. The patient must prove that the negligence caused the injury. If there is an injury without negligence or negligence that did not cause an injury, there is no case.  If you have an injury caused by the negligence of a health care professional, consult a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyer as soon as possible.
  • The injury resulted in significant damages – Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely expensive to litigate, frequently requiring testimony of numerous medical experts and hundreds of hours of deposition testimony. For a case to be viable, the patient must show that significant damages resulted from an injury received due to the medical negligence. If the damages are small, the cost of pursuing the case might be greater than the eventual recovery. Some significant damages that our Medical Malpractice Lawyer in St. Louis looks for when determining whether to pursue a medical malpractice case includes permanent disability, loss of income, unusual and prolonged pain, extreme suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills, which could be the result of revisionary surgery.

Examples of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can take many forms, and the following list is far from exhaustive, but some examples of medical negligence that might lead to a lawsuit include:

  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
  • Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Surgical errors or wrong site surgery
  • Improper medication or dosage
  • Poor follow-up or aftercare
  • Premature discharge
  • Disregarding or not taking appropriate patient history
  • Failure to order proper testing
  • Failure to recognize symptoms

If You Suspect You Were The Victim of Medical Malpractice, You Only Have a Limited Time to Act

If you believe that you or a family member may have been a victim of medical malpractice resulting in serious injury, you should an experienced St. Louis Medical Malpractice Attorney as soon as possible.  Missouri and Illinois have short time periods (statutes of limitations) in which to file a case.  Therefore, it is important that you contact a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyer for a consultation immediately.  The Gogel Law Firm’s Medical Malpractice Lawyer in St. Louis does not charge for an initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by talking about your case.

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