What Defines Medical Malpractice?

We depend on our medical providers to heal and help us during times of need or illness. And while most in the field are healthcare heroes, sadly, there are instances in which certain decisions or oversights may cause harm to patients. When medical malpractice occurs, it could lead to a serious negligence case against that healthcare professional.

When we consider negligence in medical malpractice, an understanding of the term “negligence” is essential. Negligence is failure to act reasonably or responsibly according to standards, protocols, or circumstances.

Basics of Negligence Law

To prove negligence in medical malpractice, we must be able to show that:

  • The defendant acted negligently.
  • The plaintiff was harmed.
  • The negligence of the defendant was a substantial factor in causing the harm to the plaintiff.

Healthcare providers are to uphold the standard of care. This is the stated level of skill, knowledge, and care required for a given situation. Medical negligence, as defined by the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI), is failure to use the proper level of skill, knowledge, and care or treatment that corresponding healthcare professionals would use in the same or similar circumstances.

The Challenge with Negligence in Medical Malpractice Cases

A claim of medical negligence requires a specific breach of the standard of care. The strong proof needed to show that a healthcare professional did not abide by the standard of care can be challenging to establish.

The first step to file a medical malpractice lawsuit is to contact a law firm like Belgum, Fry & Van Allen that handles these types of cases. Many law firms do not accept medical negligence cases because they are so difficult and expensive to prosecute. Next, your attorney will need to find a healthcare professional with similar qualifications to testify against the negligent healthcare professional. This is another barrier, as we typically find that these professionals do not want to testify against their industry colleagues.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in CA

Our Glendora, California law firm is very transparent with clients who are considering medical malpractice lawsuits. To set clear expectations upfront, we will thoroughly explain the process and potential outcomes before proceeding. If you feel you have been harmed by a healthcare provider’s negligence, contact us to speak with one of our attorneys and learn whether your case potentially qualifies as medical malpractice. We will respond to your inquiry quickly. In the meantime, for more information read our previous article, “Medical Malpractice: The 7 Things You Need to Know Before Filing a Claim.”