Medical malpractice is when a doctor or other healthcare professional such as a nurse or technician does or does not do something which causes an injury to you, the patient. The act or failure to act can constitute medical malpractice.
The mistake by medical personnel can take place at any time during your treatment; for instance, if your doctor makes a mistake in diagnosing your condition or you receive improper treatment or medication for your illness.
Of significant importance is what is termed the standard of care, which refers to the generally accepted means used by other healthcare professionals to treat patients in the same or similar circumstances. The standard of care can differ depending on the patient’s age, medical issues, and where they live.
A successful medical malpractice claim will prove your doctor failed to adhere to the accepted standard of care for your medical condition.
Your doctor making a mistake is still insufficient for a claim: you need to be able to prove that their mistake resulted directly in damage to you. Amputating the wrong limb, brain damage caused by an operation, or a medical conditions which was exacerbated by your treatment are classic cases of malpractice. Without harm done to you, there is no case.
Lastly, you will need to prove your injury is tied to the negligence exhibited by the healthcare professional, known as “causation.” This is often the most difficult part of a case to establish, and often involves the expert testimony of another medical professional to explain how the mistake caused your injury and/or how your doctor breached the standard of care.