If you or someone in your family is unhappy with the care received from a Florida health care practitioner or facility, you might wonder whether you have experienced what could legally be considered medical malpractice. There are certain elements that must be in place for a medical mistake to rise to the level of malpractice.
The performance of a medical professional is measured based on what would constitute a reasonable standard of medical care. This establishes whether or not negligence occurred. The idea behind this is that there are situations in which a physician or other medical professional might make a mistake, such as a delayed diagnosis for a rare disease. However, if the patient did not receive a reasonable standard of care, the actions of the medical professional could be malpractice.
It is also necessary to show that the harm was the result of the negligence and that it was not something that could have been reasonably anticipated. The burden is on the patient to prove negligence, but there are situations in which the very nature of the incident is sufficient. For example, if the patient has a sponge or medical clamp left behind in their body following surgery, this is generally regarded as evidence that negligence occurred.
Other factors may be considered as well. For example, if a patient’s condition was not diagnosed because a physician did not order certain diagnostic tests, the court would look at whether not ordering these tests falls within the expectation of reasonable care.
Malpractice can refer to many different types of errors, including errors in prescribing or giving medication, birth injuries and misdiagnoses. If medical negligence does occur and causes harm, the patient may receive compensation. Most malpractice cases are settled out of court.