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Medical Malpractice: Legal Theory and Surgical Practice

Medical negligence is a very serious issue. Patients seek medical attention in the hope of receiving relief or a cure for their illness. There is a specific type of trust that is involved in a doctor-patient relationship that does not exist in any other kind of business dealing. A patient places their life in the actions of their care provider.

Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by the actions of their medical care provider. The actions of that provider must be outside of the standard steps another doctor would have used under the same circumstances to treat or care for a medical condition.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released data in 2019, stating that medical negligence is now the third leading cause of death and injury in the United States. This is an unacceptable figure. While many issues are being addressed to lower this figure, patients must be very cautious about their health care to help prevent medical errors from occurring.


Negligence Is Very Different Than Disappointing Results


It is crucial to understand that disappointing results from your treatment are not medical negligence. Medical procedures, whether surgical or standard care, are not guaranteed to be 100 percent effective. There are not any medications that guarantee 100 percent effectiveness. All medical care comes with risks and potential for failure.

However, if you receive care that is negligent and causes you harm, you could be a victim of medical malpractice. Harm may come in many ways in the medical industry, and it can be hard to define without the assistance of an OKC medical negligence lawyer. If you believe that you have been harmed by the care you received from a medical provider, it is essential to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights to seek compensation.


The Four Steps To Determine Medical Negligence


For your OKC medical negligence lawyer to prove to the court that you have a case, they must be able to establish that the following four conditions have been met.

  1. There was a duty of care present
  2. That duty was breached
  3. An injury was a result of that breach
  4. The injury has caused the patient financial losses


Duty of Care


To establish if there was a duty of care will be very easy for your attorney. All they have to show is that you approached the medical care provider seeking help for a medical condition or illness. So, if you made an appointment with a specific doctor and that doctor is the person who provided you care, there is a duty of care present in the transaction.


Breach of Duty of Care


During the course of your treatment, if the medical care provider acted outside the accepted standards of care for your condition, and you were harmed, a breach occurred. This is the most difficult part of the case to prove.

Your attorney will have other medical professionals review your medical records to determine if the actions of your care provider were within the norms of the standard of care. Sometimes it is very easy to determine this, such as with surgical errors. However, sometimes this can be difficult such as in cases where there was a misdiagnosis.


Injury As A Result of the Breach


The next point that must be shown to the court is that you, as the patient, were injured because of the breach of duty. This is where your attorney will show the court the injury that you received as a result of your care.

Your attorney will have to show that the injury was a direct result of your care and not just a disappointing outcome of your treatment. This often requires the use of medical experts on the treatment you received, as well as the correct outcome you should have had from your care.


Financial Losses As A Result of the Injury


The final thing that your attorney must show is that you suffered financial losses as a result of the injury. This, again, will be easy. If you have had to pay for medical care to correct or treat the injury, and if you have had to miss work as a result of the injury, you have suffered financial losses.

Additionally, there may be other losses that you have endured as a result of your injury. Your attorney will discuss with you these types of losses and types of compensation that may be available to you under state law.

If your attorney can prove these four points, you will have a successful case for medical negligence.


What You Should Do If You Believe You Are A Victim of Medical Negligence


If you believe that you have been injured by your medical care provider, it is critical that you take the following steps to protect your health and your rights to seek compensation.


  • Seek Medical Care. It is imperative that you seek immediate medical care to stabilize your condition. Your health is the most important thing that you have, and you should not wait to get help. State to your new care provider why you are there and what you believe happened to you.
  • Contact a Medical Negligence Attorney. Once your health has been stabilized, you will want to get legal advice about your case. Contact an attorney about what has happened so that they can step in and begin the process of seeking compensation for your losses.
  • Keep an Injury Diary. Track what has happened to you and what the injury has done to your life. Track expenses, medical setbacks and recoveries, and any life-changing issues that have occurred as a result of the injury. This information will be beneficial for your attorney in establishing the seriousness of your case.


The final thing to remember when you have been injured by a medical care provider is that you are helping yourself and others when you seek compensation for your losses. Bringing a medical negligence case against a care provider alerts that provider of their mistakes and hopefully prevents them from being repeated in the future.


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