Articles Posted in Professional Malpractice

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Every year there are more deaths across America chalked up to medical errors. This is when a health care professional doesn’t offer the patient quality care, and injuries or death may result.

Medical malpractice/medical errors don’t just happen in the hospital, although this is the association that many people have when they think about this term. In addition, it’s not just physicians that may make the errors. Those who may make an error in medical management include surgeons, dentists, nurses, hospital workers, eye doctors and general practitioners.

If you have questions about the statistics, then make it a point to check out the Journal of the American Medical Association. One of their most notable articles indicates that roughly 12,000 deaths happen yearly thanks to unnecessary surgery. Close to 7,000 fatalities were the result of medication errors in hospital and nearly 20,000 deaths were the end result of other errors in a hospital setting. The dollar amount that goes along with these errors is astronomical.

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Malpractice means so many different things to different people, that the term when used in a legal setting really needs to be expanded upon for the sake of clarity.

The most crucial thing is to be able to distinguish between malpractice and other kinds of negligence. “Generally speaking the term malpractice refers to a set of circumstances when a professional (doctor, lawyer, dentist, accountant, etc.) fails to use the proper level of skill, diligence or care to perform their professional services. In failing to perform properly, this causes harm to patients or customers,” said Stephen Ozcomert, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.

In general, a professional may be sued if s/he fails to perform their “professional” duties using the accepted standard of care, level of learning and skill one should reasonably expect from a person in their particular position. “Or to put this in simpler terms, the professional’s performance is held up in comparison to the performance standards of other professionals in the same field. So, if the level of performance is of a lesser standard than others, that person may be accused of malpractice,” added Ozcomert, who practices Atlanta personal injury law.

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Medical malpractice is most often considered to be a lawsuit filed against a doctor for some form of negligence that caused a patient harm. In reality, there are numerous kinds of malpractice lawsuits.

These days when people read about medical malpractice in the media, they assume that the story will be about a doctor doing something negligently that severely injured or caused the death of someone. Not many people realize that malpractice law includes not only medical malpractice, but legal, dental, accounting, real estate and other types of malpractice.

The difficulty here is in knowing if a professional did act negligently. While it’s true that trying to pinpoint negligence when dealing with a doctor or lawyer, etc., is like trying to capture the wind at times, there are some signs and red flags that will indicate something is amiss.

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Having an operation ranks as number one on a list of things people would rather not do. There is an enormous amount of trust placed in the hands of a surgeon, and one hopes there are no surgical errors.

It’s tough enough to get up the courage to face major surgery without also having to worry if the surgeon is in top form and able to do the job. Unfortunately however, surgical medical malpractice results in approximately 98,000 deaths a year. These statistics, courtesy of the Institute of Medicine, further suggest that total does not include patients who have wound up with life altering injuries due to surgery.

What is surgical medical malpractice? Most commonly it is the result of a surgeon failing to give their patient proper care, and that failure ends up causing serious injuries or death. Typically, this would have to do with a surgeon not adhering to accepted medical standards or not properly utilizing their skills.

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Professional malpractice is generally thought to be when a doctor makes a mistake of some sort, or a hospital doesn’t treat a patient correctly and the consequences are very serious or life threatening. Professional malpractice is more than that and actually covers dentists and lawyers.

The question when dealing with the issue of professional malpractice is how to identify it. In addition to that is determining if what we are seeing, hearing or witnessing is actually negligence. While you may feel what was said or done was not professional and has a result you didn’t like, it may not always be the result of professional malpractice.

When it comes to lawyers, the advice given must be knowingly provided in such a way that it is not in the best interest of the client. The proof is in the pudding – so to speak – and the client must prove there was an attorney client relationship. Then, they must also prove what the attorney did had an adverse effect on them. The key here is that the act would foreseeably cause the client harm.