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Professional Misconduct Means Malpractice

Often we read stories in local papers about professional misconduct of a person in an organization or group. We shake our heads and wonder about what motivates people to do such mindless things. Often people don’t relate professional misconduct with its other term, malpractice.

Professional misconduct is best shown by an example of a doctor treating a man for an infection by giving him antibiotics that are not suited for that particular bacteria, and the patient dies. Although the doctor intended to treat the person, s/he killed him as a direct consequence of professional misconduct/malpractice.

Put another way, malpractice is about the behavior of a professional (doctor, dentist, chiropractor, nurse; accountant or auditor) doing something that doesn’t live up to the standards of his or her profession. That “something” usually results in harm to patients or clients. That “something” also may be due to an omission, negligence, intentional fault, or ignorance of information the person should have known.

Don’t get the wrong idea that exercising professional judgment itself is considered to be malpractice. To prove malpractice, there needs to be testimony from an expert about the acceptable standard of care in the circumstances alleged to be malpractice. The testimony needs to also state the professional was not able to reach that standard. Of course the defendant will call their own expert witnesses to rebut the plaintiff’s witnesses.

In some states there must be a written demand/notice that gives the professional organization a chance to settle before a lawsuit is filed. Understand that malpractice suits are the most difficult to deal with, since often the reason for the lawsuit in the first place is that the client didn’t like what they got for results. This has little to do with malpractice and a lot to do with miscommunication.

Individuals who feel they’re a victim of professional misconduct/malpractice should seek legal representation to assess whether or not they have a viable case.

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The law offices of Stephen M. Ozcomert specialize in personal injury, accidents, and malpractice law in Atlanta Georgia.

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