What is the definition of medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a doctor or other medical professional breaches the standard of care in administering either the treatment, the procedure, or the diagnosis to a patient. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the hurdle to overcome is there must be a breach in the standard of care.
An extreme, but not realistic example would be where a person goes into a hospital to have an operation on their left foot, and instead, their right foot was operated on. In this example, the standard of care is to operate on the correct body part. When the doctor fails to do that, the doctor has breached the standard of care.
A misdiagnosis can also be considered medical malpractice – if the misdiagnosis breaches the standard of care. The misdiagnosis would have to lead to some traumatic injury suffered by the patient. So, if you see a doctor, and the doctor fails to diagnose that you have a hernia, but the hernia doesn’t cause any significant problems, that is not going to be a successful medical malpractice claim because there’s been no injury due to the misdiagnosis. On the other hand, if the misdiagnosis is failing to diagnose that you have a strangulated hernia and that leads to a pulmonary embolism, that will likely result in a successful medical malpractice claim.
If you have a situation with the birth of a baby, and the physician failed to induce labor quickly enough, resulting in the death of the baby or a baby born with cerebral palsy – that would likely lead to a successful claim against the doctor for breaching the standard of care because the doctor did not induce labor within the standard of care.
When it comes to anesthesia cases, medical malpractice issues may arise if the doctor doesn’t formulate the proper mix of medications for the patient, which can result in serious brain issues or heart issues, leading to a heart attack or death. Also, an anesthesiologist may fail to ask a patient if they’re allergic to anything that may be included in the mix, leading to the death of the patient and therefore, a medical malpractice claim.
What happens when there’s a mix between medical malpractice, which then results in someone being charged with a crime?
Unfortunately, these cases are common and are seen when a doctor examines a patient and then gropes the patient, inappropriately touches the patient or examines a part of the patient’s body that does not need examining. These actions may result in the doctor being charged with aggravated battery.
Another example is seen in the death of Michael Jackson where he was being administered an anesthetic by a doctor, whose actions led to Jackson’s death. The doctor was then charged.
Is it considered medical malpractice if I’m injured by someone who doesn’t have a medical license?
It still is considered medical malpractice. The hospital/practice/medical group that employed a non-licensed doctor would be responsible because they failed to verify their employee was properly licensed. It’s possible the employee previously had a license, which may have been suspended or revoked for any number of reasons, yet the hospital/practice/medical group still allowed them to provide medical services after the suspension or medication. In these instances, the hospital/practice/medical group would be exposed to medical malpractice. For the doctor, they would possibly be exposed to a crime because they are practicing medicine without a license.
Regardless of whether if an individual has a medical license or not, if they are portraying themselves as a doctor, they are exposing themselves to have a medical malpractice claim made litigated against them. The problem in this situation is – you want there to be medical malpractice insurance to pursue. Unfortunately, if there is not an applicable medical malpractice insurance policy, not every doctor has a large, multi-million dollar net worth available to pay a claim.
Also, if an insurance company failed to verify a physician held a valid medical license, yet issued an insurance policy, then tried to get out of that policy of insurance – you might be able to keep the insurance company in the case, saying the insurance company didn’t follow proper protocols to verify who it issued insurance to, had a valid license.
Call the Law Office of Claim Your Justice Today
To learn more about a potential medical malpractice claim and how our law firm can help, please call Claim Your Justice directly. We offer free consultations and can start working on your case immediately. Reach out to us now to get started at 847-434-3555.