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Medical error vs. medical malpractice

Throughout our lives, most of us will have appointments with a number of medical professionals to treat health concerns. Because physicians, nurses, and pharmacists in California, and around the world, are human, they will make mistakes sometimes, and your medical procedures may not go as planned. However, if an error occurs in the doctor’s office, this could have a negative impact on your health.

These are a few of the reasons you could take legal action against an individual or medical facility if something goes wrong while you are receiving medical treatment.

Defining Negligence

Negligence only takes place when a medical facility or professional is dutifully obligated to provide medical care to you. Harm is not necessarily the result of negligence, but if a doctor or medical professional was negligent, you can file a malpractice claim.

Generally, negligence occurs when a medical organization or professional engages in actions that are not in the normal scope of practice. This could be a minor surgical error with no harmful repercussions or a severe mistake that affects you long-term or permanently.

Defining Malpractice

Malpractice happens when a patient sustains an injury due to the negligence of a medical professional or facility. This could include worsening of a medical condition, physical complications, or a requirement for additional treatment that would not have been necessary otherwise. In order to file a medical malpractice claim, both negligence and injury would have to take place.

Examples of medical malpractice can include a surgical error such as leaving implements and tool inside the body that causes damage during or after an operation. A misdiagnosis that leads a patient to undergo unnecessary medical treatment or procedures is also classified as medical malpractice. A common example of this is a cancer misdiagnosis which leads to damaging treatments that the patient doesn’t need.

Speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer with experience in medical malpractice cases to determine if you have a case and are entitled to compensation.