When Is a Medical Error Considered Medical Malpractice?

Most of the medical malpractice claims that are filed in this country are founded upon the legal concept of negligence. Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or other medical professional acts or behaves in a way that deviates from what is accepted medical practice. Preventable medical errors are one of the most common types of medical malpractice incidents that happen. While no one is infallible and anyone can make a mistake, medical professionals are held to a higher standard when it comes to patient care. After all, an error in diagnosing or treating a patient’s medical condition can cause that condition to worsen or result in the patient’s death. If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to speak with one of our skilled Virginia malpractice attorneys.

When Does a Medical Mistake Become Medical Negligence?

It is important to keep in mind that not every medical mistake can be legally deemed medical negligence. In order to understand that concept, it is important to understand the four elements that must be present in a medical malpractice claim:

  1. Duty of care
  2. Breach of duty
  3. Injury to the patient
  4. Damages (economic and/or non-economic) were suffered by the patient

All medical professionals, and medical facilities, have a legal duty to provide patients with reasonably skilled medical treatment. If this duty is breached, then they may be legally negligent. In order to determine negligence, a malpractice attorney must show that the medical professional failed to adhere to the “medical standard of care.” This standard is the quality and type of care that a reasonably skilled medical professional with the same training and experience would have provided the patient under similar circumstances.

If the medical professional failed to adhere to that standard and the patient was injured because of that negligence and suffered losses as a result, then the medical professional has committed medical malpractice. The patient is legally entitled to financial compensation for their medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, permanent disability, and any other losses associated with the negligence.

Contact a Virginia Medical Error Attorney Today

Patients put their faith and trust in the medical professionals that treat them, that they will heal them, not cause harm. Medical errors are preventable, and the damage they cause can change a person’s life forever. If you have been injured because of a medical professional’s negligence or you have lost a loved one due to medical staff mistakes, contact a Virginia medical malpractice attorney to discuss what legal options may be available to you.

At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have been advocating for injured victims for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you and your family the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries and losses you have suffered. Call our office today to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation and find out how our legal team can help.