Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, hospital, pharmacist, nurse, or other health professional injures a patient by acting negligently. This negligence can occur in a variety of different ways, including improper treatment, misdiagnosis, lack of follow-up, or surgical mistake. Medical malpractice causes more than 250,000 deaths per year and is the third largest cause of death in the United States.
There are two elements which must be proven in any medical malpractice case:
1. The health care professional or hospital must have breached the standard of care (negligence) that is generally accepted by other doctors or health care professionals under the same kind of circumstances; and
2. The patient must have suffered an injury or death as a direct result of the healthcare providers’ breach of the standard of care.