Not every person is going to be happy with the end result of every medical procedure. Being unhappy with the results is not necessarily going to be the only factor needed to file a medical malpractice claim. Even a negative outcome in the treatment you were administered may not be enough for a medical malpractice claim.
Every type of medical specialty and practice is vulnerable to medical malpractice claims. When these suits are strong and have merit, they often result in large settlements to the victim. This is one of the main reasons why insurance costs for medical professionals are so high.
Medical malpractice claims are some of the most difficult to litigate, some of the most expensive to manage, and some of the longest claims to pursue. For these reasons, it is not always in a victim’s best interest to pursue a claim.
West Virginia medical malpractice attorneys like the legal professionals at Goddard & Wagoner, PLLC have the experience and know-how to examine your claim. We will advise you on your claim’s strength and whether you should move forward with it or not. We care about the victims of medical malpractice in West Virginia. At Goddard & Wagoner, PLLC we know when it is the right move for victims to move forward with the lengthy medical malpractice claims process. Our track record of producing favorable outcomes for victims in the state include negotiating a settlement for $600,000 for a client who was wronged by a hospital chain. Let us explore what constitutes medical malpractice below.
When is a Medical Action Considered Malpractice?
There is one thing that is predominantly important to a medical malpractice claim is the negligent actions or inaction of your medical provider. Every medical provider is expected to provide patients with a specific level of care that is standard under the same circumstances. When this basic standard of care is not provided, often it is due to negligence on the part of the provider. In some cases it is not the result of negligence, but of recklessness. What is the difference between medical negligence and recklessness?
Medical negligence is when the care that is given to a patient does not meet the standard of care required. When the care does not meet the standard of what any other qualified medical professional would do in a similar situation, then it is likely medical malpractice.
There are quite a few scenarios in which negligence can lead to medical malpractice. Some of these situations include:
- Failure to diagnose detrimental conditions
- Not clearly advising about the major risks associated with a therapy or treatment
- Significant errors during surgery and other procedures
Proving negligence is not an easy task. It takes money to hire professionals who are experts in the same field to qualify or disqualify the actions of your medical provider. Both the defendants and the plaintiffs will have these expert witnesses scrutinize every piece and detail of the case. It is important to know that your medical records will be made available.
Recklessness is a different beast than negligence. Recklessness is not as commonly seen but it does happen. Medical recklessness can be both the actions or inactions of a healthcare professional. Some examples include:
- Administering treatment or performing surgery while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Administering toxic or lethal levels of medication in a manner that is contradictory to accepted practices
When is a Case Not Medical Malpractice?
The following cases would not be examples of medical malpractice.
- A patient who does not become better with the course of treatment is not a victim of medical malpractice. Doctors are not miracle workers. When they operate within the standard of care that is expected of them and a patient does not respond by becoming less ill or recovering fully, it is not negligence or recklessness on the doctor’s part. Not every patient will be cured of their illnesses and ailments. As long as the doctor did everything possible the same way any other doctor would to help the patient, it is not malpractice just because the patient does not get better.
- Not every illness or ailment has a treatment, and when a proper diagnosis is made and a sound plan to move forward is implemented, some patients will suffer from legitimately terminal diseases. When there is nothing that medical science can do, a doctor has no means but to inform the family of the unfortunate situation and the options that the patient has to stay comfortable for the duration of his or her life.
Why Medical Malpractice Cases are So Challenging
The practice of medicine is not black and white. What works for the vast majority may be lethal to one person, and what works for one person may not work for the vast majority. There are many variables to consider in every case, and experts can disagree on when certain courses of treatment are appropriate. There must be direct evidence of negligence or recklessness to prove your case, and obtaining that information is not easy.
People get sick, people die, and there are limits to what medical interventions and even the best medical minds can do. But doctors are human, and they make mistakes. When a doctor’s negligent or reckless actions impact the lives of his or her patients, those victims have the legal right to obtain full compensation for their damages. Even though these cases are extremely challenging, that does not mean that a strong case cannot be won.
It is natural to have questions if you believe you have a medical malpractice case. A skilled and experienced Clarksburg medical negligence attorney at Goddard & Wagoner, LLC will be able to better discuss your situation with you and advise you on how to proceed. Call the effective Morgantown medical malpractice attorneys at Goddard & Wagoner, LLC at (304) 584-1430 today to schedule your free consultation at either our Clarksburg or Morgantown offices.