Updated September 1, 2019
Medical malpractice refers to negligent treatment of a patient by a healthcare provider, such as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital. Litigation surrounding this issue is complicated, and it can be difficult to know when you have a case. Additionally, the burden of proof is on you to show that your healthcare provider was negligent.
So, with the complexities surrounding medical malpractice, how do you know if your experience will hold up as negligence in court?
Some situations may seem like they could be considered medical malpractice at first glance, but that is not always the case. Medical malpractice is not applicable for the following examples.
You cannot recover financial damages as compensation for something that did not happen. If a healthcare provider either does or fails to do something that you believe could have led to your death, you can not recover money for the possibility of death.
In other words, “I could have been killed” does not constitute medical malpractice. You can only recover compensation for actual harms, not near misses.
Doctors or other medical professionals with bad bedside manners give you a bad impression of their abilities. However, you cannot sue a healthcare provider or institution for bad bedside manners, rudeness, or unprofessionalism—unless, of course, those bad manners are a breach of the standard of care and can be shown to have caused harm.
Consider reporting bad bedside manners to the hospital.
A frequent complaint is that the doctors and nurses taking care of your loved one didn’t inform you of what was going on the whole time. The behavior may be frustrating, but the failure on the part of a healthcare provider to keep your informed of your family member’s condition or planned procedures is not a basis for action.
If the healthcare provider fails to adequately inform a patient—or, if necessary, another decision maker such as a minor’s parent or guardian or a person exercising medical power of attorney for a patient—it can be considered medical malpractice. However, the physicians have no duty to keep everyone informed of what is happening with the patient. In fact, they have a duty to not disclose information unless they have explicit permission from the patient to do so.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, or if you are unsure whether your case is valid, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you understand your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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