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What Is (Probably) Not Medical Malpractice

Updated February 23, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

Medical malpractice laws are in place to legally protect patients who have been harmed by the negligence of healthcare professionals. But, although there are many different types of medical malpractice, not everything bad that happens in a medical setting falls under this legal category.

Four Times You (Probably) Don’t Have a Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice litigation is confusing, and determining whether you have a case can be difficult. In these situations, you most likely wouldn’t have a medical malpractice case.

Worsening Patient Condition

A patient condition can worsen regardless of the actions of healthcare professionals. Doctors may not be able to treat or cure a condition—even if it is considered to be treatable. If the patient’s condition worsens, but the healthcare professional met the acceptable standards of care, then medical malpractice is typically not applicable.

Rude or Rushed Healthcare Professional

A poor bedside manner is an undeniably negative quality in a healthcare professional. Your doctor should communicate effectively with you by answering your questions, explaining your options, and spending time with you. However, a healthcare professional acting rushed or being rude does not qualify as a medical malpractice claim.

Untreatable Patient Condition

Not all health conditions and illnesses are treatable. Even if a doctor correctly diagnoses a problem and uses their professional judgment when determining how to proceed with care, the patient may be untreatable or curable. On its own, an untreatable patient condition is not considered to be medical malpractice.

Adverse or Bad Outcome

Sometimes, patients experience adverse or bad outcomes, but not every outcome that negatively impacts the health condition of a patient falls under medical malpractice. A doctor may closely follow standard procedure and make good decisions, but injuries, adverse events, or other medical outcomes can still occur. Tragic cases do not automatically amount to negligence.

When You (Possibly) Have a Medical Malpractice Case

In general, medical malpractice lawsuits require you and your legal team to prove four things:

  • You have an established doctor-patient relationship with the healthcare professional in question
  • The healthcare professional breached the applicable standard of care
  • You were injured
  • Your injury was directly caused by the healthcare professional failing to meet the standard of care

If you can show that your situation meets these conditions, you might be able to pursue a medical malpractice case.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Proving that you have experienced medical malpractice can be challenging, which is why you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side.

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family get 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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