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Is My Doctor Liable If My Medical Procedure Has a Bad Outcome?

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Updated February 20, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |


A bad outcome from a medical procedure may not qualify for medical malpractice. There’s a clear line between a bad outcome and medical malpractice: known and preventable risks and negligence.

What Is a Bad Outcome?

A bad outcome is when—despite even the most exceptional care and effort—a patient’s condition declines or fails to heal properly. For example, patients can get the brunt end of known risks and side effects. There’s no guarantee of a complication-free medical procedure.

Individuals who experience bad outcomes cannot sue for malpractice, as the outcome is due to factors out of a physician’s control.

When Is the Error Considered Medical Malpractice?

The standard of care is questioned in medical malpractice. Doctors who provide treatment that isn’t in line with what other professionals in the field would do in a similar situation can be liable for malpractice.

For example, negligence can be defined as an avoidable mistake or skipping a known, necessary step in the treatment process. Other examples include:

  • Breaking away from standard protocols
  • Failing to diagnose a condition
  • Misdiagnosing a condition
  • Interpreting a chart incorrectly
  • Prescribing the wrong course of treatment or medications

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you build 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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