Medical Negligence

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Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is typically an act of carelessness and that does not involve an intent to harm. Negligence in healthcare is the failure to act according to the medical standard of care. It can be determined by finding out if another doctor or physician would have taken the same medical action in that situation.

What is considered Medical Negligence? 

Negligence is found when someone is at fault for cause of injury or illness. The medical standard of care can be defined as the level of care that is reasonable for a skilled healthcare professional to follow through. Negligence by a doctor, physician, or other medical professional occurs when the standard of care is deviated from acceptable. Any act of care in which a doctor has failed to uphold their standard of care can be deemed negligent. Examples of medical negligence include:

  • Failure to diagnose
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Surgical errors
  • Incorrect medication for condition
  • Improper medication dosage
  • Birth injuries

While negligence does not usually translate to intent to harm, the mistakes made by doctors can negatively impact their patients’ lives and potentially cause chronic ailments or even death. 

Penalties for Negligence

 Penalties for medical negligence can range from quite punitive to potentially non-existent depending on the patient or act of negligence committed. If negligence can be proven, the patient or wronged person can file a medical malpractice lawsuit for compensation of the injury or illness. Penalties for medical negligence can include:

  • Medical expenses owed
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain or suffering
  • Impairment, disfigurement, or death

It is important to keep medical records in order to support your case for medical malpractice.

When Negligence is Medical Malpractice

Many victims of medical negligence may not even realize they have a claim and an opportunity to seek compensation for their injuries or illnesses. There are four elements required to make a strong case for medical malpractice:

Duty of care

Doctors and physicians are required to uphold to a certain standard of care for their patients. Patients must properly be informed of any procedure risks, and doctors must take proper precautions and care.


A patient-physician relationship must be proven as part of the case. Doctors and patients can form a relationship; however, this can be overstepped. A patient can be deprived of the level of care they were promised or expected.

Direct causation

Was the injury or illness caused by negligence? For direct causation to be proven, there must be proof that the physician’s actions caused the injury or illness.


Damages include whether a patient has sustained physical, emotional, or financial harm due to the doctor’s actions. For any medical malpractice case, it is helpful that medical records as well as record of patient-doctor communication is presented. 

Negligence in Healthcare

Negligence in healthcare is when a doctor, physician, or medical professional acts in a negligent way. Similar to any other profession, professionals all have a standard or care or service their owe to their client or patients, and negligence occurs when that standard is broken or not met. Medical negligence is opportune for a lawsuit when an injury or illness follows.

Although medical negligence can lead to injury or illness, it does not always. It is important to know when vying for a medical malpractice case, you often need proof of injury or illness to solidify your case. The doctor or physician acting negligently without consequence may not be enough. 

Patient Neglect

Patient abuse or patient neglect is an action or failure to act according to the medical standard of care, causing the patient suffering, harm, or injury. Patient neglect can occur during a procedure by a doctor or physician, or during care of any medical staff.

Contact a Medical Negligence Attorney Today

If you believe that you or a loved one have been subjected to medical negligence, contact the Indianapolis attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers at WKW can help you 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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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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