“How do I know if my injury is due to medical malpractice?” This is a question we receive often. Our usual response is if you have reason to ask the question, you have reason to explore whether someone is responsible for causing your unanticipated or unexpected harm suffered as a result of the medical care or the lack of medical care you received.
What Is Medical Malpractrice?
“Medical malpractice” is described/defined differently in different states.
In Maryland, the Annotated Code of Maryland, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, Section 3-2A-02(c) states: “In any action for damages filed under this subtitle, the health care provider is not liable for the payment of damages unless it is established that the care given by the health care provider is not in accordance with the standards of practice among members of the same health care profession with similar training and experience situated in the same or similar communities at the time of the alleged act giving rise to the cause of action.” Source
In Florida, 2019 Florida Statutes, Title XLV, Chapter 766, Section 766.102 states: “In any action for recovery of damages based on the death or personal injury of any person in which it is alleged that such death or injury resulted from the negligence of a health care provider as defined in s. 766.202(4), the claimant shall have the burden of proving by the greater weight of evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.” Source
In California, California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 340.5 states: ““Professional negligence” means a negligent act or omission to act by a health care provider in the rendering of professional services, which act or omission is the proximate cause of a personal injury or wrongful death, provided that such services are within the scope of services for which the provider is licensed and which are not within any restriction imposed by the licensing agency or licensed hospital.” Source
How Do I Know If My Injury Is Due To Medical Malpractice?
Rarely will a health care provider admit to an injured patient that medical negligence was the cause of the harm suffered. Some injuries are obvious (e.g., the patient’s right elbow was operated on instead of the left elbow) while other injuries due to medical malpractice may not be obvious (there are known risks and complications from all medical care and treatment and when such risks or complications happen, many negligent health care providers will not tell the patient that medical negligence is the cause of the harm but hide behind the statement that bad things sometimes happen to good people).
Sometimes a subsequent health care provider will advise the patient that the prior provider breached the standard of care and that such negligent care is the cause of the harm for which the subsequent provider is provding treatment. Many times a subsequent provider will be evasive or refuse to discuss prior medical care, even if they suspect or know that medical malpractice harmed the patient. Sometimes a subsequent provider will actually mislead the patient into believing that no one is resposnible for what unexpectedly happened to him.
Medical records (electronic or written) may or may not provide evidence that medical negligence harmed the patient. Patients must understand that their medical records are created by the very same health care providers who may have negligently injured them, and that health care providers may intentionally make false statements in the medical records or may intentionally fail to state facts that support a claim of medical malpractice.
Often the best way to determine if medical malpractice was the cause of your unexpected injuries or the unanticipated harm you suffered is to consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer who may throroughly investigate your potential medical malpractice claim for you, including obtaining all of the relevant medical records and arranging for appropriate medical experts to review the medical records and the circumstances of your situation.
It is often difficult to find medical malpractice attorneys on your own to help you with your claim – not every instance of medical malpractice, no matter how obvious, will result in the victim being compensated for their injuries and losses. Many people who contact us have questions regarding what happened to them or their loved ones, and we attempt to find them appropriate medical malpractice lawyers nearby them so they can have their questions answered. Our service is free to you. We have successfully found lawyers for medical malpractice victims throughout the United States.
Click on the “Contact Us Now” tab to the right, visit our website, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in your local area who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.