Medical Malpractice Law
The laws governing medical malpractice vary from state to state. These highly regulated procedures detail many aspects of the process, including the following:
- Whether notice of the malpractice claim must be given to the doctor before filing;
- Whether the claim must be submitted to a malpractice review panel before it may be filed in court;
- How quickly a medical malpractice claim must be filed;
- Determining the necessary qualifications for an expert medical witness, for the purposes of testifying; and
- Setting statutory caps on the compensation that may be awarded.
Although medical negligence is generally attributed to the professionals responsible for a patient’s diagnosis, medical care and/or treatment, managed care organizations, medical corporations, clinics and hospitals may also be sued for the actions of their employees.
As with all personal injury claims, proof of negligence is essential. The tort of negligence contains four elements which must all be proven to attain this finding. They are as follows: (1) There was a duty of care owed; (2) The medical care professional violated the standard of care required, which demonstrated negligence; (3) This negligence by the professional caused the harm/injury; and (4) There were compensable damages as a direct result of the harm/injury suffered . Because there is a doctor-patient relationship, the first element is generally already established in these types of claims. For the second element, if there isn’t an obvious and glaring mistake, expert witness testimony is usually implemented to prove the negligent actions or behavior. The plaintiff is the party bringing the action and he/she bears the burden of proving these elements in his/her claim against the medical care provider, the defendant.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are the subject of much controversy. Healthcare providers and managed care businesses have advocated for legal reforms meant to eliminate big money awards for damages, claiming that defending against the large number of lawsuits and the exorbitant awards have resulted in higher healthcare costs. In several states, this aggressive support for these measures has led to various tort reform legislature limiting the amount of damages that may be awarded to a plaintiff for non-economic losses; this refers to damages for things like loss of vision, loss of a limb and pain and suffering. Personal injury attorney fees and compensation have been capped in many jurisdictions as well.
On the other side of the fence, personal injury lawyers and other proponents argue that these lawsuit money awards are a mere drop in the bucket when compared to total healthcare expenditures. They further claim that tort reform gives free reign to the medical profession, removing avenues for victims of negligence to pursue when they have been injured and leaving no means of policing the medical profession. Visit Us at Google+ Copyright HG.org
Medical Malpractice - US
- ABA - Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a professional health care provider—a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital or hospital worker—whose performance of duties departs from a standard of practice of those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient or patients.
- Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
- Medical Liability Reform (ATRA)
The lottery-like aspect of civil liability is nowhere more evident than in medical liability. Very few acts of medical negligence result in patient claims and that very few paid claims actually involve medical negligence. The traditional system no longer works. These non-notorious inequities and inefficiencies of the medical liability system negatively affect the cost and quality of health care as well as access to adequate health care. More important, the practice of "defensive medicine" as a means of reducing or avoiding tort liability is a major contributor to health care cost.
- Medical Malpractice - Defintion
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries. Medical professionals are required to maintain professional liability insurance to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.
- Medical Malpractice Insurance
Medical malpractice insurance covers doctors and other professionals in the medical field for liability claims arising from their treatment of patients. The mission of the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) is to improve public understanding of insurance - what it does and how it works. For more than 40 years, the I.I.I. has provided definitive insurance information. Today, the I.I.I. is recognized by the media, governments, regulatory organizations, universities and the public as a primary source of information, analysis and referral concerning insurance.
- Medical Malpractice Law
Local statutes must be consulted for restrictions that apply to actions against health care providers. Many states have enacted special medical malpractice statutes as a response to what some contend is another "medical malpractice crisis," said to have been brought about by an increase in the number of medical malpractice actions, substantial jury awards, and a resulting increase in liability insurance rates for health care providers. The requirements of these statutes must be satisfied before a medical malpractice plaintiff can get his or her claim before a jury.
State Boards of Medical Examiners and Licensure
Organizations Related to Medical Malpractice Law
- American Medical Association
Our mission at the American Medical Association is to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.
- Medical Justice
Each year many groundless medical malpractice suits are initiated against health care providers. Physicians are pressured to settle frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits in order to minimize their financial risk. Damaging physician's reputations. Creating undue stress. And greatly increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums. The legal system leaves physicians vulnerable to frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits filed by unethical plaintiffs, attorneys, and "expert" witnesses.
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