Although medical advancements allow people to live longer and healthier lives, medical malpractice continues to have devastating effects for patients. Not only does it affect patients, their friends and families suffer the consequences as well. Recent studies have shown that over 98,000 hospitalized patients die every year in the United States as a result of medical errors.
Medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice, is the failure by a physician to use reasonable care. Reasonable care is the care that a doctor, dentist, advanced practice nurse, specialist or other healthcare provider, who is in a similar practice would use or follow under similar circumstances. Failure to provide care meeting that standard is negligence. In other words, if a healthcare provider makes a mistake in treatment that another competent provider in the community would not have made, he or she may be liable for medical malpractice.
It is important to note that a healthcare provider has not committed malpractice simply because treatment did not work or he or she failed to diagnose a condition. However, healthcare professionals must get the information needed to exercise his or her professional judgment. When a treatment is unsuccessful or a misdiagnosis takes place because a healthcare professional failed to obtain the necessary information, he or she is negligent.
State legislators continue to address issues with medical malpractice. Last month for example, a bill was introduced that would have required the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice to post more information on its website regarding the discipline and malpractice records for physicians who are licensed and practice in Minnesota. However, the legislation met resistance from groups who want to continue to restrict patients’ access to information about medical malpractice settlements. As the proposed legislation develops, it’s important to understand what constitutes medical malpractice.
As evidenced by the recent legislative developments, preventing and remedying medical malpractice continues to be an issue. Our attorneys have handled hundreds of malpractice cases and helped people recover for personal injuries and economic losses resulting from a healthcare professional’s negligence. If you believe you or a loved one has experienced negligent medical care, call or email an experienced malpractice attorney at Hansen Dordell –www.hansendordell.com / 651-482-8900.