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What Is Medical Negligence?

  • Medical negligence is often the basis of medical malpractice claims and lawsuits. It is important to understand what it constitutes. This helps you determine whether you or a loved one have been a victim of such negligence.

    If a medical professional fails to uphold a standard duty of care towards a patient, this qualifies as medical negligence. A doctor, nurse, anesthetist, other medical professionals, the hospital, and hospital administrators may be guilty of this.

    The medical standard of care is the level of care a competent professional would provide under similar circumstances. For instance, suppose a nurse made a mistake in the operation theatre. It would be determined whether another competent nurse with similar qualifications and experience would have made the same mistake.

    Four Elements of Negligence

    In order to establish medical negligence, you need to prove four elements. When all four elements are proven, you have a case of medical negligence. You can then use this proof as a basis for a medical malpractice claim. The four elements of negligence include:

    • Duty of Care – The first step is to prove the negligent party owes you a duty of care. A hospital and all professionals working in it owe you a duty of care when you are a patient at that hospital.
    • Breach of Duty of Care – When the hospital and its personnel fail to uphold the designated duty of care, this is a breach. For instance, a nurse must check your vitals on a regular basis. If the nurse doesn’t do so, this constitutes a breach of the duty of care.
    • Causation – A breach of the duty of care alone is not enough to establish negligence. You must next show the breach directly resulted in injury and the injury would not have occurred without the breach.
    • Damages – Finally, you need to show the complication or consequences from the breach resulted in real damages, such as an injury. If a breach occurred but there was only a minor injury or no real damage, this final element is not proven.

    Examples of Medical Negligence

    Various acts by medical professionals may qualify as medical negligence. Some examples include:

    • Failure to correctly diagnose a patient
    • Discharge of patient before proper treatment
    • Unnecessary surgical procedures
    • Mistakes in prescription, dosage of medication
    • Failure to take note of patient’s symptoms, test results

    Get Help From a Kentucky Medical Malpractice Lawyer

    Medical negligence can cause serious and long-lasting complications. If you or a loved one have been a victim of such negligence, it is important to consult a qualified lawyer.

    Here at Wilt & Thompson, “PLLC” we help you seek full and fair compensation in medical negligence cases. If your medical treatment results in further illness or injury, you have a right to restitution.

    Our medical malpractice lawyer in Kentucky can work with you to file the claim for damages and negotiate the right amount. Call today at 502-253-9110 or visit our website for a free case evaluation.