What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

A male doctor in an operating room, holding his head due to negligence that led to medical malpractice.

A visit to the hospital typically results in relief and recovery. Yet, for an unfortunate few, that is not the case. According to a recent Johns Hopkins University study, medical errors cause 250,000 deaths per year, and countless more injuries. The negligence of a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other health care provider can lead to a patient losing physical ability, financial stability, physical ability or, in the worst cases, their lives. The attorneys at Casey Devoti & Brockland are prepared to help you navigate the basics of medical malpractice cases and help you understand, investigate and prosecute medical negligence cases.

Medical Malpractice Defined 

Medical malpractice cases are largely misunderstood — these cases are not simply those involving a doctor making a mistake. These cases occur when a patient is harmed because a hospital, doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other health care professionals negligently acted or failed to act. Medical errors may happen during multiple stages of care, including diagnosis, treatment, recovery or health management.

To have a viable case, a medical malpractice claim must feature the following general conditions:


  • A violation of the standard of care. There are certain standards that a reasonable medical professional must adhere to in their individual practices. These requirements are known as the standard of care. If a medical professional fails to provide these standards, negligence is established.
  • An injury resulting from negligence. The negligence of the medical professional must have caused or contributed to cause harm, loss or injury to their patient. If there is no injury present or the injury was not caused by negligence, a case cannot be maintained.
  • The injury resulted in significant damages. The cost of the injury must outweigh the costs of litigation. To have a viable case and a willing attorney, victims must present evidence of disability, loss of income, suffering and hardship or medical bills. 


Common Types of Cases

The incidents that constitute medical malpractice can vary widely. Some types of negligence may be difficult to identify, with patients not recognizing the signs for weeks, months or even years. As medical malpractice attorneys, we often see cases such as:

However, some injury cases are often reported to our attorneys despite not meeting all of the necessary criteria. We are skilled at identifying potential issues and investigating the merits of a particular claim or criticism.

Building a Medical Malpractice Case 

To ensure your case is viable, review the above notes, as well as your own personal case information and seek the advice and counsel of a lawyer experienced in investigating, prosecuting and trying medical negligence cases. Cases that meet the legal requirements may be eligible to receive compensatory damages and in some cases, punitive damages. 

When you are ready to take the next step toward justice, the attorneys at Casey Devoti & Brockland are prepared to give you a hand. Together, we can work to gather records, obtain necessary expert testimony and build the strongest possible case for just compensation. To start your case, contact our medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation. 

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