Generally, there are no guarantees of medical results. An unanticipated or unsuccessful result from medical treatment or surgery does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice has been committed.
Instead, medical malpractice occurs when a negligent act or omission by a doctor or another medical professional results in damage or harm to a patient. When this happens, the patient or the patient’s surviving relatives may have a medical malpractice claim.
Doctors, Hospitals and Others May Commit Medical Malpractice
Negligence by a medical professional could include an error in a diagnosis, treatment or illness management. If such negligence results in injury to a patient, a lawsuit may be brought against:
- A doctor, nurse, or technician if that person’s actions deviated from generally accepted standards of practice.
- A hospital for improper care, such as problems with medications, sanitation, or staffing, for example.
- Local, state, or federal agencies that operate hospital facilities.
In a case where a hospital employee commits malpractice, the hospital itself may be held liable under the legal doctrine of “respondeat superior.” Under this theory, an employer may be held liable for the negligent acts of its employee if the employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment when the negligent act or omission occurred. This doctrine is important to plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases because it helps ensure there will be a financially responsible party to compensate an injured plaintiff.
Medical Malpractice Cases Are Complex
Medical malpractice laws are designed to protect patients’ rights to pursue compensation if they are injured as a result of negligence. However, malpractice suits are often complex and costly to win. While theoretically, you can seek compensation for any injury caused by negligence, regardless of its seriousness, time and money make it unrealistic to sue for an injury that is minor or heals quickly.
Therefore, if you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, then it is important to consult with an attorney who can help you determine whether your claim is worth pursuing. Our experienced legal team would be happy to provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation in either our Chelsea or Salem, Massachusetts office. We will review your case and explain the pros and cons of filing a potential lawsuit with you. Please contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule your initial meeting.