5 FAQs Medical Accident Lawyers Hear When Discussing Medical Malpractice

Medical care is a necessary part of everyday life. Doctors prescribe medications for hundreds of ailments and perform life-saving surgeries every day. Unfortunately, for some, the medical care they received resulted in further injury or even wrongful death in some extreme cases.

At Westmoreland Injury Lawyers, we have years of experience helping clients navigate the legal process of a medical malpractice case. It is frustrating enough to have a new or exacerbated injury, but trying to heal while dealing with legal matters does not have to be overwhelming. If you have questions about your experience with a physician, our medical accident lawyers may have answers for you.

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Why Is Medical Malpractice Handled as a Civil and Not a Criminal Case?

Medical problems can disrupt your life and leave you feeling overwhelmed and helpless, and dealing with a medical malpractice case on top of trying to heal can be difficult. Medical malpractice is any type of negligence that directly endangers the health or safety of the patient. More medical malpractice cases happen each day than you might realize, and data collected by Johns Hopkins University suggests that more than 250,000 people die each year from medical errors and negligence. This number makes medical malpractice the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Our legal professionals at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers understand how stressful it is to handle a medical malpractice problem while you are recovering. Let our experienced lawyers help with your case so you can get the justice you deserve.

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Why “Standard of Care” is Important to Your Medical Malpractice Case

As we have often discussed in our Westmoreland Injury Lawyers blog articles, there are many variables in medical treatment scenarios that can lead to patients experiencing severe bodily harm. Medical malpractice is the legal term used to describe these situations when a healthcare provider makes an avoidable mistake or acts negligently, resulting in injury or illness of their patient.

Proving medical malpractice, though, can be complicated. Among other factors, your attorney must show that your physician or other healthcare provider deviated from something called the “standard of care.” Today’s post explains a little bit more about what that means in medical malpractice cases.

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What is Tort Law?

Tort law is the part of civil law that deals with acts or omissions that violate general social duties and cause harm—such an act or omission is called a “tort,” from words in French and Latin that mean a “wrong” or something “twisted” and unjust. In other words, if someone has wronged you, tort law might be the way to right that wrong.

But that’s a heavy definition, so let’s break it down a little bit.

You probably know you’ve been wronged because you’ve suffered some kind of harm. We usually think of physical injuries, but harm could also mean damage to or loss of property.

When someone wrongs you by not honoring an agreement you have with them, that would generally be a question for contract law, not tort law. Instead, tort law deals with actions or omissions that are wrong because society has generally decided we all have certain duties of how to treat each other even if we haven’t specifically agreed to those rules in a contract. For example, we all have duties not to punch people, steal things, or drive dangerously and cause car accidents. And notice that we usually say “acts or omissions,” because sometimes people do things they should not do, and sometimes they fail to do things they should do.

So tort law differs from contract law on the one hand, but it also differs from criminal law. If someone punches you, steals your property, or drives recklessly, they might be committing both a tort and a crime. But criminal law is about the government holding people accountable for committing wrongs against the public order, which harms society in general. The purpose of tort law is to right wrongs between private parties, mainly by making the wrongdoer compensate the victim of the tort for the injuries and other harm they suffered. The fact that it’s about disputes between private parties (individuals, but also businesses or organizations, or even the government in certain situations, such as poor road design) is what makes it part of “civil law.”

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Things You Must Know About Medical Malpractice

Your Complete Guide to Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer – CHAPTER 3

Doctors take an oath to “do no harm.” Unfortunately, many things can go awry in medical settings that lead to patients experiencing just that—serious harm—after a healthcare provider makes an avoidable mistake or acts negligently.

Medical malpractice is the official term used to describe situations in which patients suffer significant injuries or even untimely death due to professional negligence and improper treatment from medical staff. We trust these individuals to help, not hurt, but malpractice happens more often than many people realize. This is why personal injury lawyers are so needed—especially as healthcare systems continue to consolidate and form powerful entities who will do whatever it takes to protect themselves.

Today’s post in our ongoing series offers valuable information that patients need to know about medical injuries and their rights. Hopefully, you and your loved ones are never victims of medical malpractice, but knowing what qualifies—and how to get help—can make a real difference in whether justice is served under difficult and often painful circumstances.

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