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Medical malpractice overview


When patients suffer as the result of a mistake made by a medical provider they have the legal right to hold that provider responsible. When a patient holds a medical provider responsible that person often files a medical malpractice claim. Many times medical malpractice claims result from surgical errors. These errors can often result in a patient's worsened condition or even death.

Physicians have the responsibility to make sure they provide the best care to their patients. When a physician gives substandard care and the patient is injured the patient has legal rights. Surgical errors are one of the most common causes of a medical malpractice lawsuit and affect thousands of patients each year in the U.S.

When patients receive care that they believe is substandard they can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Typically in that lawsuit another physician reviews what happened with the medical care and offers their expert opinion on whether the original provider deviated from the acceptable standard of care. Patients often choose mediation instead of a trial -- or traditional litigation -- because it can often be less costly.

If patients receives compensation for their injury these damages come in two types. The first type is compensatory which can include medical expenses, future medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering and similar expenses. The second type is punitive damages which a patient can receive for intentional reckless treatment.

It is important for patients to receive the best and safest care possible. Holding medical providers responsible for their negligence is important in making sure they don't harm anyone else.

Source: WRVO, "Medical malpractice lawsuits a concern for both patients, doctors," April 19, 2015

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