Medical Malpractice is an act or omission by a health care professional in which treatment fails to satisfy the standard of practice in the medical community and causes death or injury to the victim. Van Norman Law deals with medical malpractice cases regularly, and have had success securing victims the compensation they deserve for medical negligence.
Qualifications for a Medical Malpractice Claim
A plaintiff must satisfy five elements in order to put forth a successful medical malpractice claim. First, a duty must be owed. Hospitals and medical professionals assume a duty to provide adequate care to the patient when the patient procures their services. This duty must be breached, and the breach of said duty must cause an injury. Also, it must be shown that the medical professional deviated from the accepted standard of care. A surgeon failing to sterilize a scalpel before an incision would satisfy a deviation from the accepted standard of care. Lastly, some type of damage must result from the deviation from the accepted standard. If the unsterilized scalpel caused a bacterial infection in the patient, then that patient or his/her loved ones may be able to bring a claim for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice laws vary from state to state. In California the state aims to protect hospitals and doctors by placing a ceiling of $250,000 on plaintiffs seeking non-economic damages. Non-economic damages meaning costs not associated with the medical bills, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. There is no ceiling in Arizona. Six figure medical compensation claims are common, and actually quite frequent. The median medical liability claim is somewhere between $100,000 to $195,000. Advocates of medical malpractice reform argue that malpractice claims drive up the overhead costs of doctors, and put many professionals out of business. But these proponents of reform underestimate the frequency at which medical duties are breached by professionals. Estimates suggest about a million breaches of medical duties are successfully tried every year, and about 100,000 people die every year as a result of medical errors.