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Was It Medical Malpractice or a Bad Outcome?

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Was It Medical Malpractice or a Bad Outcome?

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Medical procedures do not always have successful patient outcomes. Sometimes, this is the result of medical errors. As a matter of fact, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. But a bad outcome does not, in itself, mean that medical malpractice happened. Doctors may make the right decisions and put forth their best effort for patients, but this is no guarantee that the patient will actually get better. While a bad outcome is necessary to prove a malpractice case, it is in no way a guarantee that the doctor committed negligence.

So how does a patient with a bad outcome determine whether malpractice is the reason for that outcome?

Did the Doctor Deviate from the Acceptable Medical Standard of Care?

The medical standard of care is usually explained as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice.

To figure out whether a doctor’s work did or did not meet the standard of care, we would first look at the physician’s area of practice. A cardiac surgeon, for example, would be held to a different standard of care compared to that of a general or family practitioner. Your attorney would then compare your doctor’s work to a doctor with similar training and expertise.

Next, we would have to consider whether the outcome was the result of pressing or emergency circumstances. In situations where a patient is unconscious or in serious danger, doctors may have to use their expertise to make quick decisions to save the patient’s life. If a doctor does this and a bad outcome results, attorneys will investigate whether a similar doctor in similar circumstances would have made the same or similar decisions leading to the bad outcome.

Your attorney would then look at whether the medical facility was fully equipped and staffed. Perhaps your doctors did everything right, but because of staffing shortages, you suffered a bad outcome. In cases like this, the hospital itself may be liable for your bad outcome.

If you suffer from injury while receiving medical treatment and you are unsure whether medical malpractice has occurred, speak to a Colorado medical malpractice attorney.

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