Whether you're going for a checkup or having surgery, you trust your doctor will take care of you. While they can't always offer a complete cure, they should always do everything in their power to improve your situation. Unfortunately, in some cases, doctors make mistakes or choices that end up doing more harm than good. Both medical malpractice and medical negligence can result in damages that give you the right to pursue compensation, so learn more below if you're in this situation.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
As a medical provider, your doctor, specialist, or nurse practitioner owes you a duty of care. In other words, they're expected to use their best judgment and knowledge to ensure your safety and well-being. If they do something on purpose to breach that duty, such as using tools they know haven't been sanitized, they could be charged with medical malpractice. In some cases, this may also include a purposeful inaction. For example, if the doctor knows you should receive a cast but doesn't have the time to prepare one, they shouldn't just let you leave the office with a sling.
What Is Medical Negligence?
While malpractice is associated with intent, negligence involves a mistake on the part of medical provider. For example, if the doctor accidentally operates on the left leg instead of the right, they could be charged with medical negligence. This is a lesser charge, as the doctor must prove they didn't knowingly commit the action.
What Are the Potential Damages?
Three main types of damages can result from these cases. General damages refer to subjective matters, such as the patient's pain and suffering, their decreased potential to earn money, and the degree to which their "enjoyment of life" has been affected. Special damages consist of the medical expenses required to correct the doctor's wrongs, and the money the patient would have earned had they still been able to work. In medical malpractice cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to fine the doctor for carrying out an action they knew might be harmful.
If you believe you have a medical malpractice or negligence case, reach out to Stine & Associates, P.C. in Greensburg, PA. Attorney Cindy Stine has over 20 years of experience in a wide range of practice areas, so whether you’re dealing with a personal injury case or applying for Social Security disability benefits, she’ll help you navigate the process. To learn more about her services, visit her website. To schedule a free consultation, call (724) 837-0160 today.