What is malpractice?

Malpractice is the professional negligence of a healthcare professional or provider. Malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to take appropriate action, neglects to provide appropriate treatment, or gives substandard treatment that causes injury, harm, or death to their patient.

In most cases, malpractice involves a medical error. This can occur in any part of the healthcare interaction, including diagnosis, health management, medication dosage, treatment, or aftercare.

When malpractice occurs, the medical malpractice laws in astate allows patients to recover compensation from the harms that resulted from the sub-standard treatment. However, the patient must be able to show that the injury caused damaging consequences, such as:

  • enduring hardship
  • suffering
  • disability
  • considerable loss of income
  • constant pain

How does malpractice harm healthcare?

Since malpractice results from a medical error that causes injury, harm, or death to the patient, it can significantly affect a patient’s well-being. This negative impact can be evident not only immediately following treatment, but sometimes it causes lasting injury that alters a patient’s life.

For example, failing to diagnose a disease early enough may result in the disease progressing to a point where it is no longer curable. Or, an error while performing shoulder surgery may result in a disability in the arm that the patient has for the rest of their life.