What is Medical Malpractice?

Serving New Jersey – Pennsylvania – Nationwide*

According to the Journal of Patient Safety, nearly 450,000 Americans reportedly die each year as a result of preventable medical mistakes. Many of these cases go unreported with victims unaware that they are victims or that they have any legal recourse. So, what exactly is medical malpractice?

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpracticeis the term used to describe the legal action against a medical professional whose conduct has been alleged to be negligent.

The patient or person bringing the action is called the plaintiff. The medical professional being sued is referred to as the defendant. The medical professional’s conduct is measured by comparing his or her performance to the “standard of care”. The standard of care is typically defined as that level of competence that would be expected of a physician of average skill and ability practicing within the same specialty as the defendant.

If the defendant physician does something the average practitioner in the same field of medicine would not have done, or if the defendant physician fails to do something the average practitioner in the same field of medicine would have done, that physician is said to have deviated from the standard of care, i.e., acted negligently.

In addition to proving negligence the plaintiff must also prove that some damage occurred as a result of the negligence, or that the negligence significantly increased the risk of the patient suffering the harm which then occurred.

Learn more about frequently asked questions related to medical malpractice lawsuits.

*The firm handles cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For cases outside those states, New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers Weiss & Paarz work with local attorneys in the state where the medical care took place, at no additional cost to the client.