When medical errors aren’t malpractice

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When medical errors aren’t malpractice

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

Medical mistakes in Texas can cause devastating injuries. However, not all medical errors are malpractice. Even when a doctor’s mistake does inflict damage, it might not meet the definition of malpractice. The laws surrounding medical errors are complex, and successful complaints require high standards of proof. Here are some situations in which a health care provider’s mistake might not be medical malpractice.

No breach of duty

Doctors must follow proper treatment protocols. If a doctor followed guidelines but the standard treatments were not sufficient, that might not count as malpractice. In rare circumstances, the widely accepted treatment protocol is inadequate. However, that is not necessarily an individual doctor’s fault.

No damages

Even if a medical mistake is severe, it’s probably not malpractice unless it injured the patient. When a patient is perfectly fine despite a doctor’s mistake, you might feel that the doctor still deserves legal consequences because even though things didn’t go badly, they could have. However, the law only intervenes when a medical mistake harms someone.

Inadequate proof of causation

For a successful malpractice lawsuit, you need to make a compelling case that a health care provider’s actions directly caused your injury or illness. This is called proximate cause. Sometimes, this issue is obvious. For instance, if a surgeon leaves a tool inside someone’s body, it might be easy to show that it harmed the patient.

There are trickier circumstances, though. In some cases, it’s difficult or impossible to determine whether a patient’s outcome changed because of a doctor’s mistake.

Most health care providers do good work, but human error is still possible. If you believe medical malpractice caused your injury or illness, you might benefit from consulting a lawyer.