What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s negligence causes injuries to a patient. Medical malpractice verdicts and settlements hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence and provide relief to patients who have suffered injuries as a result of that negligence. It is reported that 1 in 14 medical malpractice claims payout over one million dollars. Basic elements of medical malpractice include the following:

  1. The patient was owed a duty of care – Medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. That duty of care arises when a medical professional patient relationship is established.
  2. The medical professional was negligent – Negligence occurs when a medical professional breach his or her duty of care to the plaintiff. Generally speaking, the duty of care is based on the level and type of care that a similarly situated medical professional would have provided under the same circumstances. A breach occurs when the level and type of care falls below the accepted medical standard of care.
  3. The medical professional’s negligence caused patient injuries – It must be shown that a medical professional’s negligence was a direct cause of the patient’s injury.
  4. Actual damages – A plaintiff needs to show that he or she suffered actual damages such as loss of wages, pain and suffering, and/or medical bills related to the injury.

Negligent practices in medical care

Medical malpractice is commonly thought of as a doctor making a mistake by performing a procedure, but there are actually a number of different circumstances in which a medical professional’s negligence may cause patient injuries. See below for a further explanation:

  • Health management – A medical professional may be negligent in a patient’s overall health management.
  • Diagnosis – Negligence in diagnosis can occur when a medical professional’s incorrect diagnosis or failure to diagnose causes a patient to receive incorrect treatment, no treatment, or delayed treatment.
  • Treatment – Negligent treatment occurs when a patient’s diagnosis is correct, but the medical professional does not provide proper treatment for the diagnosis.
  • Providing information regarding risks – A medical professional is required to inform patients of risks involved with medical treatments so that a patient can weigh the risks and benefits before deciding whether or not to undergo the treatment.
  • Aftercare – Medical professionals’ duties do not stop once a procedure is complete. Medical professionals are required to follow through with appropriate aftercare to monitor a patient’s response and recovery to the treatment. Aftercare is important for things like making sure patients do not develop infections, that they have completely healed, and that the condition being treated was adequately resolved.

Our firm cares about our clients who have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence and our goal is to see them compensated for their injuries. We have achieved multimillion-dollar recoveries for our clients in many medical malpractice cases including birth injuries and emergency room negligence. If you believe you have been or may have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC to schedule a consultation. Our medical malpractice team has successfully handled medical malpractice cases for 25 years.



    We are highly selective in the cases we undertake to ensure that can give each client his full attention. You can schedule an appointment for a personal injury consultation at our Philadelphia office by calling us, or by filling out our online intake form.