Tort laws in healthcare sound complicated. In reality, the underlying concepts are easy to understand.
A patient feels a doctor, medical facility, or other healthcare organization provided harmful services. That patient can use tort in healthcare to request compensation for the harms endured.
Tort Law in Healthcare Explained
If you don’t have a background in legal terms, understanding tort laws in healthcare takes a bit of time. But in general, know that a “tort” is a fancy way of saying “malpractice.”
Medical torts are triggered when a healthcare professional or organization causes patient injury. The aggrieved party files a suit and asks for compensation due to the damage.
These are a few of the issues that might trigger a tort in healthcare:
- Diagnosis. A doctor misses a critical point and fails to issue a diagnosis, or the doctor interprets results improperly and misdiagnoses a patient.
- Procedures. The doctor offers a treatment that isn’t needed, or the patient has a surgery performed on the wrong site.
- Care. The patient is forced to leave the facility too quickly, or the patient doesn’t get proper instructions to help prevent complications.
This is a short, non-exhaustive list. In general, tort laws in healthcare are made to help patients fight back when something goes wrong with their care. Almost any complication you can think of could be part of tort law.
4 Legal Elements in Medical Torts
To win a case, the patient must show that the professional or organization was negligent when providing care, and that negligence caused an injury that deserves compensation.
Cases like this rest on four legal elements:
- Duty: The patient must prove the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. That connection requires the doctor to offer adequate care.
- Breach: The patient must prove that the doctor violated that relationship and the duty to provide care.
- Consequence: The patient must prove that the breach caused an injury.
- Damage: The patient must attach an appropriate monetary award to the breach.
In most cases, patients need competent legal representation. These aren’t issues they can win by acting as their own lawyers. And professionals need legal help too.
Assistance With Tort Law in Healthcare
If you’re facing a case like this, it’s critical to have an expert team on your side. You’ll need to gather information, talk coherently in court, and plead your case. Let us help you.
We focus exclusively on healthcare, and our team is ready to help. A consultation starts the process. Contact us to get started today.