When it comes to medical malpractice cases, injured patients have the burden of proving how a medical professional’s negligence more likely than not led to their preventable injuries. While medical negligence can take numerous forms, it is generally defined by law as a health care provider’s failure to administer treatment in accordance to accepted medical standards – which means that any reasonable and skillful medical professional under the same or similar circumstances would have acted differently to avoid harm.
As this legal definition makes clear, what constitutes medical negligence can sometimes be a matter open to argument. Were there medically acceptable reasons why a doctor failed to make a diagnosis of a patient’s condition? Could a doctor reasonably have foreseen complications experienced by a specific patient? The answers to these questions can vary from case to case, which is why it is often difficult for injured patients to understand when their medical professional’s care amounted to negligence, and whether they have a viable medical malpractice claim. However, there are some types of medical errors that always constitute malpractice. These are known as “never events.”