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Is it malpractice when a patient has a poor outcome?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2022 | Professional Malpractice |

Medical malpractice cases are a very complicated sort of professional malpractice because there is so much at stake. A patient’s very livelihood can change forever, and some of these cases can even be fatal. The ramifications are just so serious that every aspect of this type of case has to be considered carefully.

In some cases, patients may believe that any poor outcome constitutes medical malpractice. They went to the doctor to get treatment and to heal, and that has not been achieved. They feel as if they have paid for a service that wasn’t rendered, and they assume that this is malpractice. But is that true?

Poor outcomes will happen, so the key is negligence

Unfortunately, there is always the chance of a poor outcome in medical cases. A doctor could attempt surgery to remove a tumor, for instance, but the cancer could later return. The patient may feel that they didn’t get the outcome they wanted – they wanted to be cancer-free – but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the doctor did anything wrong. There’s no way for medical professionals to guarantee the success of every single case they take on.

That’s why the factor that actually determines if it was malpractice or not is often negligence. Did the doctor make a mistake? Did that mistake lead to a poor result when the correct treatment would have led to a positive outcome? It’s not just about the poor outcome itself, but what led to that outcome. That’s what determines if there is any fault in the case.

Both patients and medical professionals who are involved in these cases must understand all of their legal options and exactly what needs to be proven in this type of case.