Medical malpractice in the United States(cited from wiki)
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. Claims of medical malpractice, when pursued in US courts, processed as civil torts. Sometimes an act of medical malpractice will also constitute a criminal act, as in the case of the death of Michael Jackson.
Medical professionals may obtain professional liability insurances to offset the costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.
Elements of the case
A plaintiff must establish all five elements of the tort of negligence for a successful medical malpractice claim.
1.A duty was owed: a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient.
2,A duty was breached: the provider failed to conform to the relevant standard care.
3.The breach caused an injury: The breach of duty was a direct cause and the proximate cause of the injury.
4.Deviation from the accepted standard: It must be shown that the practitioner was acting in a manner which was contrary to the generally accepted standard in his/her profession.Further establishment of conditions of intention or malice where applicable.
5.Damage: Without damage (losses which may be pecuniary or emotional), there is no basis for a claim, regardless of whether the medical provider was negligent. Likewise, damage can occur without negligence, for example, when someone dies from a fatal disease.