When a doctor and/or other medical professional(s) harm a patient by intention or error it is called a medical malpractice as they have failed to comply with their medical duties. Each state has different rules about medical malpractice. Some need you to inform the doctor ahead of time, some not. Whereas some states have regulations when the case should be filed.
There are certain general principles and broad categories of rules applying to most medical malpractice cases. Firstly you need to take into account that many varied situations can lead to a medical malpractice claim. For instance, wrong over the counter medicine, doctor advising incorrect medicines, doctor leaving a sponge in a patient’s stomach during an operation, incorrect diagnosis of the illness, etc.
When you take an overview you realize most medical malpractice claims fall into three main categories, failure to diagnose the correct illness, improper treatment of the illness and failure to warn the patient about the risks involved in the medication or the treatment.
The complainant will need to prove that in a similar situation a competent doctor would have been able to diagnose the patient leading to better outcome. The patient can also have a medical malpractice claim when they can prove that the treatment was improper and/ or if it was correct it was administered poorly by the mentioned doctor. In a similar situation, a virtuous doctor would have done a better job.
Doctors need to warn their patients if there are any risks involved in either the medication or the course of treatment. This is called their duty of informed consent. But if they fail to do so and the patient has been injured by the treatment or their health has further deteriorated then they can file the claim.