In the field of medicine, there are countless factors that must be taken into consideration by medical professionals to ensure that all patients are safely helped. And unless you’re a doctor, chances are that you trust what the professionals have to say, follow their instructions, and put your faith in them to help heal your ailments. Unfortunately, the medical field is far from perfect, and some patients find themselves worse off than before at the hands of their supposedly trustful medical experts. In situations like this, patients can file an injury claim against their doctor for medical malpractice or misconduct, although it is important to know the differences between the two.

Medical Malpractice and Medical Misconduct Defined

The differentiating factor in malpractice and misconduct is intention. Medical malpractice is defined as a negligent act or omission by a medical professional to properly treat a patient. Common examples of this include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and failure to treat a patient. Misconduct by a doctor, however, is understood as unacceptable and mal-intentioned behavior. While misconduct can apply to any person, someone in a professional and intimate position, (such as a doctor), can use their power to act unlawfully and take advantage of a situation. A common example of this, noted by San Francisco doctor sexual abuse attorneys at Manly, Stewart, & Finaldi, is sexual misconduct by a medical professional. We will provide a more comprehensive list of examples below.

Examples Of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can occur in any field of medicine, and for countless reasons. There are some standard instances that medical malpractice usually takes place. These include but are not limited to:

  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
  • Wrongful prescription of medication
  • Birth injuries
  • Surgical errors
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Post-surgical negligence
  • Many more.

Examples Of Medical Misconduct 

Although medical malpractice is nothing to take lightly, it is rare that such unfortunate instances are done on purpose with the intention to harm a patient. Medical misconduct, on the other hand, can be seen as far more sinister, in which a medical professional takes advantage of their position to dominate, influence, and wrong their patients.

  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Purposeful misdiagnosis
  • Medical gaslighting
  • Abuse of power
  • Falsifying documents
  • Drug and alcohol abuse

Steps For Filing A Medical Malpractice Claim

If you believe that you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, it is crucial that you contact legal representation and collect the necessary evidence to stand a fighting chance. As described by the lawyers at Buchanan Firm, a medical malpractice claim falls under the umbrella of a personal injury, and certain steps need to be taken to be successful. They include:

  • Choosing legal representation
  • Obtaining your medical records
  • Reaching out to your insurance company
  • Checking the statute of limitations in your state
  • Notifying the medical professional 
  • Meeting pre-suit requirements
  • Filing a claim

Filing A Claim For Medical Misconduct 

If a doctor purposefully causes harm to a patient, you would pursue this legally through a criminal claim. A criminal defense attorney is able to help you navigate the legal complexities of a case against your doctor, including filing a claim and seeing it all the way through. Bring the following things to your first consultation with an attorney:

  • Your questions
  • Your medical bills and records
  • Any and all evidence you can obtain
  • Any witnesses involved