When it comes to personal injury claims, medical malpractice suits tend to be a bit more of a fuzzy area in the eyes of regular people. Medical malpractice cases are hardly as clear-cut as many other types of personal injury claims because there can be so many different factors at play and a huge burden to prove someone was at fault. If you are facing a medical malpractice claim, you should know up front that there will likely be some terms you don't understand and some that may hold different meanings than what you expect. Here is a look at some of the most commonly misunderstood or misinterpreted medical malpractice law terms.
Established Customary Standard of Care
It is often assumed that any time a doctor or medical professional causes harm that they are not following the proper methods. Therefore, established customary standard of care is often thought to mean that the doctor did not do their job. However, this phrase actually is used to describe what would normally be expected of a medical practitioner given similar circumstances and symptoms. If a doctor did not perform up to the established customary standard of care, it does not always mean they acted completely with disregard or ill intent; it only means that they acted in a way that was out of the ordinary.
Medical misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to recognize symptoms as pertaining to a specific condition and, therefore, they give you the wrong diagnosis that could lead to further pain and suffering or an exacerbated condition. Conditions are wrongly diagnosed in the medical treatment field often since so many conditions have similar symptoms. This does not always mean there are grounds for a lawsuit. If the doctor misdiagnoses a condition because they neglect or ignore specific symptoms, however, it can be.
Preponderance of Evidence
The preponderance of evidence is usually highly important in a medical malpractice lawsuit. This phrase is not used to describe an overabundance of evidence, as it is often assumed by the general population. The preponderance of evidence merely means the overall weight or credit of the evidence on the case as a whole. In medical malpractice cases, the preponderance of evidence is used instead of the typical route of proving the medical practitioner is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is because proving fault beyond a reasonable doubt in a medical situation can be nearly impossible to achieve. If most of the evidence given points toward the practitioner being at fault or negligent, then a claimant may win their case.
Contact attorneys from a firm like Shaevitz Shaevitz & Kotzamanis if you need help with a medical malpractice case.
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