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Medical malpractice basics: Essential things victims should know

Over the course of an individual's life, he or she may suffer many illnesses, several injuries and may even undergo a surgical procedure or two. Most, if not all, surgeries will go off without a hitch. However, in the event that a medical procedure does not go as planned due to a health care professional or a provider's negligence, a victim may be within his or her legal rights to file a medical malpractice suit in a Maryland civil court against the responsible party or parties.

Medical malpractice refers to the failure of either a health care professional or a health care provider to give the proper treatment, care and medicine a patient needs. It can result in harm, injury or, in some cases, death. It commonly involves an error in dosage, diagnosis, treatment, health management or even aftercare.

Laws pertaining to medical malpractice allow victims to recover compensation due to any harm that substandard treatment caused. Medical professionals must follow certain medical standards and, if they clearly violate one or more of these standards, they will be considered liable. Also, it must be proved that a victim's injury was caused by a professional's negligence -- if a patient is merely unhappy with the service, it would not be considered malpractice.

Typically, a victim's injury must have severe and damaging consequences. When medical malpractice leads to overwhelming damages, including enduring hardship, suffering, living in constant pain, disability or loss of income, Maryland victims often choose to consult experienced personal injury attorneys. During a consultation, an attorney will assess whether the incident in question that resulted in either harm or death could be considered malpractice.

Source: healthaim.com, "Medical Malpractice: What Victims Must Know", Darwin Malicdem, June 1, 2016

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