send all required request for medical records and all medical notes, bills and treatment history with signed authorization to the facility and all providers. “ Under the law of negligence, a plaintiff must prove four elements of the tort in order to recover damages from a defendant. These four elements are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages ” (Harris, 2014, Chapter 10, The Law of Tort Liability, The Tort of Negligence, p. 230, para. 3). Under the section of duty, the patient must be able to prove that the provider neglected to act within the reason of care and caused the injury. This is done by seeing another provider and obtaining their expertise on how the procedure should have been conducted according to standards. The second element breach of duty, is similar to duty however in this element the patient must prove that the provider unsuccessfully met the standard care. In the third step causation, the patient must prove this medical provider was the cause of the injury and lastly the patient must show and attest that he or she has been hurt. If the patient and attorney have enough
evidence to prove all four of these elements they could be awarded a monetary settlement for pain and suffering compensation, their wages that were lost and medical costs (Harris, 2014). The medical professional once they were found guilty of negligence is held liable for the damages and in some cases the facility can also be held legally responsible for the patient ’ s injury. There is a legal policy called respondeat superior that states the medical facility can be held legally responsible for the negligent actions of their staff even if the facility had no fault in the injury (Harris, 2014). “ Even if a physician is not an employee or agent of the organization, a court might hold the organization vicariously liable under the doctrine of ostensible agency ” (Harris, 2014, Chapter 10, The Law of Tort Liability, Imposing Negligence Liability on the Institution or Organization, p. 233). The facility, despite the fact they may be held vicariously responsible for the provider ’ s negligent behavior it can also be deemed negligent under the principle of corporate negligence (Harris, 2014). Because there is such a concern in the medical community about malpractice lawsuits most providers practice medicine overcautiously by ordering tests, labs and issuing medications that are not necessary, thus causing an increase in healthcare costs and a decrease in true quality patient care. This also deters medical providers from assisting someone who is injured while they are not on duty. When a provider is sued this can cause them a lot of mental stress, lost time at work, their reputation to be tarnished and a decrease in patients. Because a physician is trained to help a patient and do the best for them, a lawsuit can be viewed as a personal attack and the physician can start to coping by abusing illegal drugs and alcohol, they can experience depression and possible PTSD. A malpractice suit can cause an increase in their malpractice insurance and the medical provider may have to adjust accordingly for those increases. These
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- Fall '14
- Physician, Medical malpractice