Medical malpractice is an incredibly complex and oftentimes rewarding area of law. If you are considering a career in medical malpractice law, or are already on your way to becoming a medical malpractice solicitor, here are some things you should know.
To prove that medical malpractice has occurred, you will need to show the court that certain elements have been satisfied.
First, you will need to prove that the medical practitioner failed to meet a reasonable standard of care. This establishes medical negligence.
Second, you will need to prove that the patient suffered harm.
Third, you will need to prove that it was medical negligence that caused the harm.
Remember, medical malpractice falls under the law of torts, so you will have to prove that all elements of a tort have been satisfied.
Although a medical error can be an instance of negligence, does a medical error does always mean negligence? No.
A medical error will only be an instance of medical negligence if it constitutes a failure to meet a reasonable standard of care. They must have breached the duty of reasonable care they owe their patient for the error to be negligent.
It is not enough to simply prove that harm has occurred due to the medical practitioner’s negligence. You will need to prove that the harm that the patient suffered was significant. Therefore, negligible harm will not be enough to establish an instance of medical malpractice.
Medical Malpractice cases are one of the different types of cases that you will experience in personal injury law. Some solicitors who work on medical malpractice cases specialize in medical malpractice law only, while others work in personal injury law more generally.
Therefore, if you are interested in pursuing a career in medical malpractice law, you should know that it falls under personal injury law. You should consider whether you want to focus only on medical malpractice law or pursue a career in personal injury law more generally.
Medical malpractice cases can be incredibly lengthy and generally take about 2-3 years. Moreover, they often deal with sensitive matters. Many clients will have to confront and dissect medical traumas experienced by them and their loved ones.
Therefore, many medical malpractice claims are settled outside of court. Don’t expect to see the inside of a courtroom very often! In fact, only 3% of Irish medical malpractice claims are battled out at court.