What Makes a Medical Malpractice Case


Not all medical treatments resulting into negative outcome qualify for a valid case of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractices happen in several ways. But you should remember that if the patient dies or his/her condition turns from bad to worse, it does not mean he/she has a valid ground to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Legitimacy of Medical Malpractice

All medical malpractice cases are based on a single common point that the healthcare professionals fell short of providing standard care to the patients. In most medical malpractice cases, negligence is involved but a doctor’s recklessness can also be a strong ground for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence happens if any healthcare professional fails to provide the standard level of care that a similarly skilled and experienced provider would have done under the same circumstances.

Negligence that spurs medical malpractice can take place in different conditions, including the wrong diagnosis, failure to provide a patient with proper advice on risk of a particular treatment and committing errors while performing surgery and medical procedures.

To err is human! Doctors are human beings. Healthcare service providers are not perfect and perfection is not required for medical malpractice. All medical malpractice cases revolve around the two crucial questions as follows:

  • What was the standard of medical care in the situation in the particular incident?
  • Did the defendant stick to or stray from the standard?

Both the healthcare service provider and receiver will take help of medical experts to strengthen their arguments.


In rare cases, a practitioner’s action or inaction is considered recklessness. If a doctor performs a surgery while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the doctor will be considered to have acted recklessly. Another example of recklessness refers to a doctor’s involvement in administering lethal dose of medicine to a patient, which is against the standard medical practices.

When it does not amount to a legitimate medical malpractice case

It has been previously asserted that not all negative outcomes in medical treatment are considered medical malpractice.

The patient’s health condition deteriorates

A doctor cannot be always held responsible if a patient’s condition gets worse during the course of the treatment. A doctor is a human and not GOD; you cannot expect the professional to cure or even treat each type of illness. It cannot be guaranteed that all patients under similar conditions will respond to treatment. As long as a doctor does not fail to act with reasonable skill and care while providing a course of treatment, there is no valid reason to bring an allegation of medical malpractice against the performing doctor.

No way to treat the patient

Even though medical science has made remarkable improvement, doctors are not capable of treating all types of health problems. If a doctor diagnoses a patient’s illness correctly and decides the standard palliative care, it cannot be said that the professional has done any malpractice because there is no standard treatment for the patient.

Medical malpractice cases are very challenging. It is not easy to prove medical malpractice has occurred. Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer in Schenectady to be sure if your situation can be considered as a valid medical malpractice case.