Medical malpractice is a legal cause of action that occurs when a medical or health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, deviates from standards in their profession, thereby causing injury to a patient. The negligence might arise from errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management.
An act of medical malpractice usually has three characteristics. Firstly, it must be proven that the treatment has not been consistent with the standard of care, which is the standard medical treatment accepted and recognized by the profession. Secondly, it must be proven that the patient has suffered some kind of injury due to the negligence. In other words, an injury without negligence or an act of negligence without causing any injury cannot be considered malpractice. Thirdly, it must be proven that the injury resulted in significant damages such as disability, unusual pain, suffering, hardship, loss of income or a significant burden of medical bills.