When a bad medical outcome occurs, it does not necessarily mean that malpractice has occurred. Often, a bad medical outcome is caused by an unintended complication. Generally, complications are not considered medical malpractice.
Most medical procedures do not have a 100% success rate and the medical field accepts a certain margin of error. In fact, most complications, such as infection and bleeding, are contained in the consent form.
However, according to statistics, most medical malpractice cases are not recognized and reported.
In children malpractice cases, the likely explanation is that most malpractice is not readily apparent to a child's family. Additionally, most state laws do not require that victims be informed of medical negligence.
Many state laws expressly prevent victims or their families from finding out that a medical professional has been disciplined for actions that are considered to be related to the case. A medical mistake becomes malpractice when it exceeds the accepted margin of error.
If you suspect malpractice, you can take the following steps:
If you can establish that the medical professionals did not conform to the accepted standard of practice for that specialty, you have a high chance of proving that medical malpractice occurred. This means establishing that no reasonable physician in that area of medicine would have acted in that way.
Unlike standard personal injury cases, the filing of most medical malpractice claims does not necessarily result in a settlement offer. Pediatric malpractice cases require testimony from a medical expert. This can be very expensive and can exceed the value of damages estimated to be obtained. This is why, at times, even a straightforward case of pediatric malpractice might be challenging to pursue if the provable damages are less than $100K. Thus, in the absence of evidence of malpractice and significant damages, you need to think twice before pursuing a case that may end up costing you a lot more than you might anticipate.