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Understanding Medical Malpractice Terms

 Posted on April 12, 2021 in Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases usually involve complex legal terminology. To navigate the deep waters of medical malpractice claims, it’s important for a medical negligence victim to understand the legal terms and how they may apply to his or her case.

Common Medical Malpractice Terms to Know

Below are some common terms in medical malpractice cases.

Affidavit: A sworn statement that assures the merit of facts written down and confirmed by oath.

Allegation: A statement made against the defendant and dictating what the claimant intends to prove.

Arbitration: A process of coming up with a resolution without involving the court system.

Assumption of Risk: This is a defendant’s allegation that the plaintiff was aware of the danger of the actions taken but willingly chose to take the risk.

Case Law: Law that is based on past legal decisions by courts and similar tribunals.

Civil Lawsuit: A lawsuit in which a party (plaintiff) seeks to have another party (the defendant) to be held liable for damages and compensate the plaintiff for those damages. 

Comparative Negligence: The doctrine of comparing degrees of fault of each accused party.

Compensation: Monetary awards owed to a wining plaintiff who has suffered an injury or loss as a result of the unlawful conduct or negligence of the defendant.

Decedent: A person who has passed away due to the negligence of a medical provider.

Defendant: The person, company, or institution against whom a medical malpractice claim is brought.

Disciplinary Hearing: A hearing or licensing review conducted by a licensing or regulatory authority.

Eligible Survivor: A spouse, child, or another financial dependent of a person whose death was caused by a healthcare provider.

Informed Consent: When a patient agrees to medical treatment after the medical provider explains the diagnosis, treatment options, possible side effects, risks, and possible alternatives to a patient.

Liability: The state of being legally responsible.

Medical Negligence: Refers to when a medical provider causes injury to a patient through a negligent act, error, or omission.

Plaintiff: The party who initiates a medical malpractice lawsuit based on allegations of harm due to the negligence of the defendant.

Standard of Care: The level of care, skill, and treatment recognized as acceptable and appropriate. 

Standard of Proof: The degree to which the plaintiff must prove an allegation.

Wrongful Death: Death of an individual caused by the negligence, malice, or recklessness of a healthcare provider. A wrongful death claim is filed by immediate members of the deceased patient.

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