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Medical Malpractice Definition

There are definitions of medical malpractice aplenty, but the essence of them could be summarised as:

A level of care provided by a medical professional – be they a doctor, nurse, or dentist – which does not live up to the standards considered accepted within the medical community. This substandard level of care may lead to injury, death, or unnecessary suffering.

This is not an official definition, but a summary of the most common definitions available – these can vary from anywhere between two sentences to several pages depending on where you look, as the level of detail necessary in some instances requires much more depth. The essence, however, will remain the same.

What is a Sub-standard Level of Care?

In the UK, medical standards are set by the General Medic Council, and these outline the rights of a patient as well as the requirements of a doctor. Any treatment that does not live up to these high standards is considered substandard, and may provide valid cause for a medical malpractice claim – particularly if it results in undue pain and suffering for the patient in question. The General Medic Council also provide a patients’ guide, which provides information on your rights as a patient. This can be viewed at

I Can’t Determine Whether My Claim is Valid, Who Can Help?

There are a couple of ways to go around finding out if your claim is a valid one. One is to contact the GMC (they can be contacted through 0161 923 6602, further contact details are available on their website as linked to above) who will gladly help you determine whether you have indeed been treated incorrectly and have sufficient claims to report your doctor, and possibly file a claim.

The second possibility is to contact a medical malpractice law firm. So long as you are willing to share the details of your case, regardless how intimate they may be, the treatment you received, along with the timespan within which you were treated, a medical malpractice law firm will be able to tell you whether or not you have a case. Their trained advisors – some will be ‘just’ that, whereas others will be lawyers, this will depend on what type of firm you contact – are able to determine with some degree of accuracy whether or not you have a valid claim. If you opt for one of the cheaper no-win no-fee firms, it may be wise to get a second opinion in order to avoid wasting your time or find out whether you indeed don’t have a case, depending on what they say.

These law firms will also be able to provide you with a full medical malpractice definition, and will normally be happy to send a copy of their definition out regardless of whether or not you opt to use their services, which may help you further understand your rights. If you decide to claim for medical malpractice, always ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible by comparing several law firms.