Medical Negligence is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error.
Standards and Regulations for medical malpractice vary from one country to the other as it does within countries. Medical professionals have the option of obtaining professional liability insurances to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.
The damages may include compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are both economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include financial losses such as loss of wages, medical expenses as well as life care expenses. These damages may be assessed for past and also for future losses.
Non-economic damages are assessed for the injury itself: physical and psychological harm, such as loss of vision, loss of a limb or organ, the reduced enjoyment of life due to a disability or loss of a loved one, severe pain and emotional distress, etc.
Punitive damages are only awarded in the event of wanton and reckless conduct.