In North Carolina, a medical malpractice action is any action against a medical professional or healthcare provider that led to injury or death. For example, if a nursing home failed to supervise a resident who died as a result of that negligence, a wrongful death case may be filed.
The same is true of a doctor, dentist or any other professional who causes injury or death by providing inadequate care or failure to provide proper care. In a medical malpractice suit, a judge will consider whether or not the defendant met the level of care that they were obligated to provide. If the defendant is found to have met the appropriate level of care, that defendant may not be liable for damages. There are also limitations as to when a person can sue due to a lack of consent on the patient's part.
Even if a patient is not given enough information to provide informed consent, that may not be grounds for damages if the patient should have known the common risks of a given procedure. If a patient is incapacitated and receives care, that care may be authorized if no representative of that patient is found to decline that care. However, none of the above may necessarily absolve any professional care provider of liability.
Anyone who suffers from an injury or the family of an individual who passes away due to a medical error may be able to take legal action. Such action may make it possible for the injured parties or their families to win compensation. In lieu of a jury trial, a settlement may be negotiated outside of court. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to assist in negotiating a settlement or winning the case in court.
Source: ncga.state.nc.us, "Medical Malpractice Actions", October 05, 2014