Medical malpractice is a type of negligence in which an injury results from the failure of a medical professional or medical facility to exercise adequate care, skill or diligence in performing a duty. The applicable duty arises from the accepted practices of other professionals or facilities in the same field and geographical area. In the case of a medical specialist, the standard of care is determined by the standard of good medical practice in that specialty within the community.
Medical malpractice does not occur every time medical treatment is not successful. The duty is to provide good medical care according to accepted standards in the community, or, in the case of a specialist, accepted standards in that medical specialty. Doctors are not required to be right every time they make a diagnosis or perform a procedure. A misdiagnosis or unsuccessful procedure can be occur even when all proper tests or procedures are performed accurately. A misdiagnosis becomes malpractice if the doctor fails to get a medical history, order the appropriate tests, or recognize observable symptoms of the illness.