Medical malpractice is serious, but there are 5 things to consider before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. This guide explains the considerations to make.
When you go to the doctor, there’s a reasonable assumption you will be taken care of. Doctors aren’t miracle workers and sometimes the condition gets worse despite their best efforts. However, if someone suffers additional injury or their sickness was ignored or mistreated, there may be an opening for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Suing for medical malpractice is very obvious in some cases, but others are much harder to prove. Before deciding to file a lawsuit, there are things to consider.
First, what Is Medical Malpractice?
Doctors, health care professionals, and hospitals are required to give what is called a standard of care. This means they must perform their services at the acceptable level as the average provider in that field. In other words, they should follow the general guidelines within the medical community. This does not mean that standard of care will cure every disease or fix every injury. Just because a treatment doesn’t work is not a basis for a lawsuit. The core of a malpractice suit is being able to prove there was abuse of the standard of care or negligence. In addition to there being a breach of standard care, that breach must result in an injury, disability, or death. If nothing truly bad happened because of the breach, there is no case to pursue.
So how do you know, if you should file suit?
1. Were You Denied Standard Care? When someone goes to the doctor or a medical facility they are expecting to receive care for their condition. You must actually be in the care of a doctor in order to claim they did not fulfill that obligation. Just because you are unhappy with the diagnosis or the way you were treated, that does not mean you did not receive standard care.
2. Did You Suffer an Injury? Even if you believe you were the victim of negligence, that is not enough to file a lawsuit. You must have suffered an injury as a result of that negligence. Did you have a procedure that went wrong and caused additional pain, suffering, or disability? Were you misdiagnosed and the original condition was never treated and got worse? Were you given the wrong medications? There are many examples of how things can go wrong both in the doctor’s office or while staying in the hospital. The crucial point is whether or not you experienced additional harm because of it.
3. Medical Malpractice Lawsuit – Can You Prove It? The next step is knowing how to prove medical malpractice. Even if you’re convinced it happened, a lawsuit cannot proceed without evidence. Evidence may include medical records, notes you took during the process, a journal of symptoms, reactions, additional doctor visits, and any details that can document your experience.Expert witnesses are also used to confirm or prove medical malpractice.
4. Are You Within the Statute of Limitations? Just like most lawsuits, there is a statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice suit. Each state has its own time limits and you should research the state where the claim would be filed. Most states allow for two years from the date of the negligence and injury. You must be able to show this specific date in order to proceed with your claim.
5. Do You Know Who to Sue? This can end up being tricky. Sometimes, it is the actual doctor who committed the malpractice, but in other cases, it could have been the medical facility or hospital. Suing the wrong person or business can not only delay your case but have it thrown out entirely.
Yes, You Need a Malpractice Attorney!! Dealing in medical matters, and especially ones involving malpractice is complicated. There are many bases to cover and evidence to gather. If you are still suffering from your injuries or caring for someone who was the victim, the last thing you have time or energy for is trying to sue. You need an experienced attorney like Accident Lawyer John Fagan. We have your back!
CALL US TODAY AT 904-777-JOHN!