Are you or a loved one a victim of medical malpractice? Doctors make costly medical errors more often than you might think. In fact, more than 50% of physicians have been named in previous lawsuits.
While medical malpractice is common, proving negligence isn’t always easy. You’ll need to create a watertight case before you file your lawsuit. Otherwise, you might miss your chance to retrieve damages for your losses.
Keep reading to learn more.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury law.
In these instances, a medical professional fails to perform their responsibilities, which causes harm to a patient. In some cases, a patient can die as a result of the doctor’s negligence.
Doctors are expected to meet a specific standard of care within the medical community. Failing to meet these standards could indicate negligence. Patients can hold a surgeon, hospital, doctor, or another party liable for damages in these instances.
When proving medical negligence, you’ll need to specify a negligent act that caused an injury. For example, maybe a surgeon left a surgical sponge in a patient before stitching them up. Perhaps a pharmacist gave a patient the wrong medication.
The victim will need to prove the negligent act caused direct harm or injury. If they can provide evidence, they can receive compensation for:
- Emotional suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
Before pursuing a medical malpractice case, consider the laws for your state. Certain laws and procedures can differ based on the state where you file your lawsuit.
In some states, you’re required to notify the doctor before you file your medical malpractice claim.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Before proving negligence, it’s important to learn how to identify medical malpractice cases. Different situations can fall under the medical malpractice category.
Here are a few examples of medical malpractice.
Before you can receive medical malpractice damages, you’ll need to prove the physician breached their duty of care. Did the physician treat you differently than another professional in the same field might have? If so, you can argue the physician breached their duty of care.
Failure to Warn
Your doctor has a responsibility to warn you about potential risks regarding:
- Medical procedures
If they don’t warn you beforehand, they’ve breached the duty of informed consent.
What if you would have decided against a specific treatment, knowing the risks? You could have avoided injury or illness.
Doctors are meant to provide a safe childbirth experience. If they fail to meet their duty of care, it could lead to birth injuries such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Erb’s palsy
If the physician met the proper standard of care, they could have prevented the birth injury. For example, perhaps the physician used excessive force. Maybe a mistake left the newborn deprived of oxygen.
Did the physician perform a C-section in a timely manner? Did they fail to monitor the mother’s and baby’s condition?
These instances could indicate you have a medical malpractice case.
Emergency Room Errors
Emergency rooms are chaotic, which could cause mistakes to happen. When proving negligence in the case of emergency room mistakes, think about how the staff acted. Perhaps they were in a rush and:
- Made a medication error
- Failed to diagnose your condition
- Misread an MRI, X-ray, or chart
- Failed to treat an infection
- Neglected to monitor you after treatment
- Made an incorrect diagnosis
If these situations sound familiar, you could fight for medical malpractice damages.
Failure to Diagnose
Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis instances are common as well. When proving negligence, you could argue your doctor:
- Failed to listen about your symptoms
- Didn’t consider your medical history
- Failed to recognize specific symptoms that would indicate an illness
- Ordered the wrong test to diagnose your condition
- Failed to order any tests
- Failed to interpret the test results correctly
A misdiagnosis could cause you to receive the wrong form of treatment. Your symptoms could get worse, potentially leading to death.
How to Prove Negligence
When proving negligence in medical malpractice cases, you’ll first need to prove you had a relationship with the physician. You can’t sue a doctor who gave you offhand advice in line at the supermarket. Instead, you’ll need to prove when you met the doctor and sought treatment.
Next, you’ll need to prove your doctor was negligent in regards to your diagnosis or treatment.
How did the doctor cause you harm? How would a more competent doctor have treated you in the same situation?
If your doctor failed to provide the best possible care, you could prove negligence.
You might need to call on a medical expert for your case. Their testimony could indicate the doctor didn’t meet the standard of care you expected.
Next, you’ll need to prove the doctor’s negligence causes a specific injury. How did they harm you?
What damages did you experience as a result of the doctor’s negligence? For example, maybe you remained sick and missed work. Perhaps you experienced physical pain or medical anguish.
You could also argue you incurred unnecessary medical bills.
Keep any documentation regarding your treatments, medical bills, medications, and work expenses. You’ll need this evidence to prove your losses.
In some cases, proving negligence is more difficult. Consider hiring an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. An experienced lawyer will know what evidence you need to prove the doctor’s negligence.
About eight out of 10 medical malpractice cases go to trial. Make sure they have the proper courtroom experience, too.
With their help, you can build a strong case and fight for compensation.
Proving Negligence: You’re Guide to Building a Medical Malpractice Claim
Proving negligence is essential in any medical malpractice case. Now that you understand what’s involved in filing a claim, consider hiring a lawyer. With their help, you can build your case and fight to cover your losses.
Ready to build your case? We’re here to help. Call 777-JOHN TODAY!