If you or a loved one has experienced negligence from a medical professional, you may be wondering if you have a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice is when a hospital, doctor, or any other health care professional causes an injury to a patient. The negligence could be a result from errors in diagnosis, treatment, medication dosage, or aftercare. For your case to be considered medical malpractice, the claim must have a few characteristics. The characteristics include: a violation of the standard of care (i.e. medical negligence), an injury was caused by the negligence, and the injury resulted in significant damages. A standard of care is defined as the minimum standards that are acceptable to the medical profession. Medical professionals are expected to uphold this standard of care, and if they do not, that could be grounds for a medical malpractice case. For a medical malpractice claim to be valid, the patient must prove that they sustained an injury that occurred directly from negligence. If the negligence would not have occurred, then there would not have been an injury.
Unfortunate or Poor Outcomes Do Not Necessarily Equate to Medical Malpractice.
Also, there is a difference between a patient not liking the outcome of the care they received and a patient sustaining injuries from negligence. You must be able to definitively prove that the doctor was negligent. For example, receiving unfavorable test results does not mean the doctor was negligent. If the doctor ordered the correct test and the test was administered correctly, then it is likely the doctor was not negligent. Likewise, virtually every medical procedure carries with it certain risks of adverse outcomes, including serious further injuries or death. Unfortunately, many medical procedures and treatments result in sometimes very grave consequential injuries or death, which occur through no fault or negligence of the physician or medical team providing the care. This is why it is crucial that a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer, like a medical malpractice attorney trusts, evaluate your case.
Why Must There Be Substantial Damages or Death?
Due to the amount of work and resources required to litigate a medical malpractice claim, the patient must prove that significant damages resulted from the injury received due to the medical malpractice. This proof, in most cases, requires a medical expert (who typically charge thousands of dollars for their time in reviewing and being involved in a medical-legal case). Moreover, because expert testimony is required on both negligence and the causation of the injuries, harm, losses and/or death, multiple medical experts are often required. Further where we are dealing with the loss of a loved one because of the negligence of a doctor in committing some medical error or other severe injuries that impact income, additional experts are typically required to calculate these losses and derive a “present value” for all projected future losses. Filing fees and court costs for medical cases are also several hundred dollars more than your typical case. A patient typically proves this by showing the injury they received resulted in disability, unusual pain, loss of income, suffering, or significant past and/or future medical bills.
Forms of Malpractice
There are many forms of medical malpractice claims. Examples of these forms would include failure to diagnosis, misdiagnosis, misreading or ignoring results, unnecessary surgery, surgical errors, wrong site surgery, improper medication, poor aftercare, premature discharge, disregarding patient history, failure to order testing, or failure to recognize symptoms.
What Do I Do Next?
If you or a loved one experienced medical negligence, call and experienced medical malpractice attorney today.