Medical malpractice or negligence occurs when a medical or healthcare expert or facility fails to offer appropriate care, gives substandard treatment or fails to take the right action. As a direct result of this failure, a patient might suffer injuries, harm, or even death. In most cases, medical malpractice involves a medical-related error. This can happen in any phase of treatment, including diagnosis, dosage, treatment, health management, or aftercare.
The law makes it possible for victims of medical negligence to seek compensation for all forms of harm caused by the substandard treatment. Note that lawsuits involving medical malpractice are complicated as the medical facility and the doctors will want to prove that they were not negligent. This is why you should seek medical malpractice help if you intend to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
The requirements of a medical claim
For a victim of medical negligence to get compensated, he or must prove the following.
- There was a doctor-patient relationship: The victim must show that he or she was admitted in a specific facility, and thus, a doctor-patient relationship was created. Simply put, you hired a physician, and he or she agreed to be hired and provide healthcare services. For instance, you cannot file a medical claim against a medical expert you overheard offering advice during a dinner party. However, if a medical expert starts seeing and treating you, it is easy to prove that a duty of care existed.
- The medical expert was careless or negligent: Just because a patient isn’t happy about the treatment results doesn’t mean the physician was negligent or careless in connection with your overall healthcare. To successfully pursue a medical malpractice claim, you must prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the medical professional caused you injuries in a way that a competent medical professional, under similar circumstances, wouldn’t have. Every medical specialist is required to be reasonable, careful, and act to the best of their knowledge while adhering to the highest possible standard of care.
- The medical practitioner’s negligent acts directly harmed you: Most medical malpractice lawsuits involve patients who were already injured or sick. Thus, there is always a question of whether or not the medical practitioner’s actions can be perceived careless. For instance, if the patient dies during or after treatment of lung cancer, and the medical practitioner acted negligently, it becomes challenging to prove that the medical practitioner’s actions were a direct cause of the patient’s death. Sometimes, an expert’s testimony may be necessary to determine whether the doctor’s actions caused harm to a patient.
- The harm the patient suffered was legally significant: Though it might be clear that the medical expert failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, the victim cannot sue for negligence if he or she didn’t suffer any harm. Some of the damages a patient can sue for include medical bills related to the harm, physical pain, loss of earning capacity, and mental anguish.
The medical negligence law is regulated by a complicated set of rules which considerably varies depending on your state or country. Therefore, it is important to seek the help of a lawyer experienced in such cases.