When a patient is injured by a doctor or other medical professional who fails to conduct his or her medical duties competently, medical malpractice occurs. Proving your case typically means proving that your doctor has refused to offer care in compliance with the applicable legal requirements and that, as a result, you have caused some form of injury. A wide range of scenarios can contribute to a negligence claim—from a doctor leaving a sponge in the stomach of a patient during surgery to failing to inform a patient that heart failure may be caused by prescription medication. For most medical malpractice cases, there are certain basic standards and large types of laws that apply. Read on to learn the steps of what you need to prove when dealing with a negligent doctor.
Establishing the Doctor-Patient Relationship
First, you may need to demonstrate the existence of a partnership between doctor-patient or provider-patient, which, in the eyes of the statute, gives rise to the responsibility of the medical professional to provide you with qualified care depending on the circumstances. Typically, this is not a difficult aspect to determine. The doctor-patient relationship occurred whether a doctor treated you by explicit agreement, whether in a situation in which an agreement to provide treatment may fairly be assumed, or whether the care was given without any real or implied agreement. This part of a case of medical malpractice typically goes uncontested by the defense.
The Medical Standard of Care
It does not mean that the doctor is responsible for medical malpractice only because you are disappointed with your treatment or outcomes. Regarding the diagnosis or treatment, the doctor may have been careless. To sue for medical negligence, you must be able to prove that you were injured by the doctor in a manner that a competent doctor would not have, under the same circumstances. The treatment of the doctor doesn’t need to be the best possible, but merely fairly qualified and cautious. At the heart of a medical malpractice lawsuit is always whether the doctor was fairly skillful and cautious. Almost all jurisdictions require the patient to present a medical practitioner to clarify the medical standard of treatment necessary to describe how the defendant deviated from that practice.
Medical Negligence and Patient Injury Connection
It’s not enough to prove that your provider made the kind of mistake that other professionals in health care would not have made. You may also need to prove that the action or inability of the defendant to act caused your health condition to worsen or caused you to suffer any extra damage or harm. The key here is to make it clear that your injuries are not due to an underlying medical condition or some other cause, but to the sub-standard treatment, you have received.
Quantifiable Proof of Harm
Information about the true damage you sustained must be given. In a case of medical malpractice, the cost of further medical care and wages that the claimant has lost or may lose due to failure to work can include damages. Also, as a result of the effects of sub-standard medical treatment, a medical malpractice patient will typically recover compensation for pain and suffering, both physical and emotional.
The Preponderance of the Evidence
A patient who has been hurt by medical negligence must create proof by a preponderance of the evidence, indicating that each patient is more likely than not to be valid. In some other types of cases, this is a simpler legal requirement to follow than what is required. But, depending on the state where you are filing the case, medical malpractice plaintiffs have some specific legal barriers to get through, including notice-of-claim provisions, pre-lawsuit review panels, and special filings, such as the certificate of merit. If you are thinking of taking legal action for damage caused by the mistake of a health care professional, it might be time to speak to a lawyer about your case and decide the right plan of action.
As one where a duty of care is owed, the doctor-patient relationship is well known. There are a variety of healthcare practitioners and providers, other than physicians, who owe a duty of care to patients, including hospitals, nurses, physiotherapists, chiropractors, dentists, and nursing homes. The law of medical malpractice is highly regulated by a complicated body of laws that differ greatly from state to state, so it is always necessary to get advice or representation from an attorney. Hope this writing had helped you to list down evidence you need to gather in the event of negligence.