When you seek medical care, you believe that the doctor and other medical professionals will help you and not cause harm. Occasionally, a medical care provider may not act in the patient’s best interest, and medical malpractice occurs.
Medical malpractice cases can be complex issues. The injured party must be able to prove that malpractice occurred and that they were harmed. To determine if you have been a victim of malpractice, you must consider the following issues.
So, What Exactly Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a medical care provider deviates from the accepted standard of care for a medical condition, and because of this deviation, the patient is harmed.
It is vital to understand that disappointment with the outcome of your care does not necessarily mean that malpractice has occurred. Many people think that they are a victim of malpractice because their medical treatment was not a success.
It must be understood that medical treatments of any kind are not 100% guaranteed. The outcome of care is based on too many factors to be guaranteed.
Medical malpractice only occurs when the medical care provider deviates from the accepted standard of care that any other care provider in the same position would have provided the patient.
Four Qualifications of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
For a person to have a successful claim for medical malpractice, they must show the court that the following four criteria have been met:
Duty of Care
You must be able to show that the medical care provider that you are charging with malpractice has an obligation to you and your well-being. This is usually very simple. If you went to a doctor and they accepted you as a patient and agreed to treat your condition, they have a duty of care to you.
Breach of Duty
The next thing that must be proven is that there was a breach in the duty of care. This means that the medical care provider acted in a way that was not accepted by the medical community as a way to treat a condition. You must be able to show that there was a deviation from the standard of care that is accepted for this condition.
Breach Led to Injury
Next, you will have to show how the breach led to your injury. For example, if you were misdiagnosed for a condition and that condition worsened as a result, and you are now facing many more medical issues, the misdiagnosis has caused you an injury. The same would apply if you received treatment for a condition that is not normally given for a condition or if the doctor failed to provide you with necessary medical care for a known condition.
Injury Caused Financial Harm
The last thing that you will have to show is that you suffered financially due to this injury. This can be proven with medical bills for correcting the injury and other similar financial losses. There are other examples that a victim can see compensation from. Being unable to go to work because of the extended recovery as a result of a medical malpractice injury is compensatory damage.
Your attorney will work with medical experts, interview witnesses, and speak with the medical professionals that corrected your injury to build a strong case for medical malpractice.
There are many ways that medical malpractice can happen. However, some types of malpractice are more common. This includes the following:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Over or undertreatment of a medical condition
- Birthing injuries
- Surgical errors, possibly resulting in death
- Infections and cross-contaminations
- Errors involving medications/prescriptions, dental care, chiropractic care, and more
Most medical malpractice cases fall under one of those categories. However, do not refrain from speaking with a qualified attorney if you believe a medical care provider has injured you or a loved one and is not featured on this list.
What To Do If You’ve Been Injured or Hurt by a Medical Professional?
If you have been harmed while receiving medical care, you should take the following steps:
- Get medical care immediately. Your health is the most important thing, and you need to have your health stabilized.
- Write down everything you can remember that happened, including what the new doctor has stated and the new care you are receiving.
- Contact a medical malpractice attorney. Protect your rights and speak with a lawyer about what has happened.
- Continue with your medical care. You must give yourself the best chance at recovery from this injury.
- Avoid posting anything on social media about your health, the injury, or what was discussed with counsel regarding the legal matter. The insurance company will be monitoring your accounts.
- Allow your attorney to manage your case so that you can focus on recovering from your injury.