Medical malpractice is commonly associated with doctors making mistakes in treating patients. However, the scope of medical malpractice is much larger than this. Medical malpractice includes any treatment, lack of treatment, or other departure from accepted standards of medical care on the part of a health care provider that causes harm to a patient.
How to Bring a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
To bring a medical malpractice claim against a doctor, you must be able to prove a number of things:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed: This means that you hired the doctor to perform procedures on you in which resulted in a patient-doctor relationship. In most cases, the doctor has to treat you directly in order for a doctor-patient relationship to exist.
- The Doctor was negligent: The doctor that you had a patient-doctor relationship with must have been negligent when treating you or performing a procedure on you. To prove negligence, you must prove that the doctor has a duty to exercise reasonable care, the doctor breached that duty, the doctor’s negligence was the cause of your injuries, and you suffered damages or injuries as a result. Most states require that the patient present a medical expert to testify the standards of care to be reasonable in that particular field.
- The doctor's negligence caused the injury: You must prove that the doctor’s negligence was the cause of your injuries and but for the doctors negligence, the injury that you suffered would have never occurred. You also have to show that it is "more likely than not" that the doctor's negligence directly caused the injury.
- The injury causes damages: Even if the doctor performed below the routine standards in his or her field, the patient will not be able to sue for malpractice if the patient didn't suffer any type of injuries. Types of injuries that could be claimed are: physical injuries, emotional pain, medical bills, loss of work and earning capacity.
What Do Medical Malpractice Lawyers Do?
The primary job of a medical malpractice lawyer is to prove that your doctor was negligent in his practice and the doctor’s negligence was the cause of your damages. By bringing a legal claim against the doctor or the medical facility where you were treated, your lawyer can help you receive compensation for your injuries.
Contacting a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
For all medical malpractice claims, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney to determine whether you have a medical malpractice claim.