A medical clinical is a medical facility that focuses primary on providing outpatient care. If you are injured as a result of the care you received at a medical clinic, then you may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim against the clinic and the medical staff who treated you. Malpractice claims generally involve proving that some form of negligence occurred, resulting in injury.
Like any other personal injury case, one who brings a medical clinic malpractice claim must prove the following elements:
- Duty: A doctor must follow a specific standard of care. The law defines this as the amount or variety of care that a reasonably competent, prudent physician who is in good standing, and of the same or similar educational background and geographic location.
- Breach: An injured person must also prove that the doctor breached their duty. This is often proved by an expert who testifies that the conduct fell below the standard of care. The testimony is usually given by another doctor in the same community.
- Causation: Causation in a personal injury lawsuit simply means that you must prove the doctor caused your injury. The courts will often ask "but-for your doctor’s actions, would you have been injured?" If the answer is no, causation is usually proved.
- Damages: Finally, one must prove that they suffered physical, financial or emotional harm.
However, there is one catch. Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, medical professionals who work at charitable free clinics are deemed to be federal employees for the purpose of civil liability. This makes them immune from medical malpractice liability, if they meet certain requirements. Presumably, this law was passed to encourage more medical professionals to offer their services for free, by making it less risky to do so. This law apparently does not apply to clinics that charge for their services, even if the fee is low.
The following are common types of medical malpractice injuries which occur in both clinics and traditional hospitals:
- Failure to diagnose and properly treat medical emergencies
- Failure to diagnose and properly treat serious medical conditions
- Surgical mistakes
- Errors with medication or treatment
- Delays in diagnosis
- Birth Injuries
- Lack of informed consent
If you have been injured from the negligence of a doctor or nurse in a medical, clinic, then you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can protect your rights and assist you in getting fairly compensated for your injury.