Any medical provider who contributed to the patient’s injury can be sued for medical malpractice. The following entities can commit medical malpractice:

  • Doctors: If the doctor’s activities deviate from commonly accepted standards of practice, they are accountable.
  • Hospital staff: The hospital may be held accountable for inappropriate care or inadequate training of healthcare staff.
  • Nurses or other medical staff: The nurse or other medical staff who attended to the patient may be held accountable if they contributed to the patient’s injury.

Under the respondeat superior argument, the hospital may also be held liable for the patient’s injury.

Under this idea, an employer can be held liable for its employee’s negligent behavior if the employee was acting within the extent of their employment at the time of the negligence and must pay damages, including punitive damages.

How to File a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice

Before you can file a medical malpractice claim against a doctor, you must be able to demonstrate several factors:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed: This suggests that a patient-doctor relationship arose because you hired the doctor to perform treatments on you. A doctor-patient relationship often necessitates that the doctor treats you as an individual.
  • The physician acted carelessly: It must have been negligent on the part of the doctor you had a patient-doctor interaction with for them to treat you or operate on you. You must show that the doctor’s responsibility to exercise reasonable care was violated, that the doctor’s negligence was the direct cause of your injuries, and that you suffered losses or harm.
    • Most states require the patient to bring in a medical professional to attest to the appropriateness of the treatment standards in that particular discipline.
  • The doctor’s negligence brought on the harm: You must show that the doctor’s negligence caused your injuries and that you would not have been hurt if the doctor had not been negligent. You must also show that the doctor’s carelessness was “more likely than not” the cause of the harm.
  • Losses occur from the harm: Even if the doctor performed below the usual norms in their specialty, the patient would not be able to file a malpractice claim if they did not suffer any harm. These claims include physical injuries, mental pain, medical bills, missed pay, and impaired earning capacity.

A medical malpractice lawyer can tell you more about the value of your case and what type of damages might be recoverable.

What Needs to Be Proved In a Medical Malpractice Claim?

To be successful, medical malpractice negligence claims must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Injury: The patient was injured due to the doctor’s or healthcare provider’s negligence. This is very often difficult to verify. You were most likely not in good health when you initially went to the doctor, and you lacked the medical knowledge to verify the injury connection. As a result, you will almost certainly need an expert witness to testify on your behalf to prove that the doctor’s acts or inactions caused your damage.
  • Negligence: The doctor’s or health care provider’s carelessness. You must demonstrate that the medical service falls short of the “accepted standard of care.” The standard of care test is basically what a reasonable healthcare provider in your community would do in similar circumstances.
  • Statute of limitations: The time period within which you must file a claim must not have passed. Depending on your jurisdiction, the time restriction for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit could range from one to seven years.

What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice Claims?

Examples of medical malpractice claims include:

  1. Making no diagnosis
  2. Delay in treatment
  3. Improper treatment
  4. Prescription mistakes
  5. Anesthesia errors
  6. Inappropriate surgery
  7. Inadequate medical treatment explanation of potential side effects
  8. Loss of chance

How Difficult Is It to Win a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Due to the multiple expert medical witnesses, tangled facts, and high cost of most medical malpractice cases, medical malpractice lawsuits are exceptionally difficult to win.

Doctors frequently have the financial resources to defend themselves in court and are generally unwilling to concede mistakes. Many states also limit the amount of medical malpractice awards.

Many clients use expert witnesses to provide the knowledge required to win a medical malpractice case.

Furthermore, because of the power and financial resources that hospitals and doctors have in the healthcare business, it is extremely difficult for patients to pursue a medical negligence claim.

The requirement that they provide a “certificate of merit,” or “certificate of merit,” may be one hurdle plaintiffs in many jurisdictions must cross before they may even file a malpractice claim against a healthcare professional.

To submit a certificate of merit, a plaintiff must first have an expert, often another doctor, review the relevant medical data and swear that the plaintiff’s healthcare provider may have engaged in malpractice.

What Common Rebuttals to a Medical Malpractice Claim Are There?

A defendant in a medical malpractice lawsuit may be able to raise the following arguments:

  • Statute of limitations: A “statute of limitations” is the amount of time a person has to file a legal claim. A plaintiff must bring a medical malpractice case within two years in several states. As a result, if this window of time has expired, the plaintiff will be unable to bring the claim and would be denied compensation for their losses. It should be noted that each jurisdiction will have distinct time constraints.
  • Contributory negligence: If proven in a state that follows the contributory negligence concept, this defense will prevent a plaintiff from collecting compensation for their injuries. As a result, the defendant cannot be found solely responsible for the harm; the defendant must show that the plaintiff’s negligent behavior contributed to their injuries.
    • States that completely implement the doctrine will bar a plaintiff from receiving damages. Consider a state that, despite this, follows the modified comparative negligence principle. If this is the case, plaintiffs who are less than 51% to blame for their injuries may still be able to recover some compensation, but at a reduced amount.
  • Lack of proof of negligence: If a plaintiff is unable to prove that a medical professional violated their standard of care or was to blame for the patient’s injuries, this may be used as a defense in a medical malpractice case.

What Compensation Can I Get for My Injuries?

Medical malpractice damages are often classified into three types:

  • Economic damages: Economic damages are monetary quantities that can be specified and precisely approximated based on specific injuries, such as medical bills, hospital bills, lost wages, reduced earning power, and various other out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Non-economic damages: Non-economic damages, on the other hand, can be more difficult to calculate because they cover things like pain and suffering, mental agony, loss of pleasure in activities, reputational harm, and other intangible or difficult-to-measure losses.
  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages are the most difficult for a plaintiff to recover in a medical negligence case. They are rarely awarded and approved in only a few states for this form of action. However, there are typically damaged ceilings (or limits) on such sums in situations where they are offered.

A plaintiff may also request that a medical facility amend its rules or health and safety practices, as well as have a medical professional’s license suspended or revoked.

Do I Need an Attorney for My Medical Malpractice Claim?

Before pursuing any medical malpractice claims, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have a case.

Use LegalMatch today to locate the best lawyer for your needs.