Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, hospital, or other medical professional causes injury or illness to a patient either through an omission or negligent act. This negligence may be related to diagnosis, treatment, medication, or aftercare mistakes. However, an unwanted diagnosis or adverse health outcome does not automatically mean a doctor committed medical malpractice.
Essentially, a situation constitutes medical malpractice if the doctor owed a duty of care to the patient, broke that duty of care through providing below standard medical attention, the patient was then subsequently harmed, and there are quantifiable damages that the patient is eligible to receive compensation for. What it will come down to is how much evidence the patient has that supports their medical malpractice claims.
Standard of Care Violation
By law, there are certain standards of medical care that are recognized within the medical community. A patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit if another competent doctor in the same situation and with similar background experience would not have made the same mistake. A patient is not unreasonable to expect that their medical care will be consistent with such standards. If it is decided that the standard of care wasn’t met, then negligence may be concluded.
Negligence Caused Injury
To have a medical malpractice case, it must not only be proven that the doctor made a mistake, but that this error led to the patient being harmed. The patient has to prove through reliable evidence that they sustained injury that wouldn’t have happened if negligence wasn’t a factor. If the doctor was negligent but didn’t actually cause the patient’s health to be negatively affected, then there are no grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Injury Resulted in Damages
The patient has to successfully show that they endured substantial damages because of the doctor’s negligence and resulting injury. Lawsuits of this nature can be expensive and nuanced, often requiring several medical expert testimonies and hours of deposition. To make pursuing a medical malpractice claim worth the time and energy, there must be strong evidence that the doctor committed an act of negligence that resulted in physical harm, financial hardship, pain and suffering, medical bills, disability, and/or loss of income.
Realizing that your doctor may have made a grave mistake is not something most people want to imagine. But when a doctor provides care that is below medical standards and the patient was seriously injured because of it, then it may be worth filing a medical malpractice claim. As our medical malpractice lawyer friends from The Law Office of Daniel E. Stuart, P.A. would advise too, victims who are considering filing a lawsuit must gather as much evidence as possible to support their claims.