Requirements For A Medical Malpractice Claim
When a medical procedure doesn’t go well, patients are often inclined to seek compensation. Unfortunately, many people will wind up disappointed when expecting to receive a financial settlement from their hospital for a malpractice case. The problem is, not every subpar treatment or result qualifies as medical malpractice. To help clarify this issue, here are four questions that will help you understand if you have a legitimate malpractice claim.
Did You Establish A Doctor-Patient Relationship?
Before making any liability claims you must provide proof of your relationship with your physician. More specifically, you should have evidence that your doctor agreed to provide treatment and that you agreed to accept said treatment. This condition serves to eliminate any grey area of whether or not “off-the-record” medical advice is considered treatment.
Is There Evidence Of Medical Malpractice?
A medical malpractice claim needs to be founded on more than the fact that you found your result unsatisfactory. For a doctor to be liable for a failed treatment, there needs to be proof that they acted in a substandard manner. The legal definition of malpractice points to the failure to provide a patient with reasonable care.
“Medical malpractice is the negligence of a doctor. Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care under the circumstances, doing something that a reasonably prudent doctor would not do under the circumstances, or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent doctor would do under the circumstances. It is a deviation or departure from accepted practice.”
It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean your doctor is responsible for providing perfect or even the best medical care. The only thing that matters is whether or not their treatment was reasonable given your specific circumstances.
Did Medical Negligence Directly Resulted In Injury?
A lot of medical negligence cases involve patients who were already sick prior to receiving treatment. In cases like these, it needs to be shown that a doctor’s negligence was the direct result of the harm done to the patient. This can sometimes be difficult especially when a patient is battling with a serious illness. For example, when a patient dies of cancer, asserting that the doctor’s negligence was the primary cause may be hard to prove. This is why it’s imperative to work with a team of malpractice lawyers experienced at looking through medical records.
What Damages Are Supported By Your Claim?
Any medical negligence case needs to claim damages that will be used to determine your compensation. Damages are usually specific and quantifiable, like extra medical costs and losing the opportunity to work. However, claims can also be made for something more abstract, such as physical suffering or mental distress. In this scenario it will fall to the judge or jury to determine the value of these claims according to your situation.