Medical Malpractice Fact Sheet
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If you have suffered an injury due to the actions of a doctor or hospital in regards to your care, you may be wondering if you have cause to file a medical malpractice case. Our medical malpractice fact sheet can help you determine if you have a case, and can help you decide how you want to move forward.
As always, the attorneys at Richard Hollawell are available to help you better understand medical malpractice law with a free consultation. By speaking to an experienced medical malpractice attorney, you will not only gain a better understanding of how likely your case is to succeed, but also the amount of compensation that you may be rightfully owed.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to a situation in which a patient is harmed by a medical professional who fails to competently perform their medical duties. This could be a hospital, doctor, or any other health care professional who has provided care to the patient. The most common cause behind most medical malpractice suits is a negligent act or omission which causes an injury. Negligence may be the result of errors in diagnosis, treatment plans, or aftercare.
Basic Requirements of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
In order for a negligent act to legally be considered medical malpractice, the claim must have the following characteristics:
- There was a violation of the standard of care: There are medical standards recognized and deemed acceptable by any reasonable health care professional. These are known legally as the “standard of care”. All patients have the right to expect that their health care providers will deliver services that meet the standard of care, and if that has not been met, then negligence may be established.
- Injuries were caused by the negligence: In order to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, an injury to the patient must be the result of the standard of care not being met. It is up to the patient to prove that their injuries would not have occurred in the absence of negligence.
- The injuries caused significant damages: Medical malpractice lawsuits can be extraordinarily expensive to litigate. In order to bring a claim, the patient must therefore prove that significant damages resulted from their injuries that were received due to medical negligence. If the damages were minimal, the cost to bring a lawsuit may end up being higher than the payout in the end.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are a wide array of situations that may fall under medical malpractice. Some of the most common types are:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of an injury or illness
- Improper treatment of an injury or illness
- Failure to warn a patient of known risks to procedures or medications
- Unnecessary surgeries or surgical errors
- Premature discharge
- Disregarding patient medical history
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you have a proven doctor-patient relationship, can prove that the standard of care was violated during your treatment, and that injuries resulted due to a professional’s negligence that caused significant damages, then you have good cause to file a medical malpractice claim. But proving all of these factors can be challenging.
For instance, if a patient has an aggressive type of cancer, and dies after treatment, it may be hard to prove that the doctor’s negligence is what caused the death, rather than the cancer. Patients will need to prove beyond a doubt that negligence was the cause of the harm. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you assemble the evidence and experts you need to prove that negligence was the cause of your injuries.
What Do I Need To Do To Make a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you’re going to bring a medical malpractice claim, it’s almost certain that you’re going to need to present a medical expert to discuss what the appropriate standard of care should have been, and how the defendant deviated from that standard in their treatment of you. But most importantly, you need a skilled medical malpractice lawyer that can help you prove your case.
The team at Richard Hollawell will help you determine if you have legal standing to bring a medical malpractice case with a free phone consultation, and can connect you to the experts you need to file a successful lawsuit. Call our office at 1-800-681-3550 or use the contact form on our website to speak to someone today.