Sometime medical procedures and treatments do not go as planned. When this results in worsening or additional conditions, an already trying time can become detrimental for the patient. Injuries caused by a medical procedure may have been within the expected risks or occurred by chance. In other instances, the medical providers negligence may have caused the injuries. If this is the case, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medical malpractice laws vary by state, but there are general guidelines common in medical malpractice claims and lawsuits.
Types of Medical Malpractice
A health care provider is required to provide a standard of care to all patients. When failure to meet the standard of care results in harm to a patient, then a health care professional can be held liable for negligence. This occurs when a doctor does not act or make reasonable and skillful decisions that another doctor under the same circumstance would. There are three common categories under which most types of medical malpractice fall. These include:
- Improper Treatment: Any treatment or procedures that are sub-standard or careless can be considered negligent. Some examples would be if a doctor administered the wrong treatment, or administered the correct treatment improperly.
- Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis: If a doctor fails to diagnose, or misdiagnoses, a disease or condition, then the patient’s conditions may worsen and cause severe harm.
- Failure to Warn of Potential Risks: Doctors are required to inform patients of any risks associated with certain procedures. When a doctor fails to do so, the procedure way cause unexpected harm to the patient.
Proving Medical Malpractice
A successful medical malpractice claim must include proof of the following:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed: The patient must prove that the doctor in question was permissible and responsible for administering treatment to them. If the doctor agreed to treating the patient, then they automatically owe that patient a duty of care.
- Negligence was displayed by the doctor: The patient must prove that the doctor administered careless or sub-standard care to the patient, as mentioned before.
- The doctor’s negligence directly caused the patient’s injury: A patient must prove that the condition, injury or harm suffered was caused by the negligent practices of the doctor. It must be proven that the injuries did not exist prior to the treatment or procedure.
- Significant Injuries or damages: A patient must have proof that they sustained substantial harm, injuries or worsening conditions. Any damages the patient intends to recover must be proven, such as the additional treatment needed for the sustained injuries, loss of income from and inability to work or pain and suffering.
Hiring a Lawyer
Medical malpractice cases are complex and can be difficult to prove. If you believe you may have case, it is important to contact a medical malpractice lawyer. He or she can review your case and determine the best course of action to take. An experienced lawyer such as the hospital injury lawyers Memphis TN locals turn to in your area will be familiar with the laws in your state, so they can ensure that the necessary steps are taken to improve your chances of recovering damages.
Thanks to authors at Darrel Castle & Associates PLLC for their insight into Personal Injury Law.