A study performed by Johns Hopkins claims that, in the United States, medical malpractice is the third-leading leading cause of death, just after heart disease and cancer. While that statistic is alarming, not every medical malpractice claim is the result of a death. Some patients are left disfigured, disabled, with chronic pain, and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of negligent doctors and medical staff. Consider what basic requirements you must meet before you can file a medical malpractice case.
You must be able to prove that you are a patient of the doctor you are suing. If you want to bring claims against a hospital or clinic, you need to prove that you were under the care of health care workers employed by the hospital or clinic. In other words, as a personal injury lawyer clients trust from Therman Law Offices, LTD can explain, you cannot sue a doctor for giving you casual advice; the doctor had to begin treating you.
You may be unhappy with the treatment you received, but that does not mean medical malpractice occurred. Medical malpractice is defined as a negligent act that deviates from the basic standards of care and results in injury to a patient. You will have to prove that you would have gotten reasonably skillful and careful treatment had you gone to a different doctor. This claim may be hard to prove without the testimony of a medical expert who understands medical standards of care and can explain how your doctor deviated from those standards.
Negligence Caused the Injury
Medical malpractice claims can be challenging to prove given that patients sought the assistance of doctors because they were sick and injured before the medical negligence occurred. You will need to prove that your injuries resulted from negligent care and were not symptoms or the expected outcome of your illness.
The Injury Caused Damages
Even if you can prove that your doctor did not meet the expected standards of care, you cannot sue for malpractice if you did not suffer harm due to that substandard care. You may have a claim if you can prove that you endured at least one of the following:
- Physical or mental pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Missed work
- Inability to work
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Medical malpractice claims are complex, and requirements vary by state. For more information about whether you have a case, contact a medical malpractice attorney near you so you can get the help you deserve.