Medical errors are America’s third leading cause of death. That equates to roughly a quarter of a million deaths. But not all medical errors qualify as medical malpractice.
What exactly is medical malpractice? And when do you need to hire an attorney for medical malpractice? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and many more!
What’s Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider gives treatment below a common standard of care. Because of this, the patient is at risk for injury or even death. This may be due to mistakes or general carelessness.
Several situations qualify as medical malpractice. Often, this has to do with the doctor’s diagnosis of your condition. For example, a doctor may miss your diagnosis or diagnose you incorrectly.
Legal experts at LouthianLaw.com explain that a missed diagnosis is when a doctor does not notice an illness, where a wrong diagnosis is when a doctor mistakes an illness for something else. A missed diagnosis is medical malpractice if a competent doctor would have discovered the illness. With a wrong diagnosis, you may have a case if you experience pain and lasting physical impairment.
Another example of medical malpractice is when doctors provide improper treatment. This can be an improper medication administration or a surgery that makes the patient worse.
Finally, another example is when doctors fail to warn patients about the potential risks of a procedure or treatment. This is the duty of informed consent and occurs if the patient doesn’t know treatment details or if the doctor acts against the patient’s wishes.
Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Several requirements must be in place for something to qualify as medical malpractice. First, a doctor-patient relationship must exist. That means that you cannot sue for medical malpractice if the doctor did not directly treat you.
Additionally, you must prove the doctor was negligent. You can’t sue because you’re unhappy with the results of treatment. You must prove that a competent doctor in this same situation wouldn’t have harmed you.
A doctor needs to perform a certain duty of care, but that doesn’t mean they have to be the very best possible doctor. As long as they are reasonably skillful and careful, this is not medical malpractice.
You must prove that the doctor’s negligence led to the injury. That means that your injury was not caused by the illness or injury itself. Usually, a medical expert will testify to this fact if you have a good case for medical malpractice.
Finally, you have to prove that the injury led to certain damages. These might include physical pain, emotional distress, excess medical bills, and loss of work. The patient must be harmed to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What’s an Attorney for Medical Malpractice?
So, what can an attorney for medical malpractice do?? Well, for starters, they will make sure that you have a valid legal case. That means establishing if it fits the requirements listed above.
A medical malpractice attorney guides you through your medical malpractice lawsuit. They are knowledgeable about medical laws and ethics. They’ll help do the legal research, review medical documents, and guide you on your rights.
Additionally, they’ll help you realize what damages you sustained. This isn’t only about your medical expenses.
Damages may include lost wages and earning capacity or physical and emotional suffering. It can even loss of enjoyment in life, disfigurement, and loss of companionship due to the injury.
Don’t Wait: Hire a Lawyer Today!
If you’ve suffered from medical malpractice, hire an attorney for medical malpractice today! After all, in most states, you have to claim medical malpractice within 2 years. Some require you to do so in as little as six months..
Have any more questions about filing a medical malpractice case? Leave us a comment below and let us know!