Doctors make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes cost a patient a few moments of discomfort, a few hours of time going to a follow-up appointment, or a few months of using inadequate medication. Sometimes a doctor’s mistake can cost a patient his or her well-being or quality of life. So how can you tell the difference between unsuccessful care and medical malpractice?
Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim
Before filing a claim, the following requirements must be met:
A doctor-patient relationship was established. You can’t file medical malpractice charges against a medical professional you spoke to in a hotel lobby or saw once at the hospital at which you received care. It’s easy to prove a physician-patient relationship existed if you signed for the doctor’s services and he or she treated you.
The doctor was negligent. This is more difficult to establish. Just because your treatment is ineffective doesn’t mean your doctor was carelessly negligent or behaved improperly. Whether the doctor was reasonably skillful and careful is often the main focus of a malpractice claim. To be found negligent, a doctor must be found to have deviated from the appropriate standard of care.
The doctor’s negligence caused the injury or illness. Many malpractice cases obviously start with patients who are already sick or injured, so it can be difficult to tell if a doctor’s negligence is to blame for the decline of a person’s health. This gets even more difficult to determine when a patient is critically ill. To successfully sue for malpractice, a patient or their family must show that it is “more likely than not” that a physician’s incompetence directly caused illness or injury. This usually requires testimony from another medical expert.
The injury or illness led to specific damages. Even when a doctor is found to be negligent, a patient can’t sue for malpractice if no harm was done. Patients can only sue for physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, and lost work or earning capacity. If a doctor’s mistake doesn’t cause any of these, a lawsuit might not hold up in court.
hiring a medical
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be expensive and time-consuming. At Berry Law Firm, we have experienced attorneys that understand the complexity of medical malpractice lawsuits. Our attorneys at Berry Law Firm take winning seriously. We do the things necessary to get the results our clients deserve.
Attorneys will use expert witnesses, medical records, and recent medical exams to prove negligence. This will not only occupy an attorney and his or her paralegals for months – it will also leave little in the way of free time for the alleged victim.
Is your case important enough to move forward with? Are you completely certain you’ll be able to win?
These are questions that the professionals at Berry Law Firm can answer for you. Call us today to set up your free, initial consultation.
6940 O St, Suite 400
Lincoln, NE 68510
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