Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
When a doctor makes a mistake, you may automatically think that you have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. But there’s a lot more to these cases than simply getting hurt as a patient. A few key factors will need to be examined to determine the validity of your case:
- The medical professional must have made a mistake when administering care to you.
- The mistake must have resulted in harm that was done to you.
Attorneys will need to complete a thorough investigation to determine if the case is valid. Malpractice lawsuits are very complicated and extensive, so it’s important to understand how medical malpractice is determined.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when any medical professional, whether it be a doctor or nurse, performs an action that may harm you. The act must result in what is called “medical negligence.”
Malpractice can occur because of two distinct circumstances:
- The medical professional did something that caused the injury or illness to worsen.
- The medical professional performed an action, such as administering a specific medication, that resulted in harm done to you.
As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to determine what a doctor should have done at a specific time during the patient’s visit or hospital stay. And, it’s important to remember that the act must be negligent.
Medical negligence, categorized as a mistake or omission, can occur at any time during medical treatment. As an example, malpractice may occur during the an examination where a patient was not properly diagnosed, or it can occur with prescribing improper medication for a medical condition.
Malpractice Must Result In Injury or Damage
In the whole scheme of things, the doctor’s action must result in injury or further damage to the patient. If, for example, the doctor prescribed medication and the patient’s condition did not worsen, no harm had been done to the patient.
As such, there would be no opportunity for a malpractice lawsuit.
However, if the doctor amputated the wrong limb, or prescribed medication that made you sick or resulted in a delay of your condition’s improvement, this would be considered damage or injury.
Your attorney will also have to prove that the harm done to you is connected to the negligence in what is called “causation.” This is the most difficult part of the process because diseases may worsen even with proper medical care. Proving that a delay in getting a specific medication caused your condition to worsen is very timely and expensive to do. Your doctor must have breached the standard of care in such a way that you are injured, harmed or made worse as a result.
These legal battles are lengthy and complicated. It’s best to discuss your options with a lawyer that focuses on medical malpractice cases and can better help represent you in court.