What Qualifies As Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a physician fails to treat or diagnose a patient properly. Laws and regulations vary from state to state, but there are some general guidelines that are used to determine whether or not a malpractice claim is valid.

Types of Medical Malpractice

There are a number of different scenarios that may lead a patient to make a medical malpractice claim. Generally, most claims will fall into one of these three categories:

  • Failure to warn. It’s the job of the physician to warn patients of any risks associated with medications, treatments or surgical procedures. This duty is known as informed consent. If the doctor fails to warn the patient of the risks and the patient would not have elected to undergo the treatment had they known of these risks, the doctor may be held liable if the patient was injured during the procedure.
  • Failure to diagnose. If the doctor fails to diagnose an illness, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. If the doctor could have made a different diagnosis that could have resulted in a better outcome you, you may also have a valid claim.
  • Inadequate treatment. Improper administration of treatment or treating the patient in an incompetent manner can result in a medical malpractice claim.

Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim

In order for a medical malpractice claim to be made, you need to prove that your doctor was negligent, that their negligence is what caused your injuries and your injuries caused you damages.

Doctor-Patient Relationship

First and foremost, you need to prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed. In other words, you can’t sue a doctor that you haven’t hired. If the doctor saw you and began treating you, then you can prove a physician-patient relationship existed. Proving that a relationship existed can be tricky if a consulting physician is the one who mistreated a patient.

Proving Negligence

If you can prove that a doctor-patient relationship exists, the next step is to prove that the physician was negligent. This part of the process can be complex, and being unhappy with your treatment does not qualify as negligence. You need to prove that:

  1. The doctor’s actions caused you harm.
  2. A competent doctor would not have caused you harm under the same circumstances.

Remember, doctors are not required to give you the best care, but they are required to give you care that’s reasonably careful and skillful. This will be the most difficult aspect of the case, and a medical expert will likely be brought in to help prove your case.

Negligence Caused Your Injury

Proving that the doctor’s negligence is what caused your injury can also be a challenge. Oftentimes, malpractice cases involve patients who were sick or injured prior to the incident. In this case, it can be difficult to prove that the doctor’s actions – even if they were negligent – are what actually caused the injury. Again, a medical expert’s testimony may be used to testify that the doctor’s negligence is what caused the injury.

Finally, you must be able to prove that the injury caused you damages. A claim is not valid if the patient does not suffer any harm.

Medical Malpractice Attorney Baton Rouge LA

If you think that you or a loved one has experienced medical malpractice based on the guidelines above, contact us today for more information on how we can help you file a claim and get a fair settlement.