When a medical professional’s actions or inactions have harmed you, you may be able to recover compensation via a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you’re pursuing this legal action, you need to know what makes your case medical malpractice and if the facts of your situation align with the four legal elements of a medical malpractice case.
This article will define medical malpractice, how to prove your case in court, get help with your claim, and answer other questions you may have.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is the professional negligence of a doctor or other health care provider that results in patient harm. Malpractice can be committed by actions, inaction, or omission and can occur in many settings.
Here are just a few examples of medical malpractice:
- Missed, delayed, or inaccurate diagnoses
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
- Failure to provide adequate treatment before, during, or after a procedure
- Birth injuries
- Medical device errors
- Hospital infections
Medical malpractice can happen during a routine visit to a doctor, during a hospital stay, or in an emergency room. It can also occur when a medical professional doesn’t do enough or when they do too much. Each case is different and requires a review to determine what happened. If you think your healthcare provider has committed malpractice, you can reach out to a medical malpractice attorney who can help you start your lawsuit.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice: What You Need to Know
The nature of a healthcare provider’s work is to “do no harm.” Therefore, proving their negligence caused your injuries can be challenging. Generally, you will need to prove that:
- A physician-patient relationship existed.
- The physician was negligent (deviated from the medical standard of care).
- The physician’s negligence caused your injuries.
- The injuries you sustained led to damages (medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.).
Although it may seem straightforward, you must prove each of these points individually and definitely. These are high-stakes cases, and the defendant and their insurance company will use all their resources to challenge your claims.
Compensatory Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
There are no definitive rules for calculating compensation in medical malpractice cases. Instead, each case’s facts will determine how much compensation a plaintiff could receive. You may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses.
An insurance company may attempt to offer you a quick, small settlement to forgo legal action. But unfortunately, these offers are rarely enough to cover your damages. An attorney’s job is to seek fair restitution for your injuries. Additionally, they can help you calculate the value of your injuries and losses and negotiate with the insurance companies to get you the best offer.
Many states cap the amount of compensation you can recover in a medical malpractice case, including Ohio. Your attorney can go more in-depth with you about these laws and others that govern your case.
Medical Malpractice Cases Have Special Requirements
Medical malpractice is far more complicated than other types of injury cases. Along with capping the amount of compensation, states may also impose other requirements, such as:
- You must file the case soon after the injury (time limits can vary by the state).
- You must submit the claim to a medical malpractice review panel.
- You must notify the medical professional before filing the claim.
- Expert testimony is required at trial.
The paperwork, deadlines, and legwork associated with building your medical malpractice case can overwhelm you. Medical malpractice attorneys can help simplify things by handling your case so that you can focus on healing.
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What Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Do for You
Medical malpractice attorneys know how the legal and medical fields work, which means they can build the strongest compensation case for you and offer you peace of mind. Here are a few ways that a lawyer can help you:
- Consulting with industry experts to support your claim
- Gathering and reviewing evidence to support your case
- Identifying your injuries’ cause
- Documenting witness accounts
- Corresponding with the liable parties’ insurance and legal representatives
- Providing a legal argument on your behalf
When you hire an attorney, they will manage your entire insurance claim or lawsuit. They will also complete all legal documents and meet all deadlines in your case. A medical malpractice lawyer can also help you settle your case outside of court.
Get Help With Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Medical malpractice lawsuits are highly regulated, and the laws that govern them can make it feel impossible to claim the compensation you deserve. However, our attorneys at the Fitch Law Firm can review your case, help you start your lawsuit, represent you in court, and fight for your financial award.
You won’t pay anything out of pocket unless we’re successful in your case. Contact our team today for a free consultation.