Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice refers to a legal cause of action that occurs when a medical or health care professional deviates from standards in their profession, thereby causing injury to a patient. These cases are a complex subset of personal injury law, mainly because they involve the intersection of legal and medical disciplines.
Standard of Care
The standard of care is a critical element in medical malpractice cases. It refers to the level of care that a reasonably competent health professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice. If a healthcare provider fails to meet this standard, and that failure results in harm to the patient, they may be held liable for medical malpractice.
Different Types of Medical Malpractice
There are various types of medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, medication errors, childbirth injuries, and failure to obtain informed consent. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is one of the most common types of malpractice. If a doctor’s diagnostic error leads to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, the patient’s condition can be made much worse.
Filing a Claim
To establish a claim of medical malpractice, a plaintiff typically needs to prove four elements. Firstly, that a doctor-patient relationship existed, meaning that there was an agreement that the doctor would provide care and the patient would receive it. Secondly, that the doctor was negligent in diagnosing or treating the patient. Negligence on its own is not sufficient; the patient must also show that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury. This is often the most difficult part to prove because the patient must show that it is “more likely than not” that the doctor’s incompetence directly caused the injury. Lastly, the patient must demonstrate that the injury led to specific damages, such as physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, or lost earning capacity.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are generally complex, expensive to pursue, and time-consuming. They require testimony from experts who can explain the medical procedures and complicated medical terms to a judge or jury. These cases also have a statute of limitations, which refers to the time limit a patient has to file a lawsuit after the harm has occurred. This limit varies from state to state.
Despite these hurdles, pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit is vital in obtaining compensation for patients harmed by medical negligence. Moreover, these lawsuits can serve to highlight systemic problems in health care, thus potentially leading to overall improvements in the medical field.
Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can cause significant harm to patients and undermine the trust in medical professionals and the healthcare system. While medical malpractice lawsuits can be challenging, they play a crucial role in holding healthcare providers accountable for their actions and potentially preventing future instances of negligent care. It’s advisable for victims of suspected medical malpractice to seek a medical malpractice lawyer from a firm like Ward & Ward Law Firm to discuss their situation and possible recourse.