When a person decides to pursue a medical malpractice claim, the laws of their state will guide the process. There are no federal medical malpractice laws. The person pursuing a claim for medical malpractice will be required to provide conclusive evidence they received substandard medical care and this caused them to experience an injury.
Establish Legal Duty
It must be proven there was a legal duty on the part of the medical professional to provide care or treatment. All medical professionals have an obligation under the law to provide care that meets established medical standards. Their legal duty of care begins when a medical professional agrees to provide care or treatment to a patient who has requested their services. This legal duty is often easy to establish because it is assumed to occur when a medical professional treats a patient. No legal duty exists if there is no established relationship between the medical professional and patient.
Show Breach Of Legal Duty
A victim of medical malpractice will be required to prove the medical professional failed to follow standards for care that have been established within their profession. It must be shown the medical professional did not follow guidelines when treating an ailment, injury or disease. This could involve administering incorrect drugs or failing to diagnose a health condition, making mistakes when performing medical procedures, surgery and more.
Prove Relationship Between Treatment And Injury
It must also be proven there is a relationship between the care provided by the medical professional and the injury experienced by the victim. This could involve the use of expert witnesses. They will be able to explain what should have been done, why the treatment was wrong, as well as illustrate the reason a victim experienced injuries. A key element to proving this is showing how the injuries a victim experienced are not part of any other underlying medical condition. They also can’t be attributable to any other cause and can only have resulted from the care provided by the medical professional.
Illustrate Extent Of Damages
The victim must provide details of the harm they experienced because of their substandard treatment. This could involve the costs associated with additional medical treatment to correct an injury, loss of income and more.
Preponderance Of Evidence
A requirement to succeed with a medical malpractice case is a victim’s ability to show their injury was caused by a medical professional based on a preponderance of the evidence they provide. This means the evidence can be considered to be very likely true. A medical malpractice case often involves explaining complex medical issues to a judge and jury.
The victim of medical malpractice could receive compensation for general damages. This could include loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and more. This will require a victim to provide evidence these are the consequences they have experienced since being injured.
These are quantifiable expenses. They could include current, past and future medical bills. Missed work as well as the ability to earn an income and more.
These are damages awarded when the conduct of a medical professional is so egregious and unprofessional, a court wants to deter any such behavior from occurring in the future. This has happened in cases where medical records have been altered or intentionally destroyed, the wrong care was intentionally performed to cause injury, sexual misconduct toward a victim occurred and more.
Many people come away from their treatment believing a medical professional did not provide proper care. The first step in the process should be to confront the medical provider. If the desired result is still not obtained, the next step is to contact an experienced attorney who knows how to help with medical malpractice situations. They will analyze the case and let a victim know what is a fair settlement for their case. An attorney will always be with the victim during the entire process until fair compensation is received.