Not every doctor’s mistake can be classified as malpractice. There are a variety of specific factors that must be taken into consideration if a claim of medical malpractice is to be considered valid.
Definition of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional fails to competently perform his or her duties, resulting in patient injury. The rules for medical malpractice vary from state to state, but there are certain principles that can be applied to most cases.
Fundamental Requirements of a Claim
- There was a relationship between the doctor and the patient: In order for the claim to be valid, it must be proven that the doctor was hired by the harmed patient. This means that a person cannot sue a doctor for taking advice they overheard him or her giving at a party; it must be shown that the patient was officially being treated by, the professional they are now suing.
- The doctor is shown to be negligent: Being unhappy with the results of treatment does not constitute medical malpractice. For a claim of malpractice, it must be shown that the doctor was incompetent in giving the treatment to the patient.A doctor’s care is not required to be perfect, but reasonably skilled and cautious. If it can be proven that the doctor was somehow neglectful in these two fundamental requirements, patients may have legal cause to sue for malpractice.
- Negligence caused the harm to the patient: This can be one of the most difficult things to determine in medical malpractice cases. Since these cases typically deal with patients who are already ill or injured in some way, it is hard to discern whether their harm resulted from the doctor’s negligence or if it was a result of their preexisting medical condition.For example, if a person dies after lung cancer treatment, it is difficult to say whether they died as a result of medical negligence or as a result of the cancer. This usually requires the testimony of a medical expert, who may help in pinpointing whether or not the doctor’s negligence is what caused the harm.
- The injury led to damages: Even if it can be shown that a medical professional was careless and failed to perform the duties of their profession, they cannot be sued unless it can be shown the patient suffered harm. Some types of harm patients can sue for include mental anguish, physical pain, extra medical bills, and unemployment.
Contact a Lawyer for Your Medical Malpractice Claims
If you think you qualify for a medical malpractice claim, get in touch with a personal injury attorney at Clore Law by calling 843-722-8070 today.