Medical Malpractice: What You Should Know
Determining if you have a case that constitutes medical malpractice can be a challenge. The education that doctors have usually surpasses the education of their patients, and therefore proving fault in these cases can be difficult. If you wish to pursue a case of medical malpractice, you should consult an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.
Just because a doctor is rude, impatient or unhelpful, this does not mean they have provided sub-standard care. They are under no requirements that they must be pleasant, however they have taken an oath to give competent care. If they violate this and cause you harm in any way, you should consider suing for medical malpractice.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is defined as a doctor, or other healthcare professional, causing harm due to sub-standard or negligent care. This can include:
- Giving the wrong medication
- Giving the wrong amount of medication
- Performing the wrong procedure
- Wrongful death
However, in order to successfully win a case of medical malpractice, it is essential that you have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side. Proving fault is the key to winning your case.
Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim
In order to have a substantial medical practice claim, you must be able to prove the following things in a court of law:
- That a relationship between the doctor and patient existed
- That the doctor (or other healthcare professional) was negligent
- That the negligence is what cause the injury or harm
- The sustained injury led to specific damages
Damages can be things such as: medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Once these requirements are met, you will usually be offered a settlement from the hospital or doctor if your claim has merit.
Important Things to Remember About Medical Malpractice Cases
In order to file a medical malpractice case, and receive an outcome in your favor, you must file a claim soon after the injury occurred. States have a “statute of limitations,” which limits the amount of time you can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or hospital. This time period, in most states, is between six months and two years.
In addition to filing your claim, you may have to obtain expert testimony to prove your case. This can be from other doctors who are familiar with the procedure that caused your injury. An attorney will be able to arrange these things for you and take care of other details of your case as well.
The process of filing a medical malpractice claim can be long and difficult, without a skilled attorney representing you. They will handle filing all the paperwork and collecting evidence and witnesses for your case. Receiving fair compensation for an injury caused by medical malpractice is your right, and can help you get your life back to normal after the injury
John Davis is writing for Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers Golomb and Honik, P.C, a boutique law firm specializing in commercial and consumer litigation, class action litigation, personal injury law, and medical malpractice law.