Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The 4 Main Requirements of a Medical Malpractice Suit

What do you need to file successfully and win a medical malpractice suit? Answering this question and knowing what to do is critical to your success particularly when you have a valid malpractice suit. But to help clear things up, medical malpractice happens whenever a patient is negatively affected by the direct or indirect actions of a healthcare professional while they were under their care. It is important to note that medical malpractice rules and regulations can be different depending on the state. But all of them are predicated on the basics and foundation. These factors are what will determine if you have a medical malpractice case or not. 

Proven Evidence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship
This is the first requirement. There has to be proof that there was some relationship between the patient and the doctor with the doctor being tasked with competent patient care. The bottom line in this requirement is that you have to show that the doctor was hired by you and they agreed to be hired to treat your medical condition. This is important because it shows some "legal" agreement between both parties. For example, filing a malpractice lawsuit against a doctor because you heard them giving advice to someone else about their conditions and you applied the same treatment because you had the same condition doesn't count. The doctor has to be seeing you as his/her patient to be able to meet this part of the requirement. The good news is that this initial phase is not usually contested once there's proof.   

Proof of Negligence
Some people feel that they can sue a doctor for malpractice based on his lacking manners or unsatisfactory treatment. This is not true as all doctors are only required to be careful and reasonably skilful. To be able to sue successfully, the medical professional must have been clearly negligent in their care of you. There has to be proof that the doctor's actions or inactions directly resulted in some form of harm to you or your loved ones. In the absence of reasonable skills and carefulness, a malpractice suit can hold some weight. In cases like this, other healthcare professionals or doctors are presented as medical experts and asked what they would do in similar conditions. The goal is to prove that the erring doctor didn't carry out what was considered the standard and accepted quality of medical care in the patient's case. This deviation from standard medical care is often grounds for a medical malpractice claim. 

Proof that Doctor's Negligence Resulted in Patient Injury
This is an extremely important part of the process because sometimes, patients may be already incapacitated or injured before seeing the doctor. There has to be a direct link between the doctor's substandard or negligent actions and the patient's health condition or injury to file a malpractice claim. For instance, if a patient that has suffered a heart attack dies while being treated by the doctor, it can be hard to prove that the doctor was responsible for their death through their negligence.

In every case, the patient has to prove "beyond" reasonable doubt" that their doctor did indeed cause them harm by their negligence. So, you will often have to prove that their actions "more likely than not" resulted in their injuries or suffering. 

Concrete Proof that Patient's Injury Resulted in Damages
There's a difference between a doctor performing below expectations and the patient suffering specific damages because of their negligence. 

For instance, if a doctor gives you an antibiotic for a headache instead of paracetamol, and you only had those mild headaches for a while before discovering that you were given the wrong treatment, you can't sue the doctor. This is because you didn't suffer any harm that resulted in damages. For the case to stand, there has to be proof that their negligence caused work pay, resulted in your inability to go to work, caused you significant pain, suffering and mental anguish, or resulted in additional medical expenses. 

To learn more about medical malpractice lawsuits, talk to an insurance agent with a reputable medical malpractice insurance company such as Oros Risk.

Oscar King, a professional, med student and freelance writer enjoys sharing his journey. If you would like to learn more about Oscar, you can check out his google+ profile.

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