The Different Elements that will Require You to Seek Help from a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Every time you go to the hospital for medical care, it is reasonable to expect that doctors and nurses would know how to do their jobs properly. After all, your life and your well-being depend on them. Sometimes, however, even doctors make mistakes which puts patients in harm. In one of the researches on the matter published in 2016 in the BMJ, medical errors rose to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States, ranking third after heart disease and cancer.
If you think you may have suffered injury due to the negligence of medical practitioners, then you can file a lawsuit with the help of a medical malpractice attorney. That is not to say that proving medical malpractice is easy; it is up to you and your lawyer to prove that all the elements which define medical malpractice are present.
Establishing Obligation to the Patient
The first thing you need to prove is the presence of a doctor-patient relationship between you and the doctor you are accusing of malpractice. This notion of legal duty is what will essentially be the foundation of the medical malpractice claim.
Proving Breach of the Duty
Once the legal duty or obligation has been established, the next thing you must show is that the medical professional was negligent in the performance of his duty. Identifying the specific point in time when the medical malpractice occurred may be tricky.
For example, one instance may have a doctor leaving surgical tools inside the body of the patient–this is a clear incident of medical malpractice. In some other cases, however, are even more vague and hard to pinpoint, such as when proving that the doctor misdiagnosed the case of the patient and failed to apply the appropriate corrective measures in time.
Proving Cause and Effect
You need to prove that the medical practitioner’s negligence caused your injury. Establish the direct causation between your injury and the doctor’s negligence, and you have a winning case in your hands. It does not necessarily be a physical injury; it can also psychological, emotional, or even financial in nature.
If your lawyer manages to win the case, you will be awarded compensation which may be in the form of economic or non-economic damages. Lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice such as those from Little, Oliver & Gallagher can help you better work out a game plan for your medical malpractice claim.
Medical Malpractice Overview. FindLaw.
Elements to Prove in Medical Negligence Cases. Medical Malpractice.NOLO.