Every day, doctors and hospitals make mistakes. These medical errors often cause serious injury to patients who are seeking treatment. The truth is that there are many different types of injuries and situations in which someone could bring a claim against a health care provider. Still, only some of those would meet the definition of medical malpractice under the law.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice
If your doctor or hospital has caused you harm, you may have a case for medical malpractice. Here is how to tell if you have a good case:
- The medical treatment was beyond the accepted standard of care
- The doctor or hospital neglected to follow the accepted standard of care, which resulted in injury to the patient
- The injury caused by medical negligence resulted in damages to the patient, including pain and suffering, loss of healthy life, medical bills associated with the injury, etc.
What are the conditions needed to establish malpractice?
Before filing a medical malpractice claim, the first thing you need to establish is that the doctor or hospital did not act according to the generally accepted standard of care. There are both legal and medical standards for judging whether health care providers acted appropriately. If your case meets this first requirement, you have established the foundation of your medical malpractice claim.
The law also requires that you prove two things if your case ever goes to trial:
- You must show that there was a breach of duty of care owed by the doctor or hospital.
- You have to establish causation, which can be more complicated than proving a breach of duty. It means that the doctor’s or hospital’s negligent action (or failure to act) directly caused your injury. If the damage had occurred without the negligent action, then there is no causation, and your claim fails.
If you can establish these two things, your case could move forward under certain conditions. First, it must be within the statute of limitations, limiting the time you can file a claim.
Second, your damages must be proven. The medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date you were injured or three years from when the injury was discovered. If your case does not meet these requirements, it cannot move forward in a court of law.
It’s best to seek the advice of an experienced attorney if you believe that you have a valid medical malpractice claim. Your attorney can guide you through the process and help you prove your claim to a judge.
If you think your doctor may have made mistakes in treatment or diagnosis, we want to hear from you. The Law Offices of Lisa Douglas has years of experience in medical malpractice law with years of experience helping clients like you get what they deserve after suffering an injury due to another’s negligence. Contact us today for consultation on your potential legal claim!