As long as there have been doctors and other medical providers, there has invariably been medical negligence. While most medical professionals do the absolute best job they can, sometimes things do go horribly wrong.
If you believe you or a family member may be the victim of medical malpractice, then it's important you understand as much about the process of filing litigation as you reasonably can. Armed with a clear understanding of the basics, you can then consult with a medical malpractice lawyer to determine if you have a winnable case and should file a lawsuit.
The Basic Requirements for Filing a Medical Malpractice Case
To be able to sue for medical malpractice, you need more than just a strong personal feeling your medical provider didn't treat you correctly. You legally need to have:
This means you can't sue a doctor who you had an informal conversation with about your condition. If you didn't pay the provider or your insurance didn't pay them, then you don't have an established doctor-patient relationship.
The "standard of care" refers to how other providers would treat your condition. If your doctor deviates from it, then this can be proof of malpractice.
In addition to the above, you also need to be able to prove you suffered an injury due to negligent care, such as from a misdiagnosis, being prescribed inappropriate medications, or premature hospital discharge.
Note: It is also important to mention that a negative healthcare outcome doesn't necessarily mean you were the victim of medical malpractice. Sometimes people just have illnesses and injuries that can't be fixed using the current medical knowledge and technology. When this is the case, you cannot sue anyone.
Proactive Steps You Should Take to Avoid Medical Malpractice
One of the best things you can do as a healthcare consumer is to take proactive steps to avoid becoming the victim of medical negligence. This is especially true in today's healthcare environment where you see your doctor for about five minutes before they run out the door to see their next patient.
With such short appointments, it is very hard for your providers to get a clear understanding of your medical condition. So, it's important you do everything you can to be proactive about your care. To do so, you need to be your own advoacte by:
It's important to attend your medical appointments armed with a list of questions derived from your research about your condition. This will help you feel more in charge and greatly reduce the intimidation factor of attending appointments.
Lastly, take notes during your appointments or record the interaction with your providers on your phone if they will allow it.
If you believe you might have a case, contact a local medical malpractice law firm.Share
3 October 2019
After I was accused of doing something that I knew I didn't do, I knew that I needed a trained lawyer by my side to help me to fight the bogus charges. I started talking with different attorneys, and I was able to find a professional that really understood what I was up against. He helped me to identify the different challenges I would be faced with, and he walked me though the entire process. Because of his understanding and diligence, I was able to fight the charges, and it was an incredible feeling. Check out this blog for more information.