Creating a Strong Medical Malpractice Case
Posted in Personal Injury on April 3, 2018
Medical malpractice may seem like a straightforward claim after the injury or death of a loved one under medical care. However, this is not the case. In order for a medical malpractice claim to have a strong foundation, there needs to be indisputable proof of the responsible party’s negligence.
In order for a person or a grieving family to obtain compensation for damages and loss, there must be substantial evidence of malpractice or negligence by a healthcare professional or business. Compensation could include the recovery of medical expenses, lost wages or income, pain and suffering, and other related costs.
Factors That Make a Strong Medical Malpractice Claim
Although a person might have a strong claim against a doctor, if he or she does not provide a complete case, or does not satisfy the court, the injured party might lose the case.
There are three basic elements to successful medical malpractice claims, including the following evidence or proof:
- The injured person had a doctor/patient relationship at the time of injury. This is typically simple to prove, and a doctor will typically acknowledge that a relationship with the injured party existed. Records of this are still necessary to prove in court. Medical records, bills, and related medical referrals or paperwork should be enough.
- The doctor was at-fault for failing to provide standard care and was negligent. Failing to provide quality or standard care means the doctor did not provide treatment that other similarly qualified doctors would have in a similar circumstance. An expert medical witness can provide testimony to the court that negligence took place and that the doctor fell short of the standard of care.
- There was injury or harm caused by the negligent actions. Even if medical negligence is proven, if there was no injury or harm caused by the actions, there is no basis for a medical malpractice claim. Physical injuries, medical expenses, loss of wages or income are typically easy to document. Other intangible forms of harm such as pain and suffering, or the loss of life enjoyment are more difficult to prove.
As the level of harm increases, so does the compensation potential. This is why it is vital that an injured person contact a personal injury attorney. Thee may be avenues of compensation that only an experienced attorney would recognize and could advise the injured person on recovering the maximum possible compensation for their losses.
Circumstances That Lead to a Stronger Medical Malpractice Claim
While there are innumerable circumstances that can lead to medical malpractice some are more common than others. These more common instances include:
- Birth injuries. When a doctor provides substandard care to a newborn, he or she may develop physical injuries or long-term mental disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
- Incorrect diagnosis or failure to diagnose. It is vital for doctors not to underestimate a patient’s symptoms and check for every possible diagnosis. The legal term for this is “failure to diagnose”. If a doctor does not emphasize how important it is that a patient follows a specific treatment process, a court could also consider this negligence if the patient forgets or delays treatment and this leads to harm.
- Medication errors. If a doctor gives a patient too little or too much of a drug, or does not give a patient the correct prescription, it could lead to injury or harm.
- Surgical errors. Surgery is a complicated medical procedure and requires the coordination of many medical professionals during the operation. If the anesthesiologist is not aware of an existing condition or if the surgeon makes a gross error like leaving an object in the patient’s body of operating on the wrong body part, medical malpractice would be easy to prove
A person who believes they have been injured in a medical malpractice incident in the Nashville area should contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Larry R. Williams. We will examine the circumstances and let you know if we think you have a case.