Over 17,000 medical malpractice suits are filed each year in the United States. On average, a doctor in the U.S can expect a malpractice lawsuit at least once every seven years. Medical malpractice lawsuits occur when a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or any other healthcare provider through a negligent act causes an injury to a patient.
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The negligence can result from an error in treatment, diagnosis, procedure, or post-hospital health management. The rules for this claim vary in each state. However, some general principles and categories apply to all medical malpractice cases. Here is what you should know about this claim.
What Is a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you believe that you or your family member is a victim of medical malpractice, it would be good to hire a lawyer to help you handle the claim. In Columbia, medical malpractice lawyers from Louthian Law Firm will help you understand your legal options.
Under the law, for a claim to be considered valid, you should be able to prove the following:
The Injury Was the Result of Negligence
Being unhappy or unsatisfied with your results or treatment does not count as malpractice. For your claim to be valid, there has to be sufficient proof that the healthcare professional must have been negligent while treating you, and they violated the standard of care.
Plaintiffs need to prove that the medical provider’s actions caused them harm and that any other provider under the same circumstances would not have. If the hospital was negligent, but it did not cause you any harm, you have no case.
There Was a Violation of the Standard of Care
According to the law, the standard of care is the degree of care that a person should exercise under the circumstances. This includes prudence, attntion, or caution. If a person fails to meet the standard of care, they can be liable to a third party for injuries or accidents.
A patient has a right to expect the same from their healthcare provider. If there is proof that the standards were not met during treatment, the patient can sue for damages.
The Injury Caused Substantial Damages
Even if there is proof that the medical provider was negligent or did not perform as per the standard of care, the patient cannot sue for medical malpractice if there was no harm. The patient can sue for the following damages:
- Additional medical bills
- Physical pain
- Lost work income
- Mental anguish
- Suffering and hardship
Medical malpractice lawsuits are not easy to litigate. They are also expensive. It requires testimonies from several medical experts and hours of deposition to prove that the case is viable.
A Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed
You cannot sue a doctor for following the advice you overheard them giving at a party. You have to show that you hired the doctor in his capacity as a medical provider, and they agreed to take you in as their patient.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Several situations can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Improper treatment
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Failure to recognize symptoms
- Improper medication or dosage
- Premature discharge
- Surgical errors or wrong-site surgery
- Not taking appropriate patient history
- Ignoring or misreading laboratory results
- Poor follow-up or aftercare
- Unnecessary surgery
- Failure to order proper testing
- Failure to mention known risks
States have different procedures and rules for handling medical malpractice claims. It is vital to know your state’s regulations as you make your claim.
Get Legal Help When Suing for Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice cases are very complicated and highly regulated. If you have a claim, you should get the right representation.
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