In recent years, medical malpractice cases have increased significantly, which has raised the alarm in the health sector. A report from the American Medical Association reveals that medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the US. This comes behind cancer and heart disease, which come in second and third places, respectively. Medical malpractice happens when a physician deviates from the accepted standard of care in treating a patient.
Based on this scenario, a claim exists if a medical provider’s negligence causes damages or injuries to a patient. The prosecution of a medical malpractice case is costly, time-consuming, and stressful. This is why you need to ensure that you have all the requirements before launching a lawsuit. This post will look at what you need to file a medical malpractice claim.
Existence of a doctor-patient relationship
As the victim, you need to show that you had a provider-patient relationship with the suing physician. In simple terms, this means you hired the medical professional, and he or she agreed to be hired. According to a New York medical malpractice attorney, this (in the eyes of the law) gives rise to the medical provider’s duty to bestow you with competent care based on the circumstances. In many cases, this is not a problematic issue to establish. If a physician began seeing you and treating you, it becomes easy to prove a provider-patient relationship existed. Whether the relationship existed or not will only arise where a consulting provider didn’t treat you directly.
The medical provider is negligent
Sometimes, not all medical outcomes come out as expected. In some cases, additional harm or injuries result from necessary treatments; This does not mean that an unsatisfactory experience or result-malpractice took place. The provider must have been negligent in either treating or diagnosing an injury or condition to be held liable under the law. In some cases, inadequate medical treatment and even mistakes don’t constitute harm. In legal lawsuits, the court will listen to what a doctor with a similar background would’ve done had they been in the same scenario. If you want to prove your claim, you must show that a reasonable doctor faced with the same circumstance would have acted in a different way that would have likely prevented the damages.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a medical expert may have to testify in such a case. The professional should show they would have approached things differently to prevent an injury or damage to a patient. For instance, he or she may say that they would have ordered a biopsy or any relevant medical testing to prevent misdiagnosis. Additionally, they may also say that they warned a patient of the treatment risks or that they would’ve prescribed a different treatment regimen for the presenting condition. This is why a court will ask for testimony from doctors. There are plenty of med mal insurance carriers, and a doctor will make a different decision based on a different situation. This is why you should work with the right witnesses.
The negligence caused you harm
After it’s established that the standard of care was infringed, your lawyer must prove that the infringement caused an injury or harm. You need to understand that a mistake or mistreatment is not viewed as malpractice if damage does not arise from the action. In simple terms, there should be a transparent interconnection between your injury and the medical care provided. Sometimes, the insurance company covering the malpractice will try to fight the plaintiff. They will argue that the victim was already sick or injured when they received the treatment and not the medical provider is to blame. Your lawyer will build a robust case against this type of thinking and show how the medical provider’s actions impacted your health.
Some states require patients to file a merit certificate before starting a medical negligence case. This certificate shows that the injuries you suffered resulted from a health care provider’s negligence. Filing for this certificate requires an expert – usually another doctor or physician. They will assess your medical records and certify that the original medical practitioner deviated from the accepted standard of care, which resulted in injuries. Your attorney will file the merit certificate, which confirms that you spoke with a medical professional and that your action has merit.
To avoid medical malpractice cases, health experts recommend seeking a second and a third opinion. This means finding another doctor if you feel that you’re not receiving the appropriate medical attention. Remember, your health is too critical to place in the hands of a physician who hasn’t earned your trust. Finally, it would be best to work with a reputable attorney who will help you through this process.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.
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