Any time the outcome of a surgery or other medical treatment is unfortunate, the patient and his or her family can be frustrated, angry and looking for answers. In some cases, there is little doctors and hospitals can do or say to help you recover from the damages suffered.
In other cases, though, patients or their families can take legal action in the form of a medical malpractice claim. In order to pursue this option, you’ll need to understand the elements of a medical malpractice claim and what needs to be in place for a claim to be successful.
Medical malpractice cases involve negligence by a doctor or other medical professional. This means that in order for a case to be successful, it must fulfill the requirements of a negligence claim.
These elements include:
- A duty owed to someone: In the context of medical malpractice, this can include a doctor or nurse who owed a duty to a patient.
- A breach of that duty: This includes any action or inaction that falls below the standard or reasonable care expected in a situation. This might include using unapproved or substandard techniques during an operation, failing to make a timely diagnosis or administering the wrong dosage or type of medication.
- Damage resulting from the breach: In other words, someone must be harmed by the negligence in the form of financial, physical and/or emotional damages.
Understand that not every adverse outcome of medical care or accident that occurs will be grounds for a claim. However, preventable errors and accidents that cause injury can generally justify a legal claim if they meet these requirements.
If you believe you may have cause to file a legal claim in light of a birth injury, surgical mistake or other type of medical malpractice, it may be wise to discuss your case with an attorney. These claims require a familiarity with proving negligence in the medical industry, which can be extraordinarily complex. Working with an attorney can allow you to focus on your recovery and let them handle the legal nuances of building a claim.