Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers an injury or succumbs to death due to negligence or wrong treatment of a doctor who fails to perform his/her medical duties. Medical malpractice laws are not uniform across the state. Therefore, the medical malpractice lawyer you hire for your representation should have adequate knowledge about the laws in the state where malpractice took place. However, some general principles and rules are applicable in most medical malpractice cases.
Basic Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim
To prove occurrence of medical malpractice, you need to show evidences for all the following aspects:
Existence of Doctor-Patient Relationship: You need to prove that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the physician you are going to file a lawsuit against.
Negligence of the Physician: Your unhappiness with the treatment you receive is not a valid point to hold a doctor negligent in his/her medical duties. To hold the doctor legally liable for medical malpractice, you must prove that the professional was wrong in diagnosis or treatment and that harmed you. You have to establish that any competent doctor would not have gone wrong with the diagnosis and/or treatment under the same circumstances.
It’s important to note here that the doctor needs not to be best in his/her profession but reasonably skilled and careful in his/her professional duties. Nearly every state requires the patient to present an expert medical professional for discussing the standard of care to prove how the professional in question deviated from that widely accepted standard.
Injury Caused by the Doctor’s Negligence: Many medical malpractice cases are about patients who were injured or ill and therefore, it’s often at the heart of medical malpractice lawsuits if the doctor’s negligence actually caused harm to the patient. The patient is required to take help of a medical expert to testify if the doctor’s negligence actually caused the injury or aggravated the problem.
Injury Caused Specific Damages: Even if the doctor fails to meet the accepted standard of reasonable care and treatment but that caused no harm, the patient is not entitled to sue the doctor for medical malpractice. A patient can sue the doctor for medical malpractice if he/she experiences any of the following conditions:
- Physical Pain
- Mental Anxiety
- Loss of Work or Loss of Earning Capacity
- Additional Medical Bills
Common Medical Malpractices
There is a wider variety of medical malpractice cases. However, most of these belong to one of the following categories:
Failure in Proper Diagnosis: If a skilled doctor would have made an early or a different diagnosis, which could have resulted into a better outcome, the patient has a valid point for medical malpractice claim.
Wrong Treatment: If a doctor fails to treat a patient in a way that would not have been the case with any other competent medical professional, the patient is entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Failure to Make a Patient Aware of Known Risks: It’s a doctor’s responsibility to warn the patients about the known risks of a course of a treatment, surgery or procedure. Failing to do so makes the doctor liable for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice involves serious and severe complications of different layers. That is why, you should get in touch with a Miami medical negligence attorney for advice if you want to sue a doctor.