A medical malpractice lawyer knows that not every medical error is a case of medical malpractice. Sometimes medical errors just occur and there is no negligence involved. In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, a medical malpractice attorney needs to prove four elements to a jury or judge.
1. There was a relationship that existed between the doctor and the victim.
In order for there to be a medical malpractice lawsuit, a lawyer must establish that there was a doctor/patient relationship between the victim and the doctor. This is typically the easiest element of a malpractice lawsuit to prove. It’s not just doctors that can be sued for malpractice, either. Some of the other medical professionals that a malpractice lawsuit can be filed against include:
- Healthcare technicians
- Nurses’ aides
- Oral surgeons
- Physician assistants
- Specialists (i.e. neurologists, orthopedists, cardiologists, etc.)
2. The medical professional was negligent.
All medical professionals have a duty to provide reasonable and acceptable care to their patients at all times. If a medical professional fails to provide the same type of care that another medical professional would have under the same circumstances, that is considered an act of negligence. A medical malpractice lawyer must be able to show the medical professional acted negligently. Some of the most common types of negligent acts include:
- They failed to diagnose a medical condition in a timely manner
- They misdiagnosed the patient’s condition
- They prescribed the incorrect medication for the patient’s condition
- They administered the wrong treatment to the patient
- They incorrectly administered treatment to the patient
- They failed to warn the patient about the possible risks of a treatment or procedure
3. The medical professional’s negligence resulted in injury to the patient.
Once the malpractice lawyer has established the medical professional’s actions were negligent, they must then prove that the negligent act resulted in the patient’s injuries or medical condition. This may be complex because of the underlying medical condition the patient was already suffering.
4. The injury caused losses for the victim.
The fourth element a malpractice attorney has to prove is that the injury the patient suffered caused them losses. If there were no losses, then there will be no financial compensation awarded, even if the medical professional acted negligently. Some of the losses that a patient can be compensated for include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and benefits from being unable to work while they recovered from the injury
- Loss of future wages if the injury leaves them unable to work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Permanent disability
- Loss of life enjoyment
If the patient dies from medical negligence, their survivors may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the medical professional responsible.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm for Legal Assistance
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or other health issue due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be able to obtain financial justice through a malpractice lawsuit. Call an experienced attorney, like a medical malpractice lawyer from a law firm like The Law Office of Daniel E. Stuart, P.A.