Many people believe that simply because they were injured or became ill as a result of a medical procedure they automatically have a medical malpractice case. This isn’t always the case. Actually, there is a lot more to a medical malpractice case than suffering some sort of injury.
To begin with, an individual must determine whether or not a case even exists, and this can be more difficult than many people realize. A seasoned medical malpractice lawyer is often an excellent resource to help injured individuals understand the complexity of their situation, but to simplify matters, in order to have a valid medical malpractice claim an individual must be able to prove:
The Existence of a Health Care Provider-Patient Relationship:
While this may appear to be a fairly simple task, it can become more complicated than one might think. Of course an individual may not file a claim against a physician they overheard giving medical advice, for example, but many individuals do not realize that they cannot file suit against a consulting medical provider who did not treat them directly.
The Provider was Either Negligent or Conducted Himself/ Herself in a Manner Not Consistent with the Standard of Care:
Simply because an injury or illness occurred as a result of care provided does not necessarily indicate that the provider was negligent or practiced misconduct. In other words, the plaintiff must be able to show that the provider acted in a way that a reasonable and competent provider would not have done.
The Actions of the Provider Caused the Injury:
Since most individuals who intend to file a medical malpractice claim are already sick or injured, it can sometimes be difficult to prove that the actions of the health care provider caused the injury (or death). For instance, if an individual suffered severe burns and later death occurred, even if the doctor was negligent in some way, it can be difficult to prove that the patient’s fatality was a result of the provider’s actions and not a result of the burn injuries themselves.
Even if a provider’s negligence or misconduct “could” have resulted in injury, if the patient cannot prove that he or she suffered in some way, a claim is not valid. Injured individuals can file a claim for damages like mental anguish, physical injury, lost wages and additional medical expenses that result from a provider’s negligence or misconduct.