Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Medical Malpractice – What Has to Be Proven?

If you have been injured by the negligence of a medical professional, you may have grounds to seek compensation through filing a medical malpractice claim. These cases are often complex, as there are specific factors that your lawyer must prove in order for your medical malpractice claim to be successful. 

Some of the facts that your case must prove include:

There was an established physician-patient relationship.
Your lawyer must be able to prove that you and the physician had an established professional relationship, which means that you hired the physician to provide you with medical care and they agreed to be hired by you.

This relationship is easy to prove if you were seeing the physician and receiving treatment. This relationship is more difficult to prove if the physician was a consulting medical professional who did not treat you directly.

The physician was negligent.
In order to be liable for medical malpractice, your physician must have acted negligently. This means that your physician is not necessarily guilty of malpractice simply because you were unhappy with the results of your treatment.

Your attorney must be able to prove that your physician made treatment decisions that a competent doctor would not have chosen in the same situation, and that these actions caused you to suffer harm. Your attorney may need to present testimony from a medical expert that explains what standards of care are reasonable in cases similar to yours.

The physician’s negligence was the cause of your injury.
Because medical malpractice cases often involve patients who were injured or ill to begin with, it is necessary to show that more likely than not the harm was caused by the physician’s negligence, rather than the patient’s preexisting condition. Testimony from a medical expert may be required to prove that the injury was directly caused by your physician’s negligent actions.

You suffered specific damages as a result of your injury.
Even if there is clear evidence that your physician acted negligently, you cannot pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim unless you sustained injury or illness as a result. Types of specific damages include physical pain, additional medical expenses, psychological trauma, missed wages during recovery, and the loss of future earning capacity.

If you would like to discuss your options to seek justice and hold a negligent physician accountable, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group. You can also learn more by reading our Medical Malpractice page.