Contrary to recent beliefs, many adults in the United States still visit their primary care physicians and other medical professionals, and seek medical attention for their children. In 2017, it was reported that 85.1 percent of adults and 93.6 percent of children had recent contact with a healthcare professional. Due to the years of medical school and intensive training they complete, doctors and medical professionals are considered authorities on health, illness, and injury, which is why so many people trust in them to provide excellent medical treatment and care for their families and themselves. For this reason, many people are shocked and disappointed to hear of incidents in which medical professionals have caused harm to their patients by failing to provide them with proper care.
In the unfortunate event of being physically and emotionally harmed and wronged by a doctor or other medical professional’s negligence, a patient has the legal right to make a medical malpractice claim against the medical professional responsible for harming them and the hospital or facility that employs that professional.
A patient who believes they were wronged by a doctor in ways that substantiate a legitimate medical malpractice case should consult a medical malpractice lawyer with knowledge and experience in malpractice cases to help them prove their case and be repaid for the damages they incurred.
What is Medical Malpractice?
A patient pursuing a medical lawsuit is responsible for providing legitimate complaints of malpractice. Plausible medical malpractice claims are based on more than just a bad encounter with a medical professional, in which a patient did not like the professional’s attitude, or disagreed with their conclusions, diagnosis, or treatment plan, for example.
There are four D’s considered in medical malpractice claims: duty, dereliction, direct causation, and damage. The patient is responsible for proving that a doctor’s or other medical professional’s negligent actions and subpar treatment caused them harm and/or a decline in their physical and mental health. Additionally, any resulting damages in the form of unaffordable medical bills or the loss of a job and income due to the inability to work would have to be substantially proven.
Any doctor or medical professional cannot be chosen at random by the patient and be accused of negligence and poor treatment just to pursue a case. A medical malpractice lawsuit has to be filed against the individual professional or team of professionals that directly treated the patient. The patient is then responsible for proving that the harm and damage they endured resulted directly from the negligent actions of the doctor they are suing. It has to be demonstrated and proven that the patient would not have been harmed had they had a medical interaction with a competent doctor under the same circumstances. Attorneys with experience in malpractice and personal injury cases, such as those with The Davis Kelin Law Firm, can help a patient prove that a negligent doctor, rather than an existing health problem or stressor, is responsible for the injuries, pain, or harm they are suing for.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are different types of medical malpractice. When filing a medical malpractice claim, a patient should be aware of the different types of medical malpractice, and be sure that their claim is worth legally pursuing. Medical malpractice can refer to, but is not limited to erroneous surgical practices, errors with administering anesthesia, mistakes that occur in an emergency room, mistaken diagnoses and prescriptions, and infections or illnesses that result from a procedure.
Incidents of medical negligence can be so severe that they not only result in injuries, but in some instances, they cause fatalities. As long as medical malpractice incidents keep occurring, legal professionals will continue fighting on behalf of victims of medical malpractice and their families to ensure that they are rightfully repaid for physical, mental, and emotional damages caused to them.