Medical malpractice ranks third in the USA’s primary cause of death. However, the question is what do you do when you feel like you have been the victim of medical negligence?
Of course – the first step would be to consult a lawyer- preferably a personal injury lawyer who knows the laws about medical negligence and who has witnessed cases of medical negligence before.
Here is what you need to know about medical negligence.
What Do You Have to Prove to the Court?
A plaintiff has to prove certain things to demonstrate medical malpractice. Three main elements have to be proven in medical malpractice.
Departure from Standard of Care – The first thing that a plaintiff has to prove is that there was indeed a departure from the standard of care. The plaintiff needs to be able to show that the doctor or the surgeon or the nurse – whoever it is – the healthcare professional in question did something that an ordinary healthcare professional would not have done under the same circumstances.
So – this is the first thing that you, as the plaintiff, have to show – and typically – this needs to be done with the help of expert testimony.
This aspect indicates that there has to be another physician who says or another nurse who relates that there has been, indeed, a departure from the standard of care, which is why it shouldn’t have happened whatever happened to you.
Demonstration of Damages – The second thing that you will have to establish is the demonstration of damages. Whatever it was that caused an actual personal injury – it could be a loss of limb, or you have gone through a tremendous amount of suffering – anything at all was caused due to the act of medical malpractice or medical negligence.
You might as well have incurred medical costs to fix the damage – it could be economical and non-economic damages that the plaintiff has to prove so that they can get compensation.
Causation – The third element that a plaintiff has to prove is the link between those things – also known as causation. The plaintiff has to show with the help of their personal injury lawyer that the departure from the standard of care caused the damages.
Nonetheless, it is essential to mention that the plaintiff must understand the difference between a bad outcome and medical negligence. If you have someone who has been injured and has some sort of damage – but – the damage is not necessarily flowing from negligence – it wouldn’t make a solid case of medical malpractice.
If you feel as if you have sustained damages from medical malpractice, you will want to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to get your case assessed thoroughly. For instance, you will want to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer from McMath Woods P.A. – the lawyer, together with a healthcare expert, will determine whether it was a bad outcome or, indeed, medical negligence that led to personal injury.
Only after a thorough assessment of the case will the professional attorney proceed to investigate the matter further and prepare for the trial.
What Exactly is the Standard of Care?
Generally speaking – the standard of care is the exercise of an ordinary degree of care and medical skill. When we are referring to physicians and healthcare providers – we refer to the fact that they have a duty to exercise along with the ordinary care and skill that any other physician under the same circumstances would do.
Suppose you have a room of doctors and at least five to six doctors tell you that they would have done the same thing that the doctor in question did to you – whom you believe had caused damage – then this is not a case of departure from the standard of care.
The thing is that doctors have a couple of options to treat a patient, and as long as their method is an acceptable one that other doctors would choose as well, their method falls within the standard of care.
On the contrary, if you have a room full of physicians and they are assessing your case and what the doctor did – and they tell you that they would have never opted for a similar method and that they also don’t know any other doctor who would have done that whatever your doctor did to you – then it is indeed a deviation from the standard of care.
Actions to Take as a Plaintiff
If you feel like you have been a victim of medical negligence, you will want to consult with a personal injury lawyer.
However, before you do that – you will want to take care of yourself physically and make sure that you receive appropriate medical care by taking care of whatever has been the consequence of medical malpractice.
After receiving proper medical care, you wouldn’t want to waste your time consulting an attorney because you have legal rights. Leave the rest to the lawyer – the personal injury lawyer will listen to all the facts, get all the names, and make sure that they completely understand what you have been through.
Subsequently, the lawyer will proceed to preserve the evidence to ensure that when they have to face the jury – sometimes after years – they want to ensure that they have all the records preserved. The most crucial piece of evidence on medical malpractice is the medical chart.
That said, the lawyer will ensure to get every medical record, scan, and medical report essential for your case to explain what happened during the medical treatment you received. The lawyer will then find the right experts that can help bring your case of medical negligence into litigation and prove the wrongdoing at trial.
Ideally, the experts will be in the same specialty as you have so that the experts can look at what happened in the medical chart and communicate to the jury successfully about what went wrong during your medical treatment and how the healthcare professional in question departed from the standard of care.