How to Know If You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?Sometimes medical treatments do not turn out the way that you might expect. You might even be harmed as the result of medical treatment. If you are injured because of the actions or negligence of a doctor or medical professional, then you might be able to sue the doctor for malpractice. However, it can be difficult to prove malpractice. Specific requirements must be met, which is why it is always best to speak to a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer for advice. So, how do you know if you have a malpractice claim?
Requirements for a Malpractice ClaimFor a medical malpractice to occur, all the following must be true.
- Doctor-Patient Relationship: There must be a doctor-patient relationship for malpractice to occur. You must have been a patient of the doctor. If you have seen a doctor just one time, then a doctor-patient relationship has been established.
- Negligence: The doctor has to commit medical negligence for a malpractice suit. Even if you are unhappy with your medical treatment or it does not turn out the way you expected, you still may not have a malpractice claim. You must prove that the medical provider must have deviated from the accepted standard of care to sue for malpractice.
- Injury: For malpractice to occur, you must have been injured due to the direct result of your physician's actions or their negligence. It can be hard to prove that injury occurred as the result of negligence since patients tend to be sick anyway. It takes a skilled malpractice attorney to show that the doctor's actions were to blame.
- Harm: You also must have been harmed by the treatment to sue for malpractice. Even if the doctor was negligent, malpractice did not occur if you did not suffer injury as the result of negligence. Examples of harm might be:
- Chronic pain
- Mental suffering
- Lost work or earning capacity
- Permanent disability from the medical treatment
Types of Medical MalpracticeHere are some of the most common types of malpractice.
- Recklessness: If surgery was performed while the doctor was under the influence of alcohol and the patient was injured, then recklessness would apply.
- Misdiagnosis or a Failure to Diagnose a Condition: A doctor can be found negligent if they failed to diagnose a problem that a similar doctor would have diagnosed with the same information. If you can prove that a different diagnosis would have lead to a better outcome, then you might have a medical malpractice claim.
- Failure to Warn of Risks: If a doctor is aware that certain risks could occur with a medical procedure and fails to warn you about the dangers, you might have a medical malpractice suit—if you were harmed during the treatment. The reason for this is because, if you had known about the risks, you might have declined the treatment and not have been harmed.
- Improper or Unacceptable Treatment: Improper treatment might occur if a doctor chooses a treatment that no reasonable, competent doctor would choose in similar circumstances or if the doctor performs the procedure in a way that is incompetent. Again, you must have been harmed as the result of the inadequate treatment for malpractice to occur.