Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, nurse, pharmacist or other health care professional improperly treats a patient and causes injury. Allegations of medical malpractice are based on negligence, and in order to file a medical malpractice claim, a patient must show that the health care professional failed to act with reasonable care.
Medical malpractice laws are complex, and people who suspect negligence on the part of a health care professional may consider seeking the counsel of a medical malpractice attorney to learn more about their legal options.
In order to prove medical malpractice, an injured patient must prove the following:
- A relationship between the patient and physician or health care professional existed
- The physician or health care professional violated the standard of care
- The patient suffered injury
- The injury was caused by the negligence of the physician or health care professional
A patient cannot simply file a medical malpractice claim because they are not satisfied with the care they received. Negligence is instead determined by the standard of care a patient receives that is typically accepted by medical professionals in a particular field.
Common types of medical malpractice may include:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, including failure to diagnose heart attack, heart disease and other serious medical conditions
- Surgical and anesthesia errors
- Emergency room errors
- Medication errors
- Nursing home negligence
- Wrongful death
- Breach of confidentiality between doctor and patient
- Birth injuries
Medical malpractice laws are most likely determined by the legislature in each state and often have their own set of provisions for filing a claim, including the state’s statute of limitations. In some states, there are limitations on the amount of compensation a plaintiff can receive from a medical malpractice case.
Other factors may play a role in a patient’s ability to file a medical malpractice claim as well. Oftentimes, testimony from other medical experts is essential when attempting to demonstrate negligence on the part of a physician or health care professional. Likewise, a medical malpractice claim might be brought on the basis of inadequate consent, or what is known as lack of “informed consent.”
A personal injury lawyer specializing in medical malpractice can help in a number of ways. Not only does a medical malpractice attorney understand the complexities of the law, he or she can also interview medical professionals, gather and read medical records, and file necessary paperwork to file a potential claim.
If you have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact a personal injury attorney at the Linville Law Group today. You may be eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Family members of those who have died may also be eligible to recover compensation for damages, including funeral expenses and the pain of losing a loved one.