The Basics of a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries or illness after receiving medical care, you may be wondering if your injuries were the result of medical malpractice. This is difficult to determine on your own because the practice of medicine is highly specialized and complex.
For this and other reasons, it is a good idea to discuss your concerns with an attorney in a free consultation. The attorney can listen to the details of your story and help you determine if you have an actionable claim.
Before contacting an attorney, please read the information below. It provides a good overview of what a medical malpractice lawsuit entails and requires.
How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice?
A bad medical outcome is not always the result of medical malpractice. In fact, doctors can do everything correctly and the result can nonetheless be disastrous. There are four elements that must be demonstrated in order to prove that you were a victim of medical malpractice. They are:
It is easy to prove the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, and it is easy to prove that you suffered harm as a result of your injuries. The difficulty and complexity in medical malpractice lie in the second and third elements, which usually require considerable research and testimony from medical experts.
The Importance of Expert Witnesses
In order to show that a doctor acted negligently in your care, you need to define what the standard of care would be in treatment circumstances like the ones you were in. Put another way, you need to show that the doctor made decisions that other reasonable, competent doctors would not have made under similar circumstances. Most of the time, this requires testimony from a medical expert in the field of medicine at issue.
You’ll also likely need the expert witness to draw a clear causal link between the negligent actions and your injuries. Because patients are already sick or injured when being treated, it is not always easy to definitively prove that a negative outcome was the result of negligence and not simply chance.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney typically has a network of medical professionals who can serve as expert witnesses in court.
Pay Attention to Timelines and Filing Requirements
Nearly every state has a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. It is usually two to three years from the date of injury or from the date that the injury was discovered. As a general rule, you should be contacting an attorney as soon as reasonably possible to ensure you are within the statute of limitations and to preserve as much evidence as you can.
Contact an Attorney to Discuss Your Case
If you believe you’ve been the victim of malpractice, please contact an attorney to learn more about your rights and legal options. Call the Saavedra Law Firm, PLC today.