Proving negligence in a medical malpractice case
A medical error occurs when a patient sustains an injury by a healthcare professional who fails to properly perform medical duties. When a patient is injured due to medical malpractice, the hospital, doctor or medical staff are often found responsible. The insurance companies representing hospitals and other medical facilities have an obligation to compensate victims. But recovering damages for you or your loved one isn't as easy as it sounds.
There are several factors that must be proven when pursuing a medical malpractice case. The attorneys at Braswell Murphy, LLC outline the key factors that go into proving medical negligence.
Here's what you need to know:
There must have been an existing doctor-patient relationship
When pursuing a case, you must prove that you have a doctor-patient relationship with the defendant. You must also have agreed to be treated by that doctor. When a doctor diagnoses and treats you, it is easier to prove that there is a "doctor-patient relationship." This will be documented in your medical records.
There must have been a medical standard of care
Diagnosing and treating patients requires a considerable amount of skill and attention to detail. The doctor or healthcare professional who treated you must have employed the same level of care and skill that a similarly-trained healthcare professional would have done in the same situation.
In order to establish a "medical standard of care," the doctor who treated you would have to be compared with another doctor with the same skill set and expertise. This is where a statement from another skilled doctor is necessary. It will need to be determined whether or not your doctor upheld their duty of care.
There must be a link between your injury and medical negligence
It's important to point out that you can't sue a doctor just because you're dissatisfied with the treatment you received. That doesn't mean that the doctor is liable for medical malpractice. First, you must have sustained a significant injury, illness or adverse health condition. Second, you must have proof linking your condition to a medical error. Moreover, you must have accrued:
- Economic damages - Medical costs, lost wages and other economic damages relating to the medical error.
- Non-economic damages - Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental and emotional anguish, and other damages affecting your life.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help establish this link by tallying up your damages and getting a copy of your medical record. The information collected from your medical record, medical bills, receipts and pay stubs will help us put an accurate value on your case.
There must be sufficient evidence that medical malpractice occurred
When establishing negligence in a medical malpractice case, you must provide proof that an error occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be difficult since hospitals sometimes change the story or try to hide wrongdoing. It's critical that you get an experienced attorney on your side. Make sure you get one who can launch a thorough investigation and get to the bottom of what happened.
We can review your medical records and interview witnesses. We can even look into the history of other errors made by the same doctor or hospital.
Contact our Alabama attorneys today to get started
When you hire the medical malpractice attorneys at Braswell Murphy, LLC, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. Our legal team will leave no stone unturned when investigating and litigating your case. We have fought to help our clients recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements and we have the case results to prove it. Our attorneys serve injured people and their families in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. We would be glad to go over your legal options with you during a free case evaluation. Contact us online or call us to get started.