If you, or a loved one, sustained injuries due to a medical professional's negligence, you may be able to file a medical malpractice personal injury claim. If you have found yourself in such a situation, you may have many questions. Getting answers to the questions you have will help you to better understand whether you have a claim and what action should be taken. Here are a few frequently asked questions about medical malpractice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice claims can be filed against a medical professional who has caused injury to their patient as a result of their negligence. These types of cases can be filed against any medical professional, including assistants, nurses and doctors, as long as they were acting in the capacity of their job and acted negligently. Some of the ways a medical professional can act negligently include:
- Over-prescribing medications
- Misdiagnosing a patient
- Not prescribing a course of treatment other doctors would have likely prescribed
- Failing to provide care that was warranted
- Misreading lab results
What Must Be Proven to Win a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
In order to be able to file a medical malpractice personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove a few things. First, you have to prove that you sustained an injury that was caused by the negligence. If you did not sustain an injury, or the injury was not caused by negligence, you can't file a medical malpractice case.
Secondly, in order to file a claim, you must be able to prove that the medical professional in question was treating you and you were their patient. If you are lying in the street after a car accident, and the professional rushes in to help you out of the goodness of their heart and they make a mistake, you can't file a medical malpractice suit, as you weren't their patient. However, if you gave them permission to treat you in their office or care center, you are their patient and can hold them accountable for their negligence.
The last factor you have to prove in order to file a personal injury case can sometimes be the hardest. You have to prove the doctor or medical professional acted negligently. Some illnesses and injuries are hard to treat and symptoms can be similar to other diseases. If a doctor misdiagnoses you because of the symptoms you presented, and they had a good reason to suspect something else, it may not be medical malpractice. However, if other doctors in the same situation would have diagnosed you correctly, and the doctor made a mistake and overlooked the obvious, it can be malpractice. A medical professional needs to look out for their patients' well-being and act within a reasonable standard of care. If that doesn't happen, they may have acted negligently.
What Should Be Done If Medical Malpractice is Suspected?
If you suspect that medical malpractice occurred, then you need to contact an attorney that handles personal injury claims as soon as possible. The earlier you call, the more time an attorney will have to collect facts surrounding your claim and be able to prove that negligence occurred. When you meet with your attorney, be sure to have all of the facts that you can remember, such as names, dates, times, the procedure and any medical records you may have with you. Be honest with your attorney about everything no matter how embarrassed you may be about the injuries or what happened. Your attorney is there to listen and has heard everything. They are there to help and can do so when they know all of the facts.
If you suspect you may have a personal injury medical malpractice claim, it is important to act quickly. You have a limited amount of time to obtain evidence and file a claim. Once that time has passed, you lose any right you had to file a claim and recover money for your lost wages and medical expenses. Getting answers to the questions you have will help you to better understand what medical malpractice is and if you have a claim. So contact a personal injury attorney, such as those at Modesitt Law Offices PC, for more information and to look over your case today.