Placing trust in your medical care providers is an important part of the recovery process when you or a loved one is ill or has become injured. In some cases, however, that trust is broken, and the patient or their family is left to deal with the unpleasant aftermath, which can include unnecessary pain, serious health complications, discomfort, disfigurement, or even death due to substandard care on the part of their medical care providers.
When this happens, the logical step is often to consider filing a medical malpractice suit for some type of compensation for the physical, mental, emotional, or financial damage that has been incurred. If you or someone you love is or has recently suffered unnecessarily at the hands of their medical care providers, this information can help you decide how to proceed.
Expect the process to be difficult
Unlike some other types of personal injury lawsuits, such as car accidents involving an unlicensed driver who has broken a traffic law, there is often no documented illegal activity involved in a potential medical malpractice case to help establish fault or if there is, it can be much more difficult to prove. Because of this, medical malpractice lawsuits are more complicated to successfully try in a court of law and may require much longer time frames to prepare. In addition to the facts pertaining to the case, such as the patient's medical history, supporting testimony from medical experts in the field are also often needed to help the jury better understand the patient's situation.
Understand the basics
While actual medical malpractice laws can differ in each state, there are some basic guidelines that must apply in order to file this type of civil lawsuit, including:
- the doctor or medical care provider must have been hired by the patient to form an actual doctor-patient relationship
- actual negligence is required on the part of the medical care provider
- the negligence must have caused some form of injury
Because of the fact that doctors are treating patients who may already be seriously ill or gravely injured, it can be much more difficult to prove whether the poor outcome was caused by the doctor's actions or whether it was simply due to the progression of their existing condition.
To learn more about medical malpractice and whether your situation meets the standards in which to file this type of case in your area, meet with a reputable personal injury law firm in your area.