When we spend time in a facility such as hospital, urgent care clinic, or physician’s office, it is not unusual to expect and to put your full trust in the medical professional’s abilities. By trusting medical professionals it is also commonly assumed that mistakes will be minimal and chances of negligence are exponentially reduced. In a perfect world, no one would make mistakes including medical professionals, however, we live in a far from perfect world and everyone, including medical professionals, are bound to make mistakes.
There is a common misunderstanding about medical malpractice cases and lawsuits in the sense that many people believe if the medical professional makes a mistake, one can simply file a lawsuit against them and win. Yet there is substantial difference between human error and acting negligently. For a mistake to be classified as a result of negligence, the mistake should have been completely and totally avoidable. Therefore there is certain criteria to be met in order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against a medical facility or medical professional.
Four (4) key qualities will need to be proven in a medical malpractice case for it to be successful:
- That a medical professional acted negligently or made a mistake.
- That there was harm done as a result of the mistake or negligent act.
- Injuries sustained from the negligent act or mistake resulted in financial consequences such as lost wages or medical bills, etc.
- There was an established physician/patient relationship before the incident occurred.
An established physician/patient relationship exists as long as the physician has made a diagnosis and/or requests follow-up care. Even in an emergency room situation, a physician/patient relationship is established once the physician produces a diagnosis. Hence, this can be a starting point in supporting a medical malpractice lawsuit. Establishing a physician/patient relationship also ensures that there was a standard of treatment that the doctor and other medical professionals were supposed to adhere to and that the standard was breached.
When standards are not met, this is when negligence can be proved to have occurred. Negligence can include issues such as misdiagnosis, reading lab results or MRIs incorrectly, failing to ask about the patient’s allergen history, or not spending enough time with a patient or following through with a treatment plan unless notifying the patient otherwise. Proof that an injury or loss was the result of the negligence is also necessary for a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Preexisting conditions and prior injuries cannot be encompassed within the suit; only injuries or losses as a result of the negligence can be included.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be daunting, however, finding the right, experienced lawyer and knowing the criteria of a medical malpractice case can be helpful in determining if there is a case and if it is time to retain services from a personal injury lawyer.
It should be noted that medical malpractice cases can be complicated as a result of hospitals and physicians having very resourceful teams of attorneys and powerful legal departments. By hiring the right Paducah, KY personal injury lawyer who has experience going against these corporate legal teams, your case can be handled with the utmost care and precision and positive results can occur. For more information or a zero-obligation case consultation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Daryl T. Dixon Law today.