Doctors are some of the most trusted and respected professionals in the country – and for good reason. Doctors spend years of their lives obtaining the education they need to save lives and make a difference.
Unfortunately, despite all their training, doctors can still make serious mistakes that jeopardize the health of their patients.
When a mistake occurs, it can alter the life of a patient forever. In addition to possible harm to their health and wellbeing, injured parties are often on the hook for astronomical medical bills, creating additional worry. Luckily, if a medical mistake has caused you to sustain an injury or contract an illness, you may be able to take legal action against the responsible party.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
In general, if you do not take legal action after a medical error, you will be expected to pay your medical bills out of pocket or through your insurance. Fortunately, medical malpractice laws may allow you to hold the negligent party financially liable for the mistakes they made. Medical malpractice occurs when an omission or negligent act by a medical professional causes harm to a patient.
Negligence can take numerous forms, but it commonly stems from a medical professional failing to properly diagnose a condition or providing the incorrect treatment for the diagnosis. It can also be caused by a physician failing to properly manage an injury or medical condition.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Medical Malpractice Suit?
Depending on the nature of your injury or illness, you may be able to hold more than one party liable for your condition. The following parties may be held responsible in a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- The physician (if their actions grossly deviated from the currently accepted standards of care);
- Government or private organizations or companies that operate the medical facility;
- The medical facility for inadequate training or improper care, including problems with sanitation or medication distribution.
Individuals will need to work closely with their attorneys to better understand who is responsible for their injuries.
Establishing Medical Negligence
To file a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff will need to prove the defendant (medical practitioner or facility) was negligent in some way. They will also need to show that the negligence resulted in their injury or illness. In other words, to establish medical negligence, the injured party must prove:
- The medical professional or facility owed a duty of care to the injured party
- The medical professional deviated from a universally accepted standard of care, which qualifies as a breach of duty
- There is a causal connection between the deviation from the accepted standard of care and the injuries suffered by the patient
- The patient suffered an injury.
To prove a medical professional has been negligent, the plaintiff must show their conduct did not meet the accepted standard of care. During proceedings, the plaintiff may utilize the testimony of other medical professionals and experts to show how the physician in question deviated from the norm.
The plaintiff will also need to establish from which standard of care the physician or medical professional in question deviated.
Are Injured Patients Entitled to Financial Compensation?
When it can be proven that malpractice is the cause of a patient’s injuries, the patient may be entitled to financial compensation from the responsible party. They may receive compensation for current and future medical bills, loss of wages, emotional and psychological trauma, living expenses, and any other damages deemed necessary.
In general, the greater the injury suffered by the plaintiff, the greater the size that their award will be.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you have been harmed by a medical professional or facility’s malpractice, then you may be entitled to compensation. Click here to contact a medical malpractice lawyer today.