The field of healthcare is one that is surrounded by very many challenges. As an American citizen, the law will tell you that you have a right to quality healthcare services. But what happens when those entrusted to provide you with these services fail you? Research has shown that medical negligence has over the years been a major cause of preventable deaths in this country. This being the case, there is a need to hold those responsible accountable for their mistakes.
As a patient, you visit a health facility with the hope of getting a solution to a medical condition you are suffering from. Therefore, when a doctor makes errors in their diagnosis or treatment, it may end up complicating matters for you. It also raises certain ethical issues on the professionalism of the healthcare professional and the impact of the mistake on the patient’s wellbeing. Therefore, this article focuses on why and how to go about holding such professionals responsible for their preventable errors.
What Is Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional/ institution causes harm to a patient through a negligent act or an error of omission. It may occur as a result of mistakes in diagnosis, health management, treatment, and aftercare. When this happens, you have a right to file for a claim in a court of law. In such a lawsuit, the injured person will be proving to the court that the injury or harm caused was as a result of preventable medical errors.
Legal Considerations for a Medical Malpractice
The thing you have to note is that the burden of proof is on you as the plaintiff. This implies that you have to prove to the court that your claims are legit. Therefore, when you hire yourself a local medical malpractice law firm their role will be ensuring that your claim meets the following conditions:
Medical negligence is considered to occur when a healthcare professional provides care that does not meet the standard level of care. In legal terms, standard care is one that is local and prudent, which a similarly educated and skilled provider would provide under the same conditions. This argument is founded on the fact that there are specific medical standards that exist and are acceptable to all medical professionals. If these standards are violated, medical malpractice is considered to have occurred.
Harm Occurred As A Result of the Negligence
The next thing you will have to prove is that harm or injury was caused to you as a result of a violation of the standard of care. The idea is that unfavorable outcome as a result of medical treatment or negligence does not in itself qualify as malpractice. You will be expected to prove to the court how the said medical negligence resulted in injury or harm on you as the patient.
Ensure That The damage Caused is Significant
The thing you have to understand is that medical malpractice cases are very complex. This being the case, they will consume much of your resources such as time and money. Eventually, you may end up winning the case and getting compensated. However, the amount recovered may be way less than the costs incurred in pursuing your claims. Therefore, only follow up on claims where the harm caused is significant.
Key Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim
The following are essential components of proving that indeed medical malpractice occurred:
- Existence of a doctor-patient relationship
- Negligence by a medical professional
- The negligence resulted in injury/harm
- The injury resulted in significant damages on you as the patient
In summary, every American has a right to receive quality medical care. This right offers you some legal backing to hold healthcare professionals accountable for any medical negligence. All you have to prove is that this negligence resulted in injury or harm to you as a patient.