Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
We all want to be able to trust our doctors to make correct diagnoses and proper treatments to make our injuries or illnesses better – and usually, we can. Unfortunately, healthcare professionals and facilities sometimes fail to meet the accepted national standard of care and patients are severely harmed in the process.
When this happens, you may wonder how you can secure fair compensation for the unnecessary harm and suffering you’ve been forced to endure.
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit could help you hold negligent medical professionals and facilities accountable for their harmful actions and omissions. However, before undertaking this often challenging process, it is important to pause and consider certain factors. Here are some questions to think about before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Did the Health Care Provider Breach their Duty of Care?
In order for a medical malpractice lawsuit to prevail, the doctor or other medical professional must have failed to adhere to the accepted national standard of care. In other words, did the doctor, nurse, or facility breach their duty to the patient?
The concept of duty of care takes multiple factors into account to assess potentially negligent behavior. These factors include the doctor’s purported specialty, the medical knowledge available in that field, and more. Failure to meet the nationally accepted standards amounts to negligence on the part of the doctor or the hospital, and therefore meets the first prong in the elements necessary for a malpractice lawsuit.
Was There Severe Injury or Harm Caused by the Breach?
Successfully suing for malpractice requires proof that significant damage was caused by the breach of duty of care. For example, a negligent misdiagnosis that allows an illness, such as cancer, to progress unchecked may provide grounds for a successful lawsuit. However, if a misdiagnosis causes no physical harm to the patient does not meet those elements. Therefore, the existence of a resulting injury is a necessary factor in the consideration of a medical lawsuit.
Do We Have Enough Evidence?
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff – that is, the patient who is suing for malpractice – bears the burden of proof. This means that the defendant doctor or hospital is not responsible for proving adherence to the duty of care. Instead, the plaintiff must present sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the standard of care was breached, what the breach was, and how the breach caused the injury. For example, sometimes it is difficult to pursue cases where there is insufficient evidence of the cause of death when no autopsy is performed.
Successful lawsuits of this kind require a wide range of compelling evidence, including testimonials from other medical professionals. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can assemble and assess the available evidence and, based on this, determine the likelihood of success in a given case.
Choosing the Right Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim, it is important to select a lawyer who is highly skilled and experienced in this complex field.
The medical malpractice attorneys at Bertram & Murphy focus exclusively on medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. Our skilled lawyers have secured significant compensation for many clients, as our past case results show.
Call us or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case today.