You trust your doctor to give you quality care. Unfortunately, at times medical errors happen, resulting in needless injury to patients.
When this happens, what legal options do you have to recover for your injuries and other damages arising from the doctor’s error?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional deviates from the accepted standard of care, resulting in injury to the patient. Common types of medical malpractice include misdiagnosis, medication errors, surgical errors and birth injuries.
The fact that treatment was unsuccessful is not malpractice. Instead, malpractice means that the medical professional failed to exercise a level of care that an average prudent reputable member of the profession would exercise under the circumstances.
Proving medical malpractice
Medical malpractice claims are often complicated.
A party asserting a claim must establish the standard of care applicable to the medical professional and that the medical professional breached the standard of care. This virtually always requires expert testimony.
The party asserting a claim must also prove damages caused by the professional’s malpractice. If proved, a party can recover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and compensation for loss of enjoyment of life if the party suffered long-term injuries.
If a patient dies as a result of malpractice, the patient’s family ordinarily can recover for amounts the patient would have contributed to the family if they survived, as well as funeral expenses and any other losses resulting from the malpractice.
Speak to an attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice, it is critical that you speak with an experienced attorney regarding your rights and any potential avenues of relief.