When a patient is seeking a medical professional for treatment or to undergo surgery, there is an expectation that the medical professional is knowledgeable in his or her field. From the moment you enter a doctor-patient relationship with your physician, you are putting your life into your doctor’s hands. If for some reason, that doctor fails to competently perform his or her medical duties and injury results from that negligence, you have the ability to file a lawsuit against that doctor for medical malpractice. At McGinity Law Firm, personal injury attorney Douglas McGinity has over 15 years of experience in medical malpractice cases. Stop by our Covington, LA office or call 504-581-2222 to set up a free consultation.
Although the requirements for a medical malpractice claim vary by state, there are some general attributes to consider when determining if you can file a claim.
Requirements for Medical Malpractice Claim
In order to justify a medical malpractice claim, the following must have happened to you:
A doctor-patient relationship was established
The doctor was negligent.
The doctor’s negligence resulted in injury.
The injury resulted in damages.
As stated previously, in order for a medical malpractice claim to be justified, a relationship with the physician must have been formed. In other words, you are paying the doctor for his services. To prove that the doctor was negligent or incompetent when performing his or her’s medical duties, you must be able to show that the doctor’s actions resulted in harm that a competent doctor would not have under the same circumstances. On the other hand, if you were simply unhappy with the end result of your treatment, but the physician performed competently, then the claim is not just. Determining whether the negligent actions of the doctor were the direct result of the injury or wrongful death can be difficult because generally, a patient is already sick or injured prior to receiving treatment. The patient needs to show that the negligent actions of the doctor were “more likely” to cause additional injury as a direct result of the doctor’s incompetence. Specific injuries, or damages, that result from a physician’s incompetence are pain, mental anguish, lost earning capabilities, and additional cost to medical treatment.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Although we have discussed the requirements for claiming a medical malpractice claim, you should also be aware of the types of medical malpractice that can occur. Generally, medical malpractice falls into one of the below scenarios.
Failure to diagnose the patient’s medical condition or incorrect diagnosis.
Providing incorrect treatment that led to additional injury.
Failure to warn patient of risks associated with treatment or procedure.