We seek doctors to treat our wounds and cure our illnesses, but what happens when the person you trusted the most becomes the one who caused you the greatest suffering? Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for patients to leave hospitals and healthcare institutes in worse conditions than when they were admitted. The damage doesn’t necessarily have to been done by the operating doctor; nurses, surgeons, administrators, or any other attending physician may cause damage to the patients as well. If that happens, the patient may have the right to get compensation for falling victim to medical malpractice.
However, proving medical malpractice is extremely tricky. In this article, we’ll go through what you need to know to properly handle a medical malpractice case. Read on!
Understanding Medical Malpractice
The first thing you need to know is what makes a medical practice claim eligible. If you want to have a medical malpractice case, these are the four things you’ll need to prove:
1. A Doctor-Patient Relationship means that you’ve hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired by you. For instance,
you won’t be able to sue a doctor for following a piece of advice you heard them say at a party or over the internet.
2. Negligence describes the lack of proper medical care, compared to the standard care the doctor was supposed to give you.
This may be proved by presenting evidence of misdiagnosis, medication error, ordering unnecessary procedures, or
basically anything that proves the doctor failed to provide you with the standardized medical care you would have
3. Causation refers to the direct harm or damage you’ve suffered due to the doctor’s negligence. Although doctors may
make mistakes from one time to another, those mistakes don’t necessarily cause the patients any harm. If there is
no causation, you can’t prove medical malpractice. Unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult to prove.
4. Harm indicates the damage you’ve sustained. This can include physical and emotional suffering, lost wages, loss of future
wages, medical bills, wrongful death, or other kinds of damages.
Why You Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
There are a few compelling reasons to hire a specialized attorney for your medical malpractice case. First and foremost, the medical malpractice attorney will know what kind of evidence needs to be gathered to prove the occurrence of medical malpractice. It’s not uncommon for patients to undergo more than one treatment or take prescription medications for more than one condition. The human body is also intricately complex; there are a lot of external and internal factors that could affect the course of the treatment. All of these variables make proving medical malpractice difficult, and that’s why you’ll need an attorney to prove your case.
Moreover, you’ll be strictly bound by the time limit of filing your case, otherwise known as the statute of limitations. Each state has its own rules regarding that. For instance, California’s laws range from 1 to 3 years, while Philadelphia’s limit is strict to 2 years. You’ll definitely need a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney to take on your case and file the claim in your stead. Hiring an attorney is especially needed in cases in which patients often fail to realize that they’ve been a victim of medical malpractice until they start showing symptoms long after the damage. In that case, the attorney may help you file the lawsuit within two years of discovery, which must still be done within a maximum of 7 years of the negligent act.
How to Properly Handle a Medical Malpractice Case
Handling a medical malpractice case can be overwhelming. If you feel lost and have no idea where to start, here’s a quick brief about the steps you’ll need to take.
- Before you file a claim or even contact an attorney, be sure to ask your physician about your case. There are many cases in which the damage can be reversed and fixed without much hassle.
- If the physician refuses to cooperate or the damage done is too severe to be remedied, it’s time to contact a medical practice attorney.
- Be sure to gather all the evidence needed for the attorney to accept your cases, like medical records, photographs of your conditions, medical bills, and the like.
- Calculate the compensation you deserve, file the claim, and then start the negotiations.
Proving medical malpractice is difficult. You’ll need to understand what makes a medical malpractice claim eligible and what could cause its denial. Since there are too many factors that can affect the case, hiring a specialized medical malpractice attorney is often essential to winning the case. With their help, you can gather evidence, file the claim, and negotiate for your rightful compensation.