If you, or a loved one, feel that a medical professional has been negligent while you were in their care you may be considering filing a medical malpractice case. Malpractice occurs when a doctor deviates from the planned standard of care and, in turn, makes unreasonable decisions while caring for a patient.
When considering filing a medical malpractice case there are five steps you will need to work through to prove that the medical professional was negligent and that their negligence caused significant pain and suffering.
Step 1) Prove a Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed
The first step is to prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed. A doctor-patient relationship, or DPR, develops when a medical professional tends to a patient’s needs through check-ups, diagnosis, and treatment. Both the professional and the patient agree on the plan of care and the doctor is responsible for implementing the plan of care to the best of their abilities.
Typically, this relationship is considered to be formed upon the exchange of money for services rendered. Keep in mind that medical records will show the timeline of the relationship too. Now is the best time to consult a medical malpractice attorney so that they can help determine that the DPR existed. Then you will need to proceed to step two of gathering evidence.
Step 2) Prove They were Negligent with their Care
Next, you will need to show that the provider was negligent in their care of you. This means that they did not behave as skillfully or competently as a provider should. To have a successful medical malpractice claim, the patient must have experienced physical or mental injury or illness as a result of a medical professional’s negligence. There are instances where negligence has taken place but no injury has occurred.
This step requires obtaining a testimony from an expert witness (such as another doctor) confirming the medical care was subpar.
Step 3) Prove Medical Negligence Caused the Injury
The next step consists of providing clear documentation that the patient’s suffering is a direct result of the provider’s negligence and not from an underlying medical condition. As stated above, testimony from another medical professional will be needed. This testimony, alongside past medical records, will need to show that the patient’s injury is not a result of underlying medical issues.
Step 4) Prove the Damages that Resulted from Negligence
Just as it is important to provide proof of negligence, you must provide proof that the negligence resulted in bodily harm. Medical errors and lack of proper medical care are both considered to be negligent acts that can lead to bodily harm. It is vital to provide evidence of how negligence leads to physical injury because without it, there is no case.
If you can prove that negligence led to physical, mental, or emotional injury then you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages due to being unable to work, and even for overall pain and suffering. To prove mental injury, an expert testimony from a mental health professional may be required.
Step 5) Provide Evidence to the Court
The final step is to provide all evidence gathered to the judge and jury for review. The most important pieces of evidence are testimonies from expert witnesses. The court will check the witnesses’ credentials to ensure they are credible. Once the evidence has been submitted all that’s left is to wait for a verdict.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Medical Malpractice Attorney
It is crucial to follow these five steps to prove negligence and win your medical malpractice case. Doing so will enable you to receive the compensation that you deserve. However, following these steps is not always simple. As you can see there is a lot of time, attention to detail, and coordination with health professionals involved.
If you feel that you, or a loved one, have experienced medical malpractice you must consult an expert attorney with Strickland and Kendall, LLC, to help validate your claim and guide you forward in the process. Reach out to our team for a free legal consultation to discuss your claim 24/7, seven days a week at (800) 874-3528.