Although not every medical procedure results in a favorable outcome, in some cases, injuries can be the direct result of a physician’s negligence. Medical malpractice is the legal term for an injury inflicted on a patient due to a doctor or health care professional’s negligence or recklessness. However, not all cases of adverse results can be attributed to this offense. Becoming familiar with the following qualifications can offer insight for determining a viable medical malpractice lawsuit.
Basic Requirements for a Claim
First, a patient must be able to prove that a doctor-patient relationship existed in the first place. If the accused doctor was hired and provided treatment to the patient involved in the claim, this identifies the doctor as the potential issuer of improper treatment. The next burden of proof is highlighting that negligence occurred on the doctor’s behalf. It must be clear that another doctor, under the same circumstances, would have provided adequate care. This claim operates on the basis of “reasonably skillful and careful” treatment, which dictates most malpractice cases. The harm caused also shouldn’t be the result of a pre-existing issue; it must be proven that the doctor’s actions caused the injury that he or she is being sued for. Lastly, the kind of harm, or damages, the malpractice caused must be determined: physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, or lost work and earning capacity.
Types of Medical Malpractice
If a capable doctor would have diagnosed a patient and that diagnosis could have led to a better medical outcome, there may be grounds for a Failure to Diagnose medical malpractice claim. Similarly, if a doctor employs a treatment method that deviates from standard treatment provided by other qualified doctors, the patient may have grounds for Improper Treatment. Cases like this may include preventable conditions like birth trauma.
Another instance of an actionable claim could include an appropriate treatment method, but the evidence shows that the doctor failed to administer it properly. In addition, every doctor is responsible for warning patients of the known risks of a given treatment. If a patient would have forgone treatment or a procedure if the doctor or health care professional hadn’t failed to provide a proper warning, there may be grounds for an Informed Consent malpractice claim.
Understanding the requirements for a medical malpractice lawsuit may require navigating a sea of medical and legal jargon. At D’Amico Law Offices, LLC, we guide our Pittsburgh clients through issues that can sometimes be complex and confusing to help them better understand the situation. If you believe you’ve been involved in a case of medical malpractice, allow our attorneys to support you through this process. Contact us at (412) 652-9300 and schedule a consultation today.