It hurts to feel violated in any sense. It feels worse when the violation is because of a medical professional.
A medical malpractice case is when a physician or medical professional fails to perform their duties in standard care that results in the harm or injury of a patient.
If this explains your situation, you may have a legal case against your doctor.
If you plan to sue a doctor, you need to make sure you have a few basic items checked.
Did their care result in an injury? Sub-standard care is not enough to guarantee a winning verdict in a medical malpractice suit. Your harm must be physical or mental, cost you additional expenses, or cost you the opportunity to make money.
Was the doctor negligent? If the doctor changed what would be considered an appropriate standard of care, then you would need to show their negligence directly caused harm to you.
Did you have a relationship with this doctor? You must prove that you hired this medical professional and she or he agreed to be hired. Medical advice heard at McDonald’s between two doctors does not meet the requirements.
Causes for a Medical Malpractice Case
There are many reasons for suing a doctor. Here are some of the more common examples:
- Misdiagnosis – If it can be proven that a competent doctor would have correctly diagnosed a misdiagnosis, you may have a case.
- Treatment – A doctor must give treatment that meets the medical standard of care.
- Warning – It is a doctor’s responsibility to warn a patient of possible risks and dangers of treatment.
Other examples seen in the news include surgeons leaving tools inside people after procedures and removing the wrong appendages.
Status of Limitations
Unless the medical professional committed a crime, most states allow patients to bring medical malpractice cases to court six months to two years after the incident.
Failing to do so in a timely manner will result in a dismissal by the court even if the defendants are guilty.
Unlike other civil or criminal cases, most jurisdictions require other steps before allowing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Review – A group of experts will hear your complaints along with arguments from the medical professional. This panel cannot pass judgments or award punitive damages, but many states require it.
Information and testimony at the review are generally allowed in court.
Notice – Before filing your lawsuit, some states require that a patient notify the medical professional they intend to sue with a description of why.
Please check your local state laws to see what you need to do first. If you have a lawyer, they could benefit by having a medical malpractice case evaluation. This could improve their chances of winning in court.
It’s important to seek a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice cases. This is not a legal situation you should try to win on your own.
Consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in these cases to increase your chance of getting a strong settlement.
Even if you are in pain, drowning in medical bills, and feeling violated, know you have options to correct the wrong and get justice.