When it comes to our health and well-being, we always trust our doctors and other healthcare professionals. In fact, we can afford to have our own doctors to address our health needs. However, your doctor, for instance, can also make a mistake and in reality, these errors can be the grounds for a lawsuit. Thus take a look at this article’s overview of medical malpractice and find out why and how patients can sue their doctors.
What’s Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is defined as the negligence committed by a medical practitioner. It happens when the doctor fails to provide an appropriate standard of care that causes harm or injury to the patient. When you’ve been injured because of the physician’s negligence, you may initiate a medical malpractice suit to recover compensation for damages.
However, proving negligence in this kind of situation is anchored on the following essential elements:
- A duty of care was owed by the doctor to the patient.
- There was a breach of such duty by the healthcare professional
- The breach has resulted in an injury.
- There are considerable damages on the part of the patient. These damages include loss of earnings, permanent or partial disability, constant pain and suffering, and emotional hardship.
What are the types of errors associated with medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice can be committed in these following cases:
- Incorrect surgical operation
- Premature discharge
- Failure to act on the results
- Failure to order lab tests
- Wrong prescription
- Surgery on the wrong part of the body
- Leaving an apparatus inside the patient’s body right after the surgery
- Fatal infections sustained in the hospital
- Failure to follow up
All in all, these common problems can expose doctors and other healthcare practitioners to committing medical malpractice. These include errors in treatment, wrong diagnosis and failure to get the patients’ consent before treatment.
What happens in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
When you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, these are the steps you should follow in bringing a cause of action before the court:
- The plaintiff or the injured person together with the legal representative will file a suit in a court of justice.
- Once the lawsuit is filed, the discovery stage follows whereby both the plaintiff and the defendant will have to share information such as documents, depositions, and even interrogatories.
- Before the trial starts, the involved parties are given the opportunity to enter into an out-of-court settlement. If they agree to the negotiation, the trial will not commence.
- During the trial, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the negligence of the defendant. Moreover, both the plaintiff and defendant will be required to present pieces of evidence
- The assigned jury will then consider all the evidence provided and make a decision based on the information shown.
- A final judgment will be issued by the jury. If the jury decides in favor of the plaintiff, they will entitle the winning party compensation for damages.
- Either party may appeal the judgment.
Looking for legal assistance?
With all the complexities of a medical malpractice lawsuit, it’s always best not to navigate this subject matter on your own. From the moment you’ve become a victim of your doctor’s negligence, you have higher chances of experiencing disability, and in worse cases, you may suffer wrongful death. Thus if you’ve been injured by your doctor, you may click here to research more on what legal rights you have. Moreover, contacting a legal professional can help you plan what to do next to make the most out of your legal options.