According to the website of the Law Offices of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, specific rules for medical malpractice cases can vary from case to case and from state to state. Things such as the statute of limitations may be different from one state to another, but the general qualifications for whether or not a case is considered possible medical malpractice are fairly similar across the board. Medical malpractice is a very specific accusation to make against a doctor or hospital, so having an understanding of what it is can help you determine whether you’ve been a victim of negligence at the hands of a medical professional. The following is a brief overview of the necessary circumstances for filing a medical malpractice case:
- There was an established doctor-patient relationship What this means is that you must have hired the physician in question and he or she must have agreed to being hired. This means that a legitimate doctor-patient relationship existed, and it was not merely casual advice given at a social gathering by someone who happens to be a doctor.
- The doctor acted negligently A doctor that deviates from the standard of care, which essentially means behaving in a reasonable and attentive manner that any other doctor would behave in, may be liable for any harm that comes to a patient as a result. Usually a medical expert is brought in on medical malpractice cases to paint a picture of what is generally expected of a physician when dealing with the circumstances of that particular case.
- The patient was harmed Although a doctor may have acted negligently, it does not always lead to negative consequences. In order for a medical malpractice case to be legitimate, the patient must have suffered some kind of physical, financial, or psychological harm.
- The patient was harmed because of the negligence A patient must establish that it was due to the doctor’s negligence, and not just their condition, that harm was caused. If it was more likely than not that the doctor’s negligence is the cause for the harm, then the doctor may be held liable.
Determining whether you are the victim of medical malpractice can be difficult. If you were harmed while under the care of a doctor, consult with a medical malpractice lawyer today.