While mistakes happen, even in the healthcare world, some mistakes can have serious, even disabling effects for patients. If you’ve suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed as a means of holding those responsible for your injuries liable under the law, including medical professional(s) at fault for your injuries and/or the healthcare facility in which your injuries occurred. A personal injury claim can also be a means of recovering financial damages is you were seriously injured as a result of malpractice.
Medical malpractice, by definition, means the failure of a medical practitioner to act in an appropriate and acceptable manner given the medical circumstances. When malpractice occurs, a medical professional does not act prudently or does not employ best practices in handling a particular situation. If injuries occur that could have been prevented by the practitioner appropriately using his or her skills, knowledge and training and the resources at his or her disposal, then the medical professional can be held liable for negligence under the law.
Medical malpractice personal injury claims can result from a number of different circumstances, including, but not limited to:
- Negligence in providing appropriate care.
- Failure to provide emergent care when warranted.
- Mistakes during surgical and other procedures.
- Injuries to the mother or the infant during labor or birth.
- Prescribing, manufacturing, distributing or dispensing dangerous medications.
- Errors in filling prescriptions in pharmacies, or in administering medications in a clinical setting.
- Abuse in nursing care facilities or other healthcare and residential care locations.
- Diagnosis errors, including misdiagnosis, the failure to diagnose a recognizable condition, or a serious delay in diagnosis that results in medical complications or other injuries.
- If death occurs as a result of medical malpractice, certain family members of the patient can bring a wrongful death medical malpractice lawsuit again their loved one’s healthcare provider(s).
Proving Your Medical Malpractice Personal Injury Claim
There are recognized standards of care accepted of medical professionals providing healthcare services to patients. In order to prove your medical malpractice personal injury claim, you must be able to show you did not receive the appropriate and accepted standard of care as a patient. Standards of care fall into two main categories:
- The overall standard of appropriate medical care, which governs all aspects of providing patient care regardless of patient condition, and
- Condition-specific standards of care, which govern the diagnostic procedures, treatment protocols and other details specific to the condition from which a patient suffers.
If you had a diagnosed condition prior to the medical procedures or other actions that resulted in your injuries, then the accepted standards of care for treating your specific condition will be very important in your personal injury claim, particularly if a medical practitioner failed to follow recognized best practices in dealing with your medical condition. If you did not have a diagnosed condition prior to the event(s) that lead to your injuries, then your claim may be more difficult to prove, as symptom presentation, diagnostic tests completed, and other circumstantial details may have prevented the physician or other healthcare practitioner from having sufficient knowledge in your case in order to prevent your injuries from occurring.
Any medical malpractice claim can be very complex and difficult to prove, no matter how cut and dry it may at first appear to you. In order to prove your claim, you must collect as much medical documentation as possible related to the incident(s) in which your injuries occurred. You will also need all your medical bills and other expenses and damages associated with your medical malpractice claim, including information on lost wages from missing work due to your injuries.
Dependent upon the circumstance of your case and the extent and seriousness of your injuries, you may be able to receive financial compensation for a range of damages. Personal injury claims can include expenses and other damages associated with physical injuries suffered, but can also include non-financial damages as well. These non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, loss of future earnings ability, and even loss of life enjoyment.
Your Medical Malpractice Personal Injury Case
Personal injury claims in medical malpractice realm of civil litigation can be very time consuming. They can also be costly to argue, especially if they do go to trail rather than being settled outside the court system. Hospitals, doctors and other healthcare facilities have legal assistance in defending themselves against malpractice lawsuits. You will need legal help as well, and hiring a personal injury lawyer familiar with medical malpractice claims is in your best interest.
Your attorney can review your claim and your documentation to determine the best course of action in your case. He or she will determine if your case is viable (legitimate and winnable under the law). If you have a viable claim, your lawyer will either recommend trying to settle the case out of court or may believe proceeding to trial is best given the circumstances of your claim. In either event, having a medical malpractice personal injury lawyer by your side throughout your claim removes the burden from your shoulders and may make it more likely you’ll see payment for damages you suffered due to your injuries.