Did Your Doctor Do Something Wrong? Understanding When You Have A Medical Malpractice Case
Many people think that if they go to a doctor and are not healed or cured they can sue the doctor. It is also commonly believed that if something goes wrong during the treatment of an illness or injury, it is the doctor's fault and he or she can be sued. While this may be true, it is not always the case. Doctors are only humans, too. There is a definite process to medical malpractice cases, and the first step is to prove it is actually negligence. A lawyer experienced in this area of law, such as McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., can help you unravel the mysteries of neglect. Here are the main points your attorney will go over with you when trying to determine whether you have a case or not.
Injury or Harm
The first thing that needs to be determined is whether you suffered any injury or harm. Even if your doctor came into the exam room obviously drunk or under the influence of some type of drug, if you were not harmed, there is no malpractice case. You may be able to cause the ethics board to consider investigating the doctor, but it is not malpractice if you do not need further medical attention.
Just because you need additional medical treatment does not mean the problem was caused by the treatment you received. Before you can claim malpractice occurred, you must be able to prove that the treatment, or lack of treatment, was the reason for the need of any further medical help. In other words, if the doctor treats you for a problem with your right knee and you suddenly end up with pain in your left knee, you cannot claim malpractice. However, If you complained of pain in your right knee and the doctor treated the left one, you have the basis for a lawsuit.
Once you have proven that you were indeed harmed by the medical treatment you received, you must prove that the medical personnel administering the treatment was negligent. This is where things can get tricky. You must show that the medical personnel involved did not follow the generally accepted method for diagnosing and treating your medical condition. This means that the way your problem was handled was not the way most other medical professionals would have diagnosed or treated you. Your lawyer will have other doctors and medical professionals go over your records to find out if the generally accepted standard of care was given or not. How you were treated will depend on your problem, your age, your overall health, and even your location. If doctors in the same general area would have treated you the same way, there is no negligence.
Be prepared for a medical malpractice suit to take time. You may need to undergo many more medical evaluations before the court process even starts. Having an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is the best way to have things move along so you can receive the treatment and compensation you deserve.