Medical Malpractice: What Is It and How Do I Know If I Have a Case?

If you feel that you did not receive the proper treatment during a surgery or hospital stay, you may need to file a medical malpractice law claim with a medical malpractice attorney. It’s recommended to reach out to a medical malpractice attorney because it can be tricky to prove a medical professional’s negligence or breach of their duty of care.

It’s also recommended to file a medical malpractice claim as quickly as possible after the incident has occurred because medical malpractice lawsuits have a two-year statute of limitations. But what exactly is medical malpractice and how do you file a claim against a medical professional you believe is responsible for damages? Here, we’ll dive into what exactly medical malpractice is so you can feel more confident when you file your claim.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

To make sure you can assert your rights in a medical malpractice case, you first need to define the term, “medical malpractice.” By defining the term, you will also understand what you need to show to win your case. In all personal injury lawsuits, you need to prove that the defendant was negligent and that the negligence led to your injury or injuries. In the case of medical malpractice, there are four factors you need to prove: duty, dereliction, damages, and direct cause.

To back your case, you need to access copies of the original documents pertaining to your medical records, case history, and medical billings and payments.

As a legal cause of action, medical malpractice occurs when a professional in the medical health community deviates from the standards set by their profession. Because of this breach of duty, the practitioner’s actions or inaction leads to a patient’s injury. This type of personal injury case can have serious repercussions for the patient. In some cases, a medical malpractice attorney will be asked to oversee a wrongful death claim. This type of legal claim, if won, gives a patient’s family compensation for a patient who died because of a medical practitioner’s oversights in providing the standard or expected level of care.

Common Examples of Medical Malpractice Claims

Several areas fall under medical malpractice. A claimant may file a claim if they were misdiagnosed for a condition or received a diagnosis that was delayed. Failure to treat, prescription drug errors, or surgical mistakes also can be considered as reasons to pursue a lawsuit with a medical malpractice attorney. In some cases, claimants may file for injuries that happened during childbirth or after delivery.

According to Johns Hopkins, medical errors, alone, are cited as the third leading cause of American deaths. From this information, fatalities caused by medical errors result in approximately 250,000 deaths annually. However, one publication, the Journal of Patient Safety, contends that the number could be as much as 450,000. If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, contact us for a consultation today.

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