Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional, hospital, or doctor causes an injury to a patient through negligent or careless actions. Medical malpractice has a legal connotation, which is used to describe the legal action against a medical professional whose conduct is alleged to be negligent. A medical professional’s conduct is measured by comparing it with the ‘standard of care’. To put it in simpler words, ‘standard of care’ defines the level of competence that is expected of a physician under similar circumstances.
For a valid lawsuit, apart from proving non-adherence to the ‘standard of care’, the plaintiff also needs to establish that injuries and damage occurred due to negligence.
Medical malpractice may occur in different forms:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Unnecessary surgery
- Improper medication
- Failure to identify symptoms
- Failure to suggest proper testing
- Operating of wrong body part
- Ulcers and bedsores
- Persistent pain after surgery
- Premature discharge from hospital
Basic Requirement for Medical Malpractice Claim
Doctor-patient relationship existed: As a plaintiff, you must validate that a physician-patient relationship existed with the doctor you are accusing. For instance, you cannot sue a medical professional who you overheard giving an advice.
Physician was negligent: As a patient, you may be unhappy with the results of the treatment but this doesn’t in anyway mean that the concerned doctor is liable for medical malpractice. It’s important to prove that the treatment caused you harm.
Doctor’s negligence led to injury: The patient must show that the doctor’s incompetence directly led to the injury. Ideally, the patient needs to have a medical expert testify that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury.
Injury led to harm: Even if a medical practitioner provided substandard treatment, the patient can’t sue them for malpractice if they didn’t suffer any harm. Some of the different types of harm include:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages and earning capacity
What If You Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Case?
When there’s a medical malpractice case, the first thing you need to do is choose a lawyer to represent your case. Medical malpractice is definitely not a legal action that you would want to take on your own. The first thing a seasoned lawyer would do is interview you about your medical condition and the treatment provided. The attorney must ensure that they have complete understanding of your condition and treatment.
The next step involves providing all the bills and medical records. Once all the evidence is available, the lawyer will review everything from a legal standpoint. After analyzing all the documents, our medical malpractice lawyers Midland, Texas can determine whether yours is a valid case or not.
If it’s indeed valid, the attorney will search and hire an expert medical witness. In fact, for a medical malpractice case to go to trial, there has to be a medical specialist who practices in the same field as the defendant. The medical professional will be required to review the medical records and issue a statement that the defendant was negligent.
Types of Damages Plaintiff Likely To Get
In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff is awarded compensatory and punitive damages:
Compensatory damages cover loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, and life care expenditures. They may also recompense you for non-economic damage such as psychological and physical harm, emotional distress, or vision loss.
Punitive damages are only awarded if the defendant is found guilty of misconduct.
Note: Lawsuits are often costly, cumbersome, and time-consuming. Therefore, before filing one, it’s important to weigh all the pros and cons.
Reach Out to Our Midland and Odessa Injury Attorneys Today
How Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Midland & Odessa Help?
If you think that you or someone you love has been harmed due to inadequate medical care, reach out to our Midland medical malpractice lawyers at the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess. You may not know whether you have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit but our experienced attorneys can definitely help you out. If our Midland, TX medical malpractice attorneys agree to take up your case, there’ll be no legal fee unless we win monetary compensation for you. A medical malpractice lawsuit has to be filed before the statute of limitations expires. With our support, you do not lose your right to money and other benefits.