Four Requirements Needed for Most Medical Malpractice Claims

Four Requirements Needed for Most Medical Malpractice ClaimsWhen you have been harmed by a doctor’s negligence or a physician’s mistake, any resulting medical malpractice claim you file can feel like an uphill battle from the start. Hospitals, medical organizations, and individual medical practitioners are often backed by powerful insurance companies that do not want to send a cent your way if it can be helped. If you want to make things easier for yourself, you’ll want to start your case off right by verifying your claim is valid in the first place.

Four grounds that must be met for most medical malpractice cases are:
  • Doctor-patient relationship: First things first, was the doctor that caused your harm assigned to be your doctor and you their patient? The existence of a doctor-patient relationship establishes that you are trusting your health to that particular medical professional, and that they have accepted your care as their duty. A doctor-patient relationship might not exist if you are rushed into an emergency room and whatever surgeon is on staff must attend to you.
  • Breach of standard care: All professionals within the medical field need to undergo extensive training for their positions, including nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and so on. A key component of medical malpractice claims that are successful is being able to show that the physician deviated from what has been deemed the acceptable procedure or protocol, or what they should have known was safe due to their schooling. Some breaches are intentional – like trying a new surgical method without approval – and others are accidental – like operating on the wrong patient or limb entirely.
  • Probable causation: Next, there will need to be grounds that show this deviation from normal routine caused you to experience harm, pain, or suffering. The connection between your injury and the event must only be “casual”, meaning it “probably” happened based on evidence presented. This is a lower legal standard than other types of claims or cases, such as “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases.
  • Actual damages: Lastly, the harm that has been inflicted upon you by a negligent medical professional must actually cause you to incur some sort of financial damages. Medical costs and lost wages as a result of your injury are damages that can be easy to calculate, while emotional trauma and lowered standard of living are understandably more difficult. Essentially, this last requirement is meant to keep frivolous lawsuits from arising, such as trying to sue a doctor for a giving you a temporary bruise on your knee after testing your reflexes.
If all four grounds for a medical malpractice claim are met, you probably have a fairly solid case on your hands. If you aren’t sure if you’ve met all four grounds, don’t worry – you don’t have to go through this process alone. Christian & Christian can provide you with the necessary legal guidance, support, and representation to take your claim to the next level and ensure it is properly crafted. Our Greenville medical malpractice attorneys have been helping clients since 1975 and have nearly a century’s worth of total legal experience. See what that caliber of service can do for your case by contacting us today and setting up a free consultation.

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