Ask a Medical Malpractice Lawyer: How Hard Is It to Prove Malpractice?
Have you experienced medical malpractice? Are you looking for a medical malpractice lawyer in Baltimore to help you with your claim? At Peter Angelos Law in Baltimore, Maryland, we’re ready to help you. Here’s what you can expect when it comes to proving medical malpractice.
Ask a Medical Malpractice Lawyer: How Hard Is It to Prove Malpractice?
If you have experienced medical malpractice, then that can take a huge toll on your entire life. Not only do you have to deal with the physical consequences of what happened to you, but there are emotional consequences as well. In any type of personal injury case, you as the plaintiff need to prove several things. First, that the defendant behaved negligently. Second, that this negligence caused your injury, and third, that the negligence caused other damages. In the case of medical malpractice, things get a little more complicated, since medical providers have a duty to go above and beyond the expectations of the everyday person. There are four things that a plaintiff will need to prove if they are looking to take their case to court. Learning these four things and working with a medical malpractice lawyer will give your case the best shot it has.
Duty of Care
As the plaintiff, the first thing you’re going to need to prove is that the defendant had a duty of care. In other words, you need to prove that the defendant had a professional duty to provide you with medical care and services to the best of their abilities. This is the easiest part of the case to prove. All you need to do is show evidence that the defendant was your physician or medical caregiver at the time that the malpractice occurred. You can prove this by showing medical bills and records.
The next thing that you’ll need to prove for your case is where things start to get a little more complicated. You’re going to need to show evidence that your medical provider displayed negligence or deviated from what is standard medical practice. As the plaintiff, you’ll need to prove to the jury that the defendant’s behavior did not match the accepted standards of care. This can be a time-consuming—and expensive—process. One of the most common and effective ways of proving this is by bringing in an expert witness. Unfortunately, medical expert witnesses tend to be more expensive than other medical witnesses. That said, they are one of the best ways to provide evidence that your medical practitioner’s actions were negligent.
Breach of Duty of Care
After proving negligence, the next step of the process is proving that this negligence is what led directly to your injuries. Things can get further complicated here. Most malpractice cases are going to involve plaintiffs who were already sick or injured when the malpractice occurred. This can make it hard to prove that the harm you incurred was a result of negligence or malpractice rather than a result of the illness or injury itself. As the plaintiff, you will need to prove that it is more likely than not that your injuries were a result of malpractice. Having a medical expert testify will help you prove this effectively.
The Breach and Negligence Led to Specific Damages
The fourth and final thing you’ll need to prove for your case is that you suffered specific damages from the harm you received from the malpractice. Proving this is often much more straightforward and simpler than proving that the negligence and breach of duty happened. It’s also an important thing to prove. Even if the defendant obviously acted in a way that isn’t conducive to the expectations for their practice, you can’t sue unless you have suffered specific damages. There are a few different things that you’ll be able to sue for. Some examples of harm you may have incurred from the medical malpractice you experienced include physical pain and injury, additional medical bills, loss of wages from missing work, and mental anguish.
Types of Medical Malpractice
If you believe that you have experienced medical malpractice in Baltimore and you are looking to sue your medical caregiver, then understanding the steps is important. But it’s also important to know what the different types of medical malpractice are. Working with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer, like the team at our firm, will help you gain a deeper understanding of what these different types are and determine whether you’ve experienced one of them.
Failure to Diagnose Properly
When you go to a doctor or hospital to receive treatment for something, one of the very first things that that doctor needs to do is diagnose you. This diagnosis will explain why something is happening in your body. It will also help determine what the right treatment options for you are. If you are not diagnosed properly or if you are not diagnosed at all, then this could lead to improper or lack of treatment. You could have a viable case if you can prove that a different practitioner would have discovered your illness or condition, or would have diagnosed you with the correct one.
Failure to Provide Proper Treatment
When you go to a doctor, one of the things that you can expect from your visit is to receive proper treatment once your diagnosis has been made. You should expect your treatment to be administered effectively and competently. If your treatment isn’t administered competently, then you could have a viable malpractice claim. One example of this is not receiving the proper treatment for your condition. You may also have a viable claim if a correct treatment option is selected, but the practitioner does not administer it correctly.
Failure to Provide Information of Known Risks
Receiving any type of treatment from a practitioner involves something called the duty of informed consent. Basically, this means that your practitioner has a duty to provide you with information on the known risks of a certain treatment so that you can make an educated decision about whether or not you’d like to agree to it. If your doctor failed to inform you about the known risks of a particular treatment, you would not have agreed to it had you known these risks, and the treatment resulted in damages, then you could have a viable case.
The Practitioner Admits to the Mistake
It’s not common for this to happen, but in some cases it does. Sometimes a medical practitioner will know that they have committed malpractice and will admit to the mistake. They may offer you an apology or admit that they made a mistake. Sometimes they may also offer you compensation. An important thing for you to know is that if the medical practitioner or the hospital admits to making a mistake, it’s still within your right to seek compensation and make a claim.
Learn How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You
If you believe that you have experienced medical malpractice and you would like to make a claim, this can be a long and challenging process. Hiring a qualified and experienced medical malpractice lawyer will help smooth out the process and help you get the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with Peter Angelos Law in Baltimore, Maryland to work with us.