When something goes wrong in the medical field, it’s often difficult to know where to turn. Many people feel they don’t have a choice but to suffer in silence, lest they be accused of suing for nothing. But is that the only option? Is it so easy to brush off medical negligence?
Luckily, legal options are available for those who have been wronged by medical negligence. There is no need to suffer in silence, whether it was an asbestos exposure or a childbirth injury. Some people will fight for you and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and demand justice. There are solutions; you have to be willing to fight for them. If you or your beloved has been the victim of medical negligence, don’t hesitate to seek help. Here’s how the legal system can offer you some relief.
What Does Medical Negligence Include?
Medical negligence can take many different forms. It can be a wrong prescription or a hospital staff member making a fatal mistake. If medical professionals have harmed you, you must know you have options. First, you are eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries.
However, it would help if you always get some legal advice before jumping into anything. The least you want is to end up in a long, drawn-out legal battle that leaves you feeling even worse than before.
When to File a Claim?
If you’ve suffered at the hands of medical negligence, it’s essential to act quickly. However, there are limitations in place that dictate how long you have to file a claim. Waiting too long may void the compensation you deserve. You can check with a lawyer to see if your state has a statute of limitations for medical negligence. If so, make sure you file your claim before it’s too late.
What You Need to Prove
You must prove that the medical professionals in question were negligent to win your case. It means showing that they failed to provide the standard of care that a reasonable person would expect. However, that’s not the only requirement. Let’s look at it in depth.
A Valid and Existing Doctor-Patient Relationship
You can only sue a doctor for medical negligence if you have a valid and existing doctor-patient relationship. It means that the doctor owed you a duty of care. This relationship can be established in several ways, including:
- The doctor treating you for an injury or illness
- The doctor referring you to another specialist
- The doctor giving you a second opinion
Remember, you can’t see a doctor for something a friend or family member told you about their care. The relationship must be directly between you and the doctor.
The Doctor was Negligent
In some cases, the doctor isn’t negligent. They may have provided the standard of care that a reasonable person would expect. If a particular treatment didn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean the doctor was negligent. They may have done everything they could to help you.
However, there are cases where the doctor’s actions fall below the acceptable standard. You will need to show that your care provider:
- Failed to diagnose an illness or injury
- Delayed in diagnosing a disease or injury
- Unable to provide the proper treatment
- Provided the wrong treatment
If you can prove that the doctor was negligent, you may be able to win your case.
You Suffered an Injury or Illness
If the doctor was negligent, you must have suffered a physical or mental injury or illness. Stating the doctor’s negligence isn’t enough. You’ll also be required to prove that you suffered harm due to their negligence.
For example, let’s say you went to the doctor for a routine checkup. The doctor failed to notice that you had a heart condition. As a result, you suffered a heart attack. In this case, you would be able to sue the doctor for medical negligence. You’ll have to present documents and evidence to back up your claim.
The Injury or Illness Caused Damages
You must not just get hurt or sick, but the disease or injury must also harm you. The damages can be physical, emotional, or financial. They can be anything from medical bills to lost wages.
You will need to present evidence of the damages you suffered to win your case. It can include doctors’ bills, hospital records, or pay stubs. The more substantial the evidence you have, the better your chances of winning.
Get Legal Help
You can’t sue a doctor for medical negligence on your own. A lawyer specializing in this area of law is your safest bet. They will be able to help you gather the evidence you need to win your case. Contact your local bar association to locate a lawyer. It’s also important to note that you’ll require an expert to validate and give testimony to support your claim.
The Types of Damages You Can Recover
If you win your medical negligence case, you may be able to recover damages. However, the type of damages you can recover will depend on the facts of your case.
You may recover the expense of any medical treatment you received owing to negligence. It includes hospital stays, operations, and drugs. You’ll need evidence such as bills or records to support your claim.
You may be able to get your wages back due to your carelessness. It includes the time you missed from work while recovering. You must provide pay stubs or other documentation to support your case.
Pain and Suffering
You may recover damages for the physical pain and suffering you endured due to the negligence. It includes emotional distress and mental anguish. You will need to provide testimony or records to support your claim.
Punitive damages may be recoverable in specific circumstances. These are meant to make up for the doctor’s carelessness. Usually, they are only given out in instances of extreme neglect.
The specifics of your case will determine how much damage you are awarded. You might be able to get back all of your losses or only some of them. Knowing what to anticipate requires speaking with a lawyer.
It’s not easy to win a medical negligence case. You will need the help of a lawyer and an expert witness to have a chance at success. But you may be compensated if you prove that the doctor was negligent and their negligence caused you harm. It only takes one negligent doctor to generate a lifetime of pain and suffering. So be sure to get the help you need if you’ve been a victim of medical negligence.