Recovering from a serious medical procedure can be stressful. When something went awry with the procedure, your physician prescribed improper medication, or you didn't receive the full measure of care you needed, recovery can prove to be a truly arduous process.
But how do you know if you have a malpractice suit? Below we walk you through the characteristics that must be present in order for an incident to qualify as malpractice.
Did your healthcare provider have a duty of care to you?
Under the law, professionals have specific duties of care. In order for a breach of duty to fall under medical malpractice, the professional must qualify as a healthcare provider and he or she must have had direct duty of care to you.
Healthcare providers include doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians. Your state may also recognize other medical professionals by this definition.
In order to establish duty of care, you had to be directly treated by the healthcare provider you specify in your claim. This means, for example, that if you were only treated by one nurse, no other nurses on the staff can be held accountable for any injuries you sustained under your nurse’s care.
Was there a breach of duty on your healthcare provider’s behalf?
In order for malpractice to occur, a healthcare provider must fall short of delivering the expected standard of care. The legal standard varies by state and region, but generally means that the care met all reasonable criteria used in that medical field.
To prove breach of care, you may have to find expert witnesses with the help of legal counsel from places like Groth Law Firm. Generally, these expert witnesses are reputable professionals who can testify to the expected standard of care and shed light on how your healthcare provider breached his or her duty.
Have you suffered any damages according to the law?
In a malpractice case, you must prove that you sustained damages under the law that were directly caused by a breach of duty. In addition to the original injury, malpractice must also have caused legal damages, such as:
· Loss of wages or employment
· Medical fees, court costs, and attorney fees
· Physical and emotional pain and suffering
Still not sure whether or not your situation qualifies for malpractice litigation? Reach out to an experienced lawyer. Malpractice suits have a high burden of proof, but if your life has been affected by the negligence of a professional you trusted your health to, a lawyer can help determine your options.