What is a medical malpractice claim?
A medical malpractice lawsuit is a type of negligence action which alleges that the treatment a patient received from their healthcare provider did not meet the recognized standard of care within the medical community and resulted in injury to the patient. A medical malpractice lawsuit may be brought against the healthcare provider and/or their employer, usually a hospital.
When should I consider filing a medical malpractice claim?
If you received medical treatment that resulted in an unfavorable result, medical malpractice may have occurred. However, it is not the case that all unfavorable results are caused by medical malpractice. If you think that medical malpractice may have caused your injuries, you should consult with an attorney who is experienced in this area of law. An Atlanta medical malpractice attorney experienced in this area of law will be able to investigate the circumstances of your case and consult with a medical expert in order to determine whether your injuries were caused by medical malpractice.
Furthermore, filing a successful medical malpractice lawsuit is a costly process. It requires extensive investigation and consultation with medical experts. As a result, typically medical malpractice claims are only brought when the healthcare provider’s negligence resulted in serious injury. This is because the potential award for damages will outweigh the cost of litigation when medical malpractice results in serious injury, but will not allow the prosecution to recoup expenses will injuries are minimal. Generally, an injury is serious if it has lasting physical or emotional impacts, results in costly treatment or causes you to have to take time off work, or if it affects your quality of life. An attorney can help you determine whether your injuries are serious enough to make filing a medical malpractice claim worthwhile.
How do I prevail on a medical malpractice claim?
Like all other negligence actions, the plaintiff must prove three elements in order to prevail. First, the plaintiff must establish that the healthcare provider or hospital owed them a duty of care. Once a patient-healthcare provider relationship is established, a healthcare provider owes their patient a duty to deliver treatment which meets the recognized standard of care. The standard of care is based on what was reasonable given the particular circumstances. Second, the plaintiff must prove that the healthcare provider breached their duty of care. Whether a healthcare provider acted reasonably can vary from case to case. As such, medical malpractice cases rely upon the testimony of expert witnesses in order to prove this element. Third, the plaintiff must prove that the healthcare providers negligence caused their injuries and resulted in damages.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a healthcare provider’s medical malpractice, you should contact an attorney immediately.