Medical malpractice occurs when medical professionals or health care providers fail to provide the standard of care that is guaranteed by law. Health care providers are obligated to provide their patients with the best possible care and do everything they can to ensure proper treatment is administered. However, mistakes can happen, and when they do, patients can suffer severe and even fatal consequences.
As a patient, you have a legal right to ask that a doctor or healthcare provider compensate you for any harm or damage caused to your health. The patient might also decide to sue the doctor directly for malpractice, arguing that the doctor breached his duty of care by causing the plaintiff harm. However, negligence or bad faith isn’t an excuse for ignoring basic safety standards.
Any type of negligence or misconduct during a medical procedure can be classified as medical malpractice, but not every type of misstep is considered malpractice. Not every malpractice claim results in a successful lawsuit. Establishing medical malpractice requires that the following four criteria be met:
- Patient – doctor relationship
If you are a party to a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is critical to show that the doctor-patient relationship existed between you and the party on trial. You need to establish that there was an established professional relationship between you and the defendant. If there was no such relationship, your claim likely has no merit.
If a doctor renders a medical treatment or diagnostic procedure without proper consultation and patient consent, this may be considered medical malpractice. In such cases, the patient’s family members and loved ones are advised to hire a competent and experienced Tampa medical malpractice attorney qualified to assess the extent to which negligence has led to severe complications and injury. Several possible difficulties can arise in medical malpractice situations, and your attorney must have experience handling similar cases.
- Negligence by your Doctor
If you have been the victim of a doctor’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages from that doctor. To show that the doctor acted negligently, you have to show that they acted in violation of acceptable medical standards. When a doctor fails to consistently follow the typical standard of care for a particular specialty, they no longer provide a safe and effective treatment for their patients. This is often demonstrated by an inability to diagnose, unusual delays in diagnosis, or failures to treat common complications properly. All medical professionals should have a focus on the highest standards in the examination of their patients. Any deviation is negligent, even if it is slight.
- Negligence caused Injuries
The most important thing when it comes to defending yourself in a case like this is to understand what essentially caused the injury or illness in the first place. Then, you can use injury as a weapon to either win or convince the court that the other party’s misdeeds caused your condition. For instance, if a dentist negligently extracted your tooth instead of cleaning it correctly, this could be seen as an intentional act that caused your injury – even if it wasn’t caused by a systemic problem in your dental office. This is why it is essential to know about injury causation rules and how they are applied in civil cases.
- Caused Real Harm
The first step in securing compensation in a medical malpractice case is determining if there is a viable cause of action. This means that one of the elements must be present for a court to hear the case, and it then will be sent to a jury or judge to decide if there is a liability on the part of whoever is being sued. The main elements that must be proven are causation and injury.
Medical bills are not the only type of damages one can receive. A plaintiff may also recover payments for pain and suffering, which does not have a specific dollar amount attached. Pain and suffering are evaluated differently in each state, but most judges use past jury trials of medical malpractice in their circuit as benchmarks.
Damages Awarded in Medical Malpractice Case
- Medical Expenses
Medical malpractice settlements and awards cover the patient’s past, present, and future medical bills – usually totaling a six-figure sum or more. An award/settlement may include not only what you’ve already incurred in hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription drugs, etc., but also include additional funds for future costs associated with your injury.
- Lost Income and working capacity
Losing wages has a significant impact on you and your family. It can reduce the quality of your life and make it challenging to meet your essential financial obligations. In the United States, each state has its own laws regarding lost wages and how compensation is calculated. These laws include the number of weeks you’re eligible to receive benefits and the amount awarded per week. If you’re injured on the job or in an accident that wasn’t your fault, these rules and regulations can help ensure your compensation is fair.
- Pain and Suffering
The damages for pain and suffering are intended as compensation to an injured person for physical pain and mental anxiety they suffered and any permanent changes that occurred during the injury. The amount awarded can vary depending on both the nature of the injury and the judge or jury that hears the case. In most states, a person must prove the injury has resulted in severe pain to recover these damages.
Medical malpractice claims can be complicated, but having a legal professional involved from the start can make it less daunting. The attorneys at law at Rein Goodwin have decades of legal experience and have obtained numerous successful outcomes for our clients, including settlements totalling millions of dollars. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of service and compassionate care while working to achieve equity for those who medical professionals have hurt. If you have experienced medical malpractice or have been declared injured due to one, we’re here to help you find the best solution for your situation.