Proving negligence on the part of the medical practitioner makes medical malpractice cases similar to other injury cases. Whether suing a doctor, nurse, dentist, hospital, or nursing home, the same steps to prove negligence apply. The medical malpractice attorney must show that:
* The practitioner established a patient-doctor relationship and therefore owed the patient a duty of care
* The practitioner failed to uphold the medical standards that other professionals in the same field uphold
* There was a cause-effect relationship between the practitioner’s failed care and the outcome for the patient
* The patient suffered injury as a result
Significant differences between medical malpractice and other injury cases
One of the main differences between medical malpractice and other injury cases is the medical standard of care factor. Proving a doctor’s failure to abide by medical standards requires expert testimony. You need a comparable medical professional practicing in the same field of medicine to testify. For example, if you were suing a dentist, the lawyer would need a dental expert to testify about practice standards not being met.
Medical standards extend to a lot of different procedures, such as following medication instructions when dosing patients or explaining risks that certain procedures involve, referred to as informed consent. Failure to adhere to these standards may provide evidence of malpractice. When a doctor promises certain results, such as perfect vision through Lasik eye surgery, and the patient suffers worsened vision because of surgical error, a breach of warranty may apply to the case.
The bottom line is that if you suspect medical malpractice, you should get a legal opinion. When medical malpractice occurs, handling the expenses of corrective surgery or in the worst cases, the financial burden of permanent disability should not be your problem.
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