As with any negligence claim, a medical malpractice allegation requires the plaintiff to establish the applicable standard of care, or duty. What distinguishes medical malpractice litigation from other personal injury lawsuits is that this standard is typically established through expert testimony.
When Should I Consult with An Attorney?
There is a certain amount of uncertainty associated with any medical procedure. Said another way, there is rarely a 100 percent guarantee for the success of a medical treatment or procedure. When the outcome did not go as planned, you may be uncertain whether you doctor was at fault. A consultation with an attorney can educate you about your legal rights, even at this early stage.
What Are Examples of Medical Negligence?
Medical mistakes may take the form of a delayed or incorrect diagnosis, a surgical error, or a mistake during any procedure that caused harm. The initial inquiry is determining what a reasonable care provider would have done under the circumstances. If your doctor’s care fell below that standard, there may be a breach.
Yet this is only half the battle. To recover compensation, an injured patient must also establish causation between the breach and his or her injuries. In the example of a delayed diagnosis, an expert may be needed to testify about the harm that could have been avoided with earlier diagnosis and intervention. Sometimes the cause is less obvious, as in a bacterial infection resulting from the doctor’s failure to create a sterile environment. In this case, an expert may testify how the doctor’s treatment protocols fell below the professional standard.