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The Basis of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medical malpractice

When a doctor fails to perform his or her duty in a responsible manner and causes harm or injury to a patient, it may form the basis for a medical malpractice claim. Although the laws pertaining to medical malpractice cases may vary from state to state, there are a few basic requirements that need to be in place before a claim is filed.

Proving a Medical Malpractice Case

To prove that medical malpractice occurred, you must demonstrate the following:

A doctor-patient relationship existed: For you to sue a doctor, you must show a doctor-patient relationship existed between the patient and the doctor concerned. It is easy to prove this by showing the court that the doctor was treating the patient. However, you cannot make a claim against a doctor who gave you anecdotal advice or whom you overheard offering advice to another person.

The doctor was negligent: Simply because you are unhappy with the treatment and its results, you cannot hold the doctor liable for medical malpractice. You must show that the doctor acted in a way that a competent doctor, under similar circumstances, would not have. A doctor is required to be reasonably careful, skillful and prudent when treating his or her patients. If that standard of care is breached and a patient suffers as a result, it may form the basis of a medical malpractice case.

The doctor’s negligence caused the injury: Malpractice cases often involve patients who are already sick or injured, which makes proving negligence challenging. If a patient was seriously ill and dies while undergoing treatment by a doctor, the family must prove it was the doctor and not the existing illness that killed the patient. Usually, the patient must have a medical expert testify that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury.

Special rules and requirements in a medical malpractice case

There are some special rules and requirements for medical malpractice claims. It is important to know these rules and to follow them:

  • A medical malpractice case must be filed soon after the injury, usually between six months and two years depending on the state where the malpractice occurred. Failing to file the lawsuit within the given time frame will lead to dismissal of the case.
  • In some states, a patient giving a doctor notice of a malpractice claim must give it in the form of a basic description before filing anything.
  • A medical malpractice case requires an expert’s testimony. What makes somebody qualified to provide expert medical testimony depends on state law. However, this is generally someone with experience in the specific field in question.
  • Contact Us

    If you have been injured as a result of a medical professional’s error and are looking for strong legal representation, our skillful and experienced medical malpractice lawyers can help. Call us at 845-709-8005 and 800-940-1799 or email at jeff@rocklandinjurylaw.com or reuven@rocklandinjurylaw.com.

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    Disclaimer : This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.