Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor does not practice the conventional standard of care, leaving patients hurt as a result. Exorbitant amounts nearing $3 billion was paid out to victims and/or their families in medical malpractice suits over the course of 2012. Medical malpractice is ranked as the third leading cause of death, according to the American Medical Association. The following are four things to know when considering a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Relationship with Your Doctor
In order to bring forth a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must have a proven, established, doctor-patient relationship. As the patient, you placed yourself in your doctor’s care to provide medical services. If you take medical advice from a doctor that was not treating you specifically, it is not appropriate to bring forth a lawsuit against them. In order for you to establish a relationship with the doctor, they have to have treated you. If a doctor was not involved directly in your care, you cannot file a lawsuit against them.
Proximate cause is when the injury from the doctor’s treatment was the direct result of the injury. In order to establish this, the patient must prove that the doctor’s ineptitude caused the injured further harm. Proving this in court often occurs with the help of an expert witness. Deciphering whether or not the patient’s change in condition is the result of the doctor or their original illness can be challenging to determine. The patient must prove that the doctor’s actions were the reason behind the injuries they incurred, which can be tricky.
Statute of Limitations
In most states, the statute of limitations to file a claim is from six months to two years. However, the timeframe to file a medical malpractice claim can vary from state to state.
The case will more than likely be dismissed if the victim does not meet the statute of limitations to file your claim. When the lawsuit involves a minor, exemptions to the statute are made. In some cases, an exception could be granted in the event that the injury takes longer to become apparent.
If you believe to have incurred an injury as the result of your doctor’s negligent care a malpractice attorney can help assess your claim. The guidelines for medical malpractice differs among states. Utilizing a malpractice attorney such as the hospital injury lawyers Memphis TN locals turn to can help to provide you with guidance regarding how secure your case is.
Thanks to authors at Darrel Castle & Associates PLLC for their insight into Personal Injury.