The Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
When someone suffers a serious injury or death as a result of a medical professional failing to perform his or her duties, a medical malpractice case may be filed against the doctor. While the rules and timeline of medical malpractice cases vary depending on the circumstances of the incident, there are a few basic elements that remain consistent across most cases.
Was there a doctor-patient relationship?
In any medical malpractice case, you have to show that there was a relationship with the doctor you are filing the claim against. The basic foundation of a doctor-patient relationship must prove that you hired the doctor and frequently visited them for your treatment.
Was the doctor negligent?
Being unhappy in your treatment is not grounds for medical malpractice, and it does not show that the doctor is liable. You must prove that the doctor acted in a way that a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have. A majority of medical malpractice cases require that the doctor failed to adhere to a medical standard of care.
Did the doctor's negligence cause the injury?
Many medical malpractice cases involve patients who were already sick or injured, so it can be difficult to prove that the fault lies in the doctor's negligence and not in the victim's pre-existing condition. This element of a medical malpractice case typically requires the testimony of a medical expert to help determine negligence and liability.
Did the harm lead to specific damages?
Did the patient suffer harm? Even if it's obvious that the medical professional in question acted incompetently, the patient must have suffered harm that led to specific damages.
Damages a patient can claim include:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Additional medical bills
- Loss of wages
We Protect the Rights of Injured Patients
The Law Offices of Stipe & Belote have more than 40 years of combined experience that can be used to your advantage if you or a loved one have suffered harm at the hands of a doctor's negligence. Don't hesitate to contact us – the earlier you bring us on your side, the greater impact we'll have on your case.
Contact our Oklahoma City medical malpractice attorney today to learn how we can help.